As companies scale and grow, it’s inevitable that the dynamic and culture within the business will shift. Of course, a small team of 10 will interact and work in a vastly different way to when your headcount reaches the hundreds or thousands. No matter where you are in your growth journey, it’s vital to look after your most important asset…your people.
Your employees should be encouraged to grow alongside your business. Their roles and responsibilities, and therefore the skills needed to do their job effectively, will undoubtedly shift. Providing opportunities for learning, and rewarding those who take part, is a great way to keep your team engaged and motivated whilst developing their skillset.
94% of employees say they would stay at a company for longer if it invested in learning and development, yet only 29% of employees are satisfied with career advancement opportunities. It’s easy for employees to feel like they’re being left behind if the company is growing and developing, but their role or career path feels stuck in one place.
With tools like Viva Learning, it’s easy to make learning a natural part of the working day. Employees can discover, share, recommend and learn from content libraries across your organisation. You can access content from a variety of training providers, including Microsoft Learn, LinkedIn Learning and Coursera – without needing to leave your Microsoft Teams environment. Why not encourage employees to set aside a couple of hours each week to dedicate to self-learning?
Lead with Empathy
If you’re leading a growing business, it can be easy to get wrapped up in the numbers, the deadlines, the endless meetings and the growing to-do list. With that in mind, it can also be easy to forget the stresses and pressures that the rest of your team are facing. Putting yourself in others’ shoes and leading with empathy can help keep morale high, and improve productivity and loyalty.
But, leading with empathy can be difficult to do. It means putting your own needs and feelings aside, removing any bias and privilege you have, actively listening to your people, and taking action. There are a few key practices you can adopt to help:
- Be curious and listen – Be open to new ideas and perspectives and show a willingness to listen and understand. Building a culture of curiosity can help you and your team learn your way through any challenge.
- Show humility – Your employees don’t expect you to be perfect all the time. Admitting when you don’t have the answer or if you make a mistake can help build openness and trust.
- Build relationships – Taking the time to build relationships with your team can help you understand their wants, needs and desires. Make space in the diary for regular 1-1s, or reserve 10 minutes at the end of a meeting to catch up with people on a personal level.
- Set expectations and give feedback – Being empathetic doesn’t mean going easy on your expectations. Giving fair, regular feedback can help employees feel comfortable with their failures and creates space for people to learn from their mistakes.
Focus on People
As your business grows, it’s important to build a people-first culture – whether it’s employees, customers or partners. The network of people that are in and around your business are key to its success, and they should be at the heart of every decision. People-first doesn’t always just refer to internal culture – it can relate to any interaction people have with your business. Product design, new client onboarding, partner agreements – each of these can have a people-first approach.
Listening is a huge part of that. Tools like Microsoft Forms can be used to gauge thoughts, opinions and feedback from inside and outside of your business and can help form the basis of your decision making. Gathering feedback before committing to any big decision about the future or direction of your business can help ensure you don’t lose support on your journey.
A growth journey is an exciting time for any business. Keeping employee happiness front and centre can help make for a seamless, successful growth experience. Get in touch for more information on helping your team to work happy.