Managing Employees During Hypergrowth: 4 Strategies for Success

by Mike O'Neill

Are you getting ready for a hypergrowth phase, or have you already started one? If so, you may soon realize that many moving parts are hard to foresee. Writing job descriptions, conducting interviews, processing new hire paperwork, and onboarding new hires is a lot to coordinate.

Good news! You don’t have to dive into this challenging time alone. There are business coaches or consultants, like us, who can help you navigate the bumps in the road. We have decades of experience that have given us the expertise needed to guide you through this process.  I've included some essential things you need to know in this article.

4 Strategies for Managing Employees During Hypergrowth

1. Get Clear on Your Company Culture

Before anything, you need to examine your company's culture to see if you have any fundamental issues you need to address. Your company culture needs to be healthy and strong, or else it will create problems and undermine your success. Creating a healthy culture begins with leadership.

Desired company culture needs to be communicated clearly to all stakeholders. To do this, you need to embed that culture throughout your company. You can do this by staying connected with your employees and gathering their feedback. Their feedback lets you know where you need to improve things and where parts of your culture are already going well. 

A company is not measured just by growth, but by the health of the company culture. A healthy workplace culture respects diversity and accepts different opinions within the workforce, customer base, and the broader global community.

A strong onboarding program for new employees is vitally important. Be sure to make it clear that your company values all its employees, celebrate all important milestones, and is inclusive. Defining behavior your company doesn't tolerate is just as important, so make sure to communicate that as well. Your employees should always feel protected and valued.

2. Define Your Employee Experience

The employee experience is the culmination of interactions an employee has with a company throughout their employment. Most of what creates positive employee experiences is common sense. Employees want to find meaning in their work, want trust and transparency in the workplace, want an inclusive environment, and opportunities to grow skills and careers. 

One important principle to ensure that employees have a positive experience is putting the customer at the company's center, which may seem to alter the focus a bit. However, it lines up priorities and keeps the company culture healthy. If customers are happy, there is room for growth. Growth means better opportunities for employees. 

Creating a culture that includes respect and trust is another critical factor and includes respecting opinions and diversity. Respect builds trust and shows your employees that they have a safe and inclusive workplace. This can build employee pride.

Employee ownership is also essential because it lets employees know they “own” what they do. Employees can then find meaning in their work, creating a trustworthy environment. Encouraging employee ownership helps employees feel free to explore new ideas.

Push for action and daily results. Encourage employees by providing timely feedback, support each other, and celebrate wins.

Push for high standards. Quality is what gives the work value. Don't expect perfection from your employees because it's not realistic. 

Finally, encourage employees to learn as much as they can. Let them grow professionally and personally. Offer opportunities to explore new projects offering career growth.

3. Outline Your Hiring Strategy

During your growth phase your hiring process is especially important.

Recognize your hiring needs, establish your hiring process, and make sure you are taking steps to obtain your company's best candidates. During a hypergrowth period, you want your strategy to bring you the most talented people to fill your company's open positions. 

Improve your strategies by understanding your specific challenges and analyzing your needs. Develop a structured process to include a timeline, costs, and time to hire. Find various candidate sources and learn from other companies in the same boat as you.

4. Plan Your Onboarding Process

Hiring managers spend considerable time recruiting, evaluating, and hiring the right candidate, but this is only the beginning.

Your new employees are learning what the company is about, its culture, and how everything works. These first few weeks will determine how successfully they will settle in, take on their roles, and set the foundation for their long-term prospects at the company. You don't want to underinvest in your onboarding process.

You need to avoid startup traps. It starts with the myth that hiring is more critical than onboarding. Some companies go into the hiring process wanting to sell the employees on an image that may not be accurate.

Another myth to avoid is that your startup is too "lean" for onboarding. Companies may have the attitude that they can't take the time to make sure their new employees get settled. An attitude such as this sends the message that you cannot be bothered, leaving the employee feeling undervalued. 

If you’re sloppy with your onboarding, you're bound to create a messy culture. Don't let employees feel like you're too busy to make them feel good about working for your company.

Start with the first day your employee is there. Make preparations and outline the day carefully. Get their emails and accounts set up ahead of time. Set up their desk, phone, and get their headshots taken if applicable. Add some personality to onboarding documents and training by including puns, stories, and things that help introduce who works for the company.

Help them adapt to their surroundings as much as you can, so they can feel comfortable. Being new generally isn't fun.

A personalized note from senior management sends a positive message to new employees that they are welcomed. With the Get Unstuck & On Target workshop, you can learn about this article's topic and so much more. 

We can help you implement a proven process to manage employees during hypergrowth. This workshop will quickly take you through identifying challenges and opportunities and prioritizing the ones that will have the most impact. We will help you score them based on confidence in success and narrow down all of your choices into three of the most useful things to implement for improvement. In just a short time, you can narrow down hundreds of potential decisions into a single executable action plan.

On top of the normal day-to-day stressors, your plate can get a bit full during your growth phase. Our workshop makes it quick and easy to refine your focus on the things that’ll have the most substantial impact. Repeat this process so that you can execute it every time you need to refine your choices. 

Sign up for our workshop today to get started.

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