Business growth can be a double-edged sword for organisations trying to balance workplace culture with new clients, stakeholders, incomes, and external responsibilities. It’s important that, as businesses grow, managers don’t lose sight of internal workplace culture. As organisations scale up, it can be hard to maintain the warmth, openness, and cohesiveness achievable with a smaller team. It’s up to business leaders to envision what their workplaces might look like with 20, or 200 more people, and implement strategies to ensure staff members are satisfied, motivated, and feel like a part of the team.
Matthew Goss, managing director, ANZ, SAP Concur, said, “As new employees enter organisations, it’s important managers don’t let existing employees fade into the background. And, as businesses grow and take on new work, it’s critical that employees continue to experience job satisfaction and recognition for their work.
“Ultimately, no matter how far businesses scale up, the need for a strong corporate culture, with supported and motivated employees, is essential.”
SAP Concur has identified three ways organisations can simultaneously scale up and maintain organisational culture:
1. Invest in new leaders: It can be precarious for one person to manage evolving tasks and responsibilities as their business grows. Without the right support, leaders can burn out and the effects of this can trickle down into the rest of the company. Leaders should consider promoting high-performing employees to leadership positions, perhaps across specific projects or relevant departments. This not only takes some of the pressure off leaders but also means departments can be better supported by new management with more visibility into existing departmental processes and challenges.
2. Recognise good work: Empowering new leaders, and employees more generally, involves openly acknowledging their work and the value they bring to a growing business. Public recognition clearly communicates to internal teams that they’re working with people they can trust, and who have their best interests at heart. It also sets an example for other employees to aim for, which, in turn, helps businesses strengthen their core values. Establishing role models in the business can help spread business values across larger teams. Recognising employees also contributes to higher levels of job satisfaction, and helps employees feel like they fit into the business’s growth story.
3. Encourage delegation: Leaders might feel uncomfortable delegating decision-making responsibilities to others; however, this is an important learning curve for people in management positions, who will need to get used to changing systems and processes as their business grows. Encouraging others to delegate tasks can also help employees feel less overwhelmed, and help train younger or less-experienced employees who, over time, will move up the ranks. Delegating tasks exemplifies a workplace culture where employees can communicate with each other and experience job progression.
Matt Goss said, “A growing business can present leaders with challenges around workplace culture, and employee satisfaction. Keeping employees front of mind during an organisation’s growth journey is essential for sustained success, as employees are far more likely to be productive and motivated when they’re properly managed, recognised, and able to grow within the company.”