Your employees are the heart and soul of your company's operations. Their individual contributions drive your organization's overall success. In other words, you can't grow and scale your business without a proactive, people-first approach to recruitment and engagement. This is true whether you're looking to expand into new markets, increase revenue, or simply boost brand awareness.
Here are three ways employers can promote sustainable growth by leveraging their most important asset: their staff.
1. Recruit with intention.
As you scale, it becomes increasingly crucial to attract a competent pool of applicants. The key is transparency about your expectations and the experience required to succeed at your company. Vague job descriptions often yield under-qualified applicants. Specific, detailed listings make it easier for candidates to determine whether they possess adequate experience. Let the listing itself serve as as a preliminary screening.
During the interview process, be sure to ask thorough questions, check references, and think of creative ways for applicants to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in person. For example, if you're hiring a sales or customer service representative, ask them to do a quick role-playing exercise with you.
2. Streamline the onboarding process.
Scaling tends to result in ever-changing points of contact, especially for entry-level employees. It is important to instill hierarchy within and beyond your onboarding process, from the first week of training to routine performance reviews down the line. As they transition from being closely supervised to working more independently, there should always be a clear chain of command.
Go a step further and map the organizational structure of your company. Make sure mid-level associates aren't overwhelmed by the number of individuals directly reporting to them. As Jeff Bezos has illustrated with his much-talked about "two pizza rule," working in large groups stifles productivity and creativity.
3. Scale your values.
Failure to cultivate a rich company culture can seriously hinder your ability to grow, and the data only reinforces this point. Businesses with happy employees outperform their competition by a whopping 20 percent. Educating new hires about your company's history, mission, and core values will not only inspire and motivate them, but also help them merge seamlessly with your existing staff.
Meanwhile, reflect on how you can keep existing employees excited and engaged during the scaling process. And we're not just talking about building an office bowling alley or offering free massages like Google does on their campus. You'd be surprised how impactful small gestures such as inviting your staff members to lunch, planning a team outing or volunteer opportunity, relaxing the dress code on Fridays, and allowing more flexible hours over the holidays or during summer can be when it comes to boosting morale and enthusiasm. Remember: it pays to foster a high employee retention rate.