One of the main goals of a business is to establish a consistent pattern of growth. It’s what keeps the business alive. When a small business experiences the good fortune of an extended growth period, it’s critical to maintain a low employee turnover rate. Here are 4 steps to retaining employees when your company starts to grow.
Consider the Ability of Your Current Infrastructure to Handle the New Demand
Business growth can challenge your current infrastructure. When developing marketing plans, one question that business owners and or leadership teams can ask themselves is – If we get the long-term response that we really want, can our current infrastructure handle that influx of new business? It’s important to remember to take this into consideration. When the new demand for a product or service is greater than the company’s ability to process the influx, the door is now open to both employee and customer dissatisfaction. Review your current processes to determine if there are more efficient methods available to handle more business. Can low cost technology assist in meeting the new demand? Do outsourcing opportunities exist? You may discover that additional employees are in fact needed to handle the increase in business.
Consider the Impact to Your Employees
During a growth cycle, it may be assumed that employees should be willing to work longer hours or wear more than one positional hat, but it’s important to remember that it’s critical to maintain experienced employees during the growth period. Losing employees in key roles can result in a negative impact to both current and new customers along with damaging internal morale. Refrain from statements like “They’re not willing to grow with the company.” as this can be construed as insensitivity by employees. Remember that your employees have lives. Communicate the value that your employees have contributed to your company and sincerely express your appreciation for their efforts.
Get in the Trenches
Here’s one suggestion that I recommend to my clients which I believe can change a business owner’s or leadership team’s perspective regarding what is really going on day to day within the company – especially during a protracted growth cycle. Spend time of the front line with employees to see what they encounter in their day to day roles. This exercise is usually an eye opener! One can truly experience what employees encounter when faced with the increased activity.
Make the Necessary Changes
When it becomes apparent that infrastructure changes are necessary, take the steps to do so! The suggestions above are but ways to determine what changes may be required. The most important task is acting on the findings. The goal is to keep experienced employees in place when growth occurs. Your willingness to make the necessary changes goes a long way in employee retention. It sends the message that you are serious about ensuring employees feel that their voice matters. High employee morale is the key to keeping the business machine humming during a growth period.