Have you noticed that you’ve been growing for a while, but all of a sudden hit a point where attrition is increasing; recruitment is becoming more difficult; or your team just aren’t performing to the level you need them to? Are you looking to find a way to boost your company’s growth?
Growth itself is the lifeblood of any business, big or small. It’s what enables businesses to scale and expand, opening new doors for them in the process. Without growth, a company will stagnate and eventually fail. However, not all growth is created equal. While most organisations want to grow as fast as possible, few achieve it without hitting some roadblocks along the way. At some point in their growth trajectory, most businesses experience a period of slower growth — even stagnation — which can be detrimental if not handled properly. If left unchecked, decreased growth rate can lead to a negative impact on the organisation that might include things like limited employee opportunities, loss of clients, or a decrease in revenue. The good news is that this doesn’t have to be the end result. Here are some ways you can prevent your high-growth organisation from slowing down:
Creating a purpose driven organisation
First and foremost, you’ll want to make sure your organisation is purpose driven. This means that every decision made, every goal set, and every initiative put in place will be driven by the overarching purpose of the business. In other words, everything that happens within your organisation should be connected to the reason you exist in the first place. This will allow you to build a strong, cohesive team that’s connected to the mission and vision of the business. It will also help prevent growth slowdown by making it easier to retain top talent.
In a PwC study, 79% of business leaders believed that an organisation’s purpose is central to success. Interestingly, millennials who have a strong connection to the purpose of their organisation are 5.3 times more likely to stay.
When investigating the general workforce, the vast majority of employees actually remain disengaged from work, and only 33% draw real meaning from their employer’s purpose. Defining purpose is core to keeping high growth sustained, and bringing this to life is critical.
Use your purpose to create a unique vision and mission
Next, you’ll want to use your purpose to create a mission and vision that is specific, measurable, and realistic. This will help you identify the key indicators of progress in your organisation that you can track to help you stay on track as you grow. These indicators will be the building blocks of your plan and will provide you with the insight you need to know what’s working and what isn’t.
It is critical that your employees can see your purpose bought to life by understanding what their mission is, and what it will look like once that mission is achieved. If people can live and breathe this visualisation, then you can truly drive towards your organisations purpose.
Working on values unique to your organisation
Next, you’ll want to work on values unique to your organisation. This means that you’ll want to make sure your core values are rooted in your purpose. For example, if your purpose is to connect people with information, you might have a core value that focuses on empowering your audience. This is something unique to your business that will also help you to stay focused when it comes to making decisions and setting goals.
It is important that these aren’t values that could describe any other organisation (such as innovation and creativity) but are truly unique to you as a business and help underpin your purpose – from Googles “you can be serious without a suit” to Nike’s “We dare to design the future of sport” – you need something that will inspire, enthuse and attract / retain top talent.
Culture, team, and objectives that are linked to your purpose
Next, you’ll want to make sure that your culture, team, and objectives are all linked to your purpose. In other words, your organisation’s culture should be driven by your core mission. Vision and values. This will help to ensure that your team is working together in a cohesive manner that’s consistent with the overarching purpose of the business. It will also help to clear any roadblocks that might be slowing down your growth.
Culture begins with these areas, and you can use these tools as a way of bringing your purpose to life. However, it is important to note that this is not just a ‘one-time job’. It is important that you find ways to keep this alive and use all the tools available to you to create a constantly evolving culture that is built on your purpose, constantly monitoring everything from workplace wellbeing programs to measuring employee engagement.
Measuring employee engagement and the development and progress of your culture
Finally, you’ll want to measure the progress of your culture. This means that you’ll want to make sure you’re tracking how your organisation is doing according to your core values. In fact, you can even begin to calculate the speed you are likely to achieve your KPI’s (or even if you will achieve them at all) by monitoring this.
You can do this by holding regular meetings to discuss progress and challenges, having quarterly or semi-annual check-ins with your team, or by using software and tools that allows you to track your progress in real time.
Don’t forget about customers
Finally, don’t forget about customers. When you’re working to prevent growth slowdown, it can sometimes be easy to focus on the challenges within your organisation without giving customers the attention they deserve. While it’s important to stay focused internally, it’s also important to have an outside perspective. After all, your customers know best what’s working and what isn’t. By asking them what they think, you’ll be able to get a better idea of where challenges lie and how you can overcome them.
Growth is a fantastic thing, but it can’t happen at the expense of quality. If you want to prevent your high-growth company from slowing down, you’ll want to make sure you’re prioritizing quality over quantity. This means that you’ll want to focus on the things that are important to your customers and team members, and you’ll want to stay away from things that don’t matter as much.
If you feel your organisations growth is slowing down, then a first point of call is to establish whether you have a unique purpose with a vision, mission and values that bring it to life. Then, you need to make sure that you are constantly living this and using the relevant tools to make sure your culture is being driven by the very people living it on a day-to-day basis.
Are you a purpose-led organisation?
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