When your small business is growing quickly, leaders are forced to wear many hats. They are leading strategy and making difficult operational and financial decisions every day. On top of those duties, they often become the entire HR department — responsible for sourcing, interviewing, and onboarding new employees. This can be a tall order during a time of surging growth. Often the last thing on company leaders’ minds is maintaining healthy company culture.
All business leaders understand the importance of cultivating and maintaining healthy company culture. They know that unhealthy culture can be lethal to even the most seemingly successful companies. Additionally, they understand that employees at all levels drive an organization’s unique culture. But protecting company culture can get pushed to the side when an organization desperately needs more employees to boost company bandwidth. Each employee you onboard will affect your culture to some degree, so it’s important to keep it in check during rapid growth.Periods of rapid growth are exciting and hold so much potential, but one bad hire can crush your healthy #CompanyCulture. Check out these tips from @IQTalent to hold the reins of your unique culture.Click to Tweet
Keep these things in mind while hiring to preserve a healthy company culture:
First, clarify what culture is ideal for your organization
Company culture isn’t having snacks and a ping pong table in the break room or going all out for your office Christmas party. Company culture is determined by hundreds of big and small organizational decisions and values. It’s reflected in every decision and interaction. Take time to envision what an ideal company culture looks like for your organization. Start by asking yourself these questions.
In an ideal company culture...
- What characteristics does a great team member possess?
- How are decisions made, and who makes them?
- Does the organization value the same things employees value? What are those values?
- How is conflict addressed?
- How does the company invest in employees?
- How does the company reward innovation and collaboration?
- How does the company challenge employees?
- What do employees enjoy most about their jobs?
After you’ve answered these questions, you will be able to compile a profile for an ideal company culture. Use this profile as a compass as you source and interview candidates.
Next, understand common risks and confront them before they become an issue
Company culture ebbs and flows with changes in the organization. It’s always at risk. You simply can’t freeze company culture when it’s thriving. Similarly, culture can always improve when it’s unhealthy. It’s something that needs to be reinforced every day. After hiring new team members, mitigate these common issues by implementing these action plans:
As an organization grows, its CEO will typically have less involvement in hiring decisions. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; learning to delegate is crucial to scaling your organization for growth. However, if the hiring manager or HR team doesn’t have a clear picture of the ideal company culture and values, they could veer off course and hire to fill seats rather than to find a great fit.
Action Plan: HR teams and company leaders should meet bi-annually or as often as needed to discuss and review their ideal company culture profile as it relates directly to hiring decisions. They should make changes as needed.
An influx of new employees can leave more seasoned employees feeling like the organization has moved on without them and that there is no place for them in the growing company. Turnover is not only financially costly but extremely costly from an operational standpoint. Employees that have been with your organization for a while have contributed significantly to its success. Their efforts are the reason your company is growing. They created your company’s culture from the ground up. They are also crucial when it comes to onboarding new employees. For all these reasons, leaders should keep them happy by focusing on employee engagement.
Action Plan - Consider creating a “vision team” made up of long-standing employees. This keeps them involved in hiring and strategic decisions and lets them know their opinions matter to leadership. It can also help convince employees who are resistant to change that many changes are good.@IQTalent knows that every #NewHire affects the #CompanyCulture you’ve worked so hard to cultivate. Here’s how fast-growing companies can maintain their organizational culture with each hire:Click to Tweet
Onboarding new employees takes time. Older employees will have less time to perform their regular duties, and new employees won’t be terribly productive until they get the swing of things. It can be especially difficult to meet high client expectations during times like these.
Action Plan - Have a clear onboarding process, and most importantly, take your time. Onboarding can be overwhelming. A new employee can only digest so much information. Encourage more veteran employees who are training to lengthen the process. This takes the pressure off the new employee and allows the employee doing the training to continue their regular work.
Confusion due to new structure
When a team grows, the lines of responsibly can become unclear. Managers may not know if they have the authority to make certain decisions. In these cases, some managers may avoid making any decisions at all. This slows down progress and further confuses the team. Other managers may make decisions that aren’t theirs to decide. This can cause resentment and tension within the team.
Action Plan - Update organization charts as soon as possible. Make these charts easily accessible to the entire organization.
Periods of rapid growth are exciting and hold so much potential, but one bad hire can crush your healthy company culture. Avoid these spendy mistakes by teaming up with IQTalent Partners to source candidates who’ll contribute to your thriving company culture - not tear it down. Our unique Diamond Recruiting process has a specific focus on culture fit, as we follow the 4-Cs of Recruiting: Collaboration, Calibration, Candidates, and Culture. Our innovative approach and unique pricing structure make us not only highly effective, but accessible to companies of all sizes.
Check out how we helped this small startup without an internal recruiting team scale from 3 employees to 18 team members!