Leading your company through a massive growth phase is simultaneously exciting and terrifying. It’s beyond thrilling to see all your hard work pay off — especially if you’ve helped build the organization from the ground up — but you must make sure this rapid expansion is handled properly.
From an employee’s perspective, change often brings uncertainty, causing people to wonder about their future with the company. Your existing team is amazing, and causing them to feel apprehensive about their long-term employment is the last thing you want, so use these strategies to properly prepare them for growth in the not-too-distant future.
- Keep Everyone in the Loop
Gossip and rumors start when employees are kept in the dark, so provide regular status updates on the current state of the company. Share your expansion plans with your team so they understand the direction the organization is headed. Make them feel included by celebrating milestones together, letting them know when you’re hiring and announcing the arrival of new employees well before their first day of work.
- Clearly Define Each Person’s Role
You want your existing team to be warm and welcoming to new hires, so make it clear these people aren’t a threat to their jobs. Explain the reasoning for hiring each new employee and the value the newly added position will bring to the company. Prior to the person’s first day on the job, meet with your team to discuss the new hire’s responsibilities and clearly define each person’s role, to ensure no toes are inadvertently stepped on.
- Give Employees a Voice
As workplace change is a very touchy subject for many employees, make yourself available to discuss any questions, comments, concerns and suggestions they have. Allowing people to be part of the process — rather than holding court in a front row seat — will make them much more engaged and willing to adapt.
- Focus on Preserving Company Culture
Company culture defines your organization, so don’t let it get lost in the mix. It’s inevitable that growth will bring about changes, but don’t allow it to shake your team to the core. You’re probably crazy busy right now, but more so than ever, it’s important to hit pause and focus on keeping company traditions alive. Make a point to continue on with practices that give your company its unique personality, such as beer Fridays, weekly lunch-and-learns and a constant push towards innovation.
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