Leading a rapidly growing company can present many unique challenges that can test the grit of management and their commitment to the company’s core values and culture. Inability to manage increased complexity, pressures on systems and processes, and rapidly evolving market demands while failing to keep pace with innovation are only among the challenges that can impede a company’s ability to sustain growth.
Business leaders who clearly articulate and preserve a strong workplace culture by never losing sight of their company’s most valuable asset — its human capital — will be more successful at managing times of rapid growth and outperforming competition in the long term.
Clearly articulating your North Star — what defines your company at its core, what you stand for and why you’re different — is not only helpful to new startups but will help guide decision-making when times get tough during exponential growth. Employees who have a clear understanding of a company’s North Star can better unite as teams, stay on course towards achieving new heights and better understand their purpose and role in the company’s overall success.
Keeping Employees Engaged
Effective leaders who are focused on culture engage all their stakeholders, particularly employees, in a continuous dialogue around the fundamental values and vision of the company. Inspiring employees to adopt a growth mindset — knowing they make a difference for their teams and the entire organization — will increase productivity and have immeasurable impact on the company.
All employees want to be appreciated. Leaders of companies with strong growth foster and reward high-performance and excellence. They value the passion employees bring each and every day, ensuring they are competitively compensated and rewarded. Furthermore, they invest in the professional growth of their employees.
Investing in Future Leaders
One of the most important ways any business leader can sustain a strong culture is to make room for leadership & development training. This can be challenging when dealing with the pace of change during rapid growth. Those charged with nurturing new leaders should design programs that are not only aligned with the company’s business strategy, but are focused on transformational leadership. Transformational leaders incorporate culture into their performance management systems, are better equipped to pivot with change, and welcome different, even contrary, perspectives so they can learn and grow from those they lead instead of remaining in a silo. Developing transformational leaders will ensure decisions are based on sustaining long-term growth rather than limited to short-term goals.
Leaders who have this type of foresight become better at building a culture that is going to be able to achieve operational excellence even when it is experiencing growing pains. They challenge the status quo, pivot in strategy to find opportunities, and inspire employees by acknowledging how their individual contributions flow to and drive the company’s success.
Originally published on Tim Noonan Lockton’s website.