By Gili Ben-Yosef, President, BYJ Consulting
When I started my previous job, I was part of a small team tasked with reinvigorating a struggling consulting firm. We had committed leaders who were determined to take the team along on every step of the journey. I felt part of every achievement, most decisions, and had a hand in shaping the culture, the employee experience and fulfilling our mission. I looked forward to our weekly staff meetings, where we’d also share funny stories and inquire about our colleagues’ dating escapades. We worked hard and thrived as we collaborated on the challenges of the clients and the company
And then, our hard work paid off. We had more clients than we imagined, our bottom line beat all projections and we had stellar work achievements. With that, we had to rapidly expand the team to meet demand, standardize processes which used to “just work,” change reporting relationships as we created structured layers of management and juggle workspaces.
While we continued to perform well for a while, employee engagement and morale eventually dipped
. And with that, so did our bottom line.
What happened? We got big enough that we didn’t know all of our colleagues anymore, what projects were in the pipeline or the reasons business was shaky. Many of us felt disconnected, uninformed and detached. People began searching for new opportunities, and high performers left the company, creating an even bigger dent in the already depressed situation.
My experience isn’t unique and is a risk for any fast-growing company. While there are many challenges associated with rapid growth, a crucial one involves your most important resource – your people. Employees who are engaged are more committed, more productive and quite literally keep your company afloat at critical times.
Keep in mind these three tips to help keep your people engaged while you grow and scale your business as well as the employee experience:
- 1. Plan ahead: Sometimes it’s hard to focus on the future when there is so much to be done in the present. However, setting the groundwork for scalable employee engagement and communication processes early on will yield high returns in the long run. When you reach a growth turning point, your employee engagement solution will already be in place and the team can focus on other important business.
- 2. Stay connected: Employees can be amazing resources for ideas and productivity and they crave connection to the brand, the company mission, to the team and leadership. As the company grows, maintain an open dialogue across all levels of employees and build trust through transparency, instituting an open-door policy for employees to chat with leaders and/or easy-to-use tools for constant connection and collaboration.
- 3. Scale employee engagement: When a company grows, most processes will likely have to be refreshed and redesigned. Employee engagement shouldn’t be one of them so establish and ingrain easily scalable engagement tactics early on: introducing enterprise social networks or weekly social events for your team are simple solutions with high return in the long run.
Times of company growth is exciting yet can be challenging. Be prepared and plan ahead to keep your employees engaged and committed to the long run.