It’s widely recognised that employees are a business’s best asset. But when your team grows from just a handful of people to a bustling office, it can be difficult to make sure everyone is on the same page.
In addition, the staff who were with you from the outset can feel threatened and overwhelmed by an influx of new talent. And that’s not to mention all the hiring that needs to be done and rearranging the office space to accommodate new people.
So how do you successfully manage a fast-growing team? SmartCompany spoke to some industry insiders for their top tips.
1. Have a strong vision
Tony Gleeson, executive general manager at the Australian Institute of Management, says no matter how quickly your business grows you always need to come back to your central vision.
“You really need to have a real mission and value statement,” he told SmartCompany. “If you’re fast growing you need to work hard, play hard and want to be clear which markets you’re in. You as the owner need to deliver.”
John Winning, founder of Appliances Online, agrees. Winning launched his business in 2005, and within three months he was making a profit. Now Appliances Online is a major player in the online retail market, serving more than 350,000 customers and seeing year-on-year growth of 42%.
Speaking from personal experience, Winning says every fast-growing company needs a “clear mission, vision and strategy”. It’s this passion that can keep the business on-track as it expands rapidly.
2. Invest in your team
Gleeson says staff are critical to a growing company’s success or failure. With an influx of new talent, it’s important to ensure your staff feel valued and don’t get lost in the crowd.
“People need to be aware of their roles but understand the environment is changing so they can be flexible in what they do,” he said. “One day you might be in charge of one or two people but then you might need to manage ten people.”
Gleeson says employers need to ensure they are providing the right workplace training and education because you can’t expect people to know what they are doing immediately.
“Select the people who have the right skills and backgrounds and invest in them,” he said. “You can grow quickly but go down the tubes just as quick.”
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