Growth Spurt? How to Spare Employees from Growing Pains
Aug 12, 2015 admin
Growth. It’s something we here at InkHouse know a thing or two about both from firsthand experience (our San Francisco office has nearly tripled in size over the last nine months!) and from our portfolio of fast growing clients. While it’s an exciting and vital part of any thriving organization, rapid growth can potentially lead to stormy seas and a work environment that can be less than ideal for both new and existing employees. What can you do to make sure employees are motivated and your business remains on course to meet its aggressive goals?
At InkHouse we work hard to ensure our expanding team is happy, healthy and most importantly, has what they need to keep producing amazing results, even during a growth spurt. Here’s how:
Be Transparent - If you want employees to feel like they are a part of the team and have a stake in the organization’s success, you need to make them feel like they are a part of the conversation. Transparency is key. Your people need access to more than just your business goals. Transparency means open and honest conversations about what is going well, where the challenges are and what the plan of action is. It means encouraging employees to also be open and honest about everything from the projects they are working on to their interactions with each other. It also requires encouraging feedback on what management could be doing better and being open to making changes where necessary. Transparency is how you build trust and ultimately cultivate loyal team members who are dedicated to each other and the success of your company.
Work Hard, Play Together - Team building is not just about going out once a quarter with the company card and grabbing drinks together. There is much more to it. When everyone is working hard and leaning in to make magic happen, it’s important to have regularly scheduled time to blow off steam together. At InkHouse we affectionately refer to our twice a month get-togethers as “FoFs” or “forced office fun.” It is a time when we get together and do everything from a casual in-office happy hour to showcasing our “athleticism” during mini-golf or a round of bocce ball. We laugh, we vent, and we talk about our lives outside of work. Basically we bond and it’s amazing. Feeling connected to your co-workers is an important part of feeling like a team that can take on the world when the road gets bumpy.
Protect Your Culture - Company culture is something that can be hard to foster and maintain, especially when things are moving fast. While the temptation may be to hire as quickly as possible to get your team some relief, your company culture can take a serious hit if the fit isn’t right. Thoughtful hiring is tough but essential to protecting your culture and the team that has worked hard to get you to where you are today. Make sure that you are respectful of what you have worked so hard to build and factor in more than just a resume when you are considering new candidates.
Accountability - This is a big one for us and it is one of InkHouse’s core values . Here, accountability starts with management but applies all the way to entry level employees. In a company that is growing fast with new customers, projects and requests flying all over the place, the chance that something might slip through the cracks is always high. Regardless of the size of your workforce, there will come a time when a mistake is made and it is essential that everyone owns what went wrong so that a solution can be found quickly. Accountability promotes respect and honesty, two things that are essential to building a healthy and effective team.
At the end of the day, growth is an exciting and critical part of any business. By keeping these few, simple but important tips in mind, you can minimize the growing pains for your employees and build a stronger, more resilient team in the process.