Developing an effective growth strategy is critical to the success of your company. Yet for it to be successful, it needs to be comprehensive. It’s not enough to focus solely on developing new product lines and reaching your target audiences more effectively. You also need to worry about the internal health of your company.
This starts with working to optimize your business processes, outsourcing and automating where you can, so that you can keep overhead low and maximize efficiency. Hiring a professional employer organization (PEO) to perform your administrative and day-to-day HR tasks is a great example of this.
However, beyond this, you need to work on attracting and retaining top talent, and with the labor market now more competitive than ever, you need to adapt management strategies to improve your employee experience. Why? Because this may end up making the difference between successful growth and failing because you got too big, too fast.
Here are some reasons why employee experience must be a part of your growth strategy.
Improved Employee Engagement
For your company to grow, you need to tap into your employees’ intrinsic motivation. These are the personal reasons people have for going above and beyond, and studies suggest they are often more influential in encouraging action than extrinsic motivations, i.e. financial rewards. While money is important, it’s not the only thing people care about.
Engaged employees are happier and more productive, meaning they’ll be better prepared to meet the increasing demands of a growing business. And employee engagement is linked to the employee experience. If people feel under unnecessary stress, undervalued or as though they’re being taken advantage of, then they aren’t going to work as hard, which will stunt your company’s growth.
Including your employee experience in your growth strategy means accounting for the following things:
- New benefits and perks you can offer, e.g. increased PTO, flexible hours, bonus packages, etc.
- Workplace environment and culture. Your business needs to be a place where people feel comfortable offering their opinions and ideas, and where your employees are free to innovate and bring their own experiences to the table.
- Professional development. Most employees want room to grow. Figure out ways you can give your star employees more responsibility, and make sure to plan for the implementation of training and other educational programs so that people can feel good about where their career is headed at your company.
These are things you cannot forget about. If you turn to them after you’ve gone through a period of growth, there’s a good chance it will already be too late. Bored and over-worked employees will slow you down, or worse, start looking for other jobs.
Hiring new people is expensive. The costs of finding new people, advertising your jobs, interviewing them and then onboarding them add up, and we’re not even talking about the added payroll expense. You don’t want to stall the growth of your company because you’re spending all your extra funds recruiting new talent, so it’s important you have a plan in place for keeping your best people around.
And don’t fall into the trap of thinking people will stay just because they’ve “got a good thing going.” Research indicates 74% of employees consider themselves “passive job seekers” ready to make a move. This means that although they are employed, they are looking for something new, and in a competitive marketplace, you can bet there are other companies out there just waiting to poach your best talent.
Yet increasing salary will not be enough to keep them around. You need to convince them that they are working in the best possible environment, and you need to make them feel that changing jobs would be a mistake. This is all employee experience. If you work to make your company a place where people feel valued and comfortable, it’s less likely they’ll respond to LinkedIn invites or emails from recruiters, keeping them around and allowing you to stay focused on business growth.
More Effective Recruiting
Although hiring is expensive and time-consuming, it’s necessary for your company to grow. People have limits, and to continue expanding, you’ll need some help. However, it’s important you be proactive when it comes to recruiting. If you wait until you’re desperate, you’ll find yourself making impulse hires that don’t set you up for long-term success.
Creating the best possible employee experience will make it easier for you to recruit top talent. Once word gets out that your company is a great place to work, even those who are already employed will begin seeking out opportunities at your business.
Plus, by broadcasting your employee experience to prospective candidates (a process known as employer branding), you’ll be able to attract a more qualified pool of candidates and increase your chances of finding the perfect fit. And perhaps just as importantly, sending strong messages about what it’s like to work for you will repel candidates who wouldn’t be a good fit, saving you time when reviewing resumes and profiles.
Never Forget Employee Experience
Your employees are your greatest asset. They are the ones who are ultimately responsible for company growth, so it’s important you do everything to take care of them. But this can’t be something you wait to address. As you start plotting out your future plans, make sure you include how you’ll shape and improve your employee experience so that your expansion is more sustainable and will truly bring your company to the next level.
Jock Purtle | Business Exits Inc. | CEO
Jock is a successful entrepreneur and business owner who understands the value of a motivated and engaged team. He’s the founder of Digital Exits, a digital business brokerage and has owned and run three separate businesses over his career. Jock enjoys being a resource for other business owners, which is why he writes frequently about his experiences and what he has learned.