A Guide to Keeping Employees Happy as You Scale

Picking the right time to scale up your business can be hard to pinpoint. With growth, you have the luxury of time. Scaling, however, can be a lightning-speed process and as a business owner, you need to make sure that your business and team are ready for the challenge.

The Startup Genome Report found that 70% of businesses scale too quickly. If you decide to scale your business before you’re ready, there are a lot of risks. 

Scaling can be stressful and can burn out your team if you’re not correctly prepared. Your employees are your brand ambassadors, so, to succeed, you need to ensure that you’re keeping your team happy and motivated.

Here are some simple ways for you to ensure your team is taken care of as you scale.

Stay True to Your Culture

As you plan how you’ll be scaling up your business, make sure that the plan continues to align with your business’s core values and mission. By having these clearly defined, your culture will remain intact, and grow with your business as you scale. The risk is that if your team feels that the culture of the business is changing for the worse, they might be pushed to resign. 

Having strong and clear values is an invaluable business tool that will not only help to retain your team, but will strengthen and bolster your scaleup vision.

Provide Clarity

The process of rapid growth and change can easily impact your team’s morale. Being transparent with your timeline, will help keep spirits high and reassure your employees that the pain points of the process won’t last forever. 

Keep open and clear communication throughout; regularly check in with your team, make time for one-to-one sessions and provide regular feedback. HubSpot found that 43% of highly engaged employees receive feedback at least once a week.  

Empower Your Team

It’s down to you to enable your team to do their best. A survey from HubSpot found that 69% of employees are willing to work harder if their efforts are appreciated, and there are plenty of straightforward ways to show them that appreciation. 

First, make their lives easier! Research new tools, technologies and software that you can implement and integrate with your business so that the process of scaling up is streamlined. Create Standard Operating Procedures for your team to refer to to guarantee that processes are uniform across your business. Implement a clear hierarchy, so that all team members know exactly who to go to with problems and what they are responsible for. Set achievable and distinct targets so your employees can follow you and the company on its journey.

By providing structure and defining processes, you will empower your team to work efficiently and seamlessly even when you’re not around to help. 

Hire Intelligently

An inevitable part of scaling up your business is growing your team. As scaling is a delicate balancing act, make sure you don’t just blanket hire, take the time to make sure you’re hiring the right people. You want to be on the lookout for individuals who believe in the vision of the business, align with your values, and will be a proactive asset to the company. 

As you’re hiring, don’t forget about your existing team. Make sure that all of your employees feel equally valued and enable them to integrate to avoid an ‘us vs them’ mentality. Scaling is tough, so put your focus on the quality of your hire, and employ people who are capable of helping your business succeed. 

It’s About their Growth too

As your business grows, opportunities for your team will appear. Make sure to pinpoint openings and allow your employees to rise to a new challenge. Speak to your employees about where they want to go within your business. In small startups, team members can wear many hats, but as you scale, they may be able to specialise. 

Think about perks, rewards, or gifts you can give to your team as a thank you for their patience and hard work. Reflect with them on how you can improve and make the company an even better place to work. Remember to regularly thank your team and celebrate and champion them when they’ve done good work. Hubspot found that 78% of employees said that being recognised helps them to feel motivated in their job, and the more motivated they are, the more productive they’ll be. 

Seek Out Advice

If you’re finding scaling up challenging, don’t panic. You’re not alone. Reach out to other business leaders and SMEs for advice – they’ll have no doubt gone through the same thing. Having proximity to experts, business advice and mentoring can be a priceless asset to you while you scale. 

Think about what business support programmes are available to you and sign up. For example, our CRL Accelerator programme provides product makers and hardware pioneers with the knowledge and skills to build a successful business. 

Plus X exists to enable and support tomorrow’s pioneers to meet the challenges of our time. Learn more about Plus X innovation hubs, and see how you can become a member of the Central Research Laboratory.

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