Gloucestershire's employee expert shares her advice on developing a growth strategy for your business

SoGlos caught up with Gloucestershire's employee expert to find out why having a growth strategy is key to successful expansion, especially when looking to hire new team members.

By Chloe Gorman  |  Published
From rewarding the contributions of existing employees to onboarding new starters the right way, Gloucestershire's employee expert shares her advice on how to handle growth.

Growing businesses are great places to work, offering exciting opportunities for existing employees and new starters — but there are pitfalls to be aware of when business is on the up. 

Gloucestershire's employee expert, Kelly Tucker from HR Star, shares why developing a growth strategy for your business is so important for keeping your employees loyal and engaged.

What are the benefits of working for a growing business?

Working for a growing business has a number of advantages. For starters, you can expect to be surrounded by innovative people who are passionate about what they do and are constantly striving to improve the company's performance. This can create an exciting and stimulating work environment that allows you to contribute your own ideas and be part of the company's success.

You will have more opportunities to learn new skills and advance your career, as a growing business is usually willing to invest in its employees. You can expect to receive competitive pay and benefits, as a growing business is likely to have a larger budget for salaries and other benefits. There is the potential for share options or bonuses as the company increases its profitability. Finally, you can find a greater sense of job security as a growing business is more likely to be successful and thrive in the long-term.

Are there any common mistakes fast-growing businesses make when it comes to their staff?

Growing too quickly is a common mistake for fast-growing businesses. While it may be tempting to hire staff as soon as the opportunity arises, it is important to consider whether the business is able to provide the necessary structure and resources for those new employees. As a business grows, it needs to be mindful of its processes and communication systems in order to ensure that all staff members are able to perform their roles effectively.

Additionally, when businesses look to hire new staff, they should be mindful of the culture and values of their organisation. It is important that any new staff are able to fit with the existing team and that their values align with those of the organisation.

What can businesses do to ensure their workforce can handle growth without becoming overstretched or burned out?

Businesses should take a proactive approach to ensure their workforce can manage growth without becoming overwhelmed or burned out. One way to do this is by adopting a flexible work environment. Increase the ability for employees to work remotely or have flexible schedules. This will give them control over their own workloads, which in turn can help them manage their stress levels and ensure they don't feel overworked.

Additionally, businesses should consider providing additional resources such as coaching, workshops and training to help employees develop the skills necessary to cope with changing demands. Finally, they should also ensure their workloads are spread out evenly among their employees to avoid any one individual from becoming overburdened. Taking a holistic approach to managing workforce growth can help ensure that businesses remain successful and their employees remain productive and motivated.

How can growing businesses tell when it’s time to start recruiting for new staff or creating new roles?

The decision to start recruiting for new staff or creating new roles is one of the most important decisions a business can make. As the business grows, there will come a time when it is necessary to bring on more help. To make sure the business is ready to start recruiting new staff or creating new roles, there are a few key factors to consider.

First, start by analysing the workload and current staff capacity. Examine the workload that each employee is dealing with and if there are any areas where the workload is too much for one person to manage. If so, it may be time to consider adding another team member to help get the job done.

Secondly, analyse the efficiency and effectiveness of existing teams. If there are any teams where work could be improved, additional staff may be necessary to help with the workload.

Thirdly, consider whether there are areas of the business that need additional expertise. If there are new areas of the business that need to be developed, it may be time to consider hiring employees with the necessary skills and knowledge.

Finally, evaluate the financial situation of the business. If there is enough revenue coming in to cover additional employee expenses, then it may be time to start the process of recruiting new staff or creating new roles.

How can businesses provide opportunities for their existing staff to grow and develop with the company?

There are a few different ways that companies can provide growth opportunities for their employees. One of the most effective is to create an internal mentorship program. This can involve assigning mentors from within the organisation who have experience and expertise in certain areas to mentor and guide newer employees.

Another way for a business to provide growth opportunities is by offering internal training sessions or workshops. These can cover a variety of topics, such as communication skills, customer service, project management and more. It’s important to make sure that these sessions are relevant to the organisation and its mission.

Providing employees with opportunities to take on new responsibilities or roles can also be a great way to promote growth. This can help employees gain new skills and experience and instil a sense of ownership in the company’s success.

Businesses can also show their commitment to growth and development by investing in external training or seminars. This allows employees to stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends and keep their skills sharp.

How can businesses recognise and reward the contributions their existing staff have made towards their growth?

Rewarding employees doesn't have to be a complex process and businesses can benefit from multiple approaches.

One way to reward existing staff is with financial incentives such as bonuses or salary increases. This can be a great way to show appreciation for the contributions of key employees and also help retain their loyalty. Bonuses could be offered for meeting certain targets or goals, or simply as a gesture of gratitude.

Another approach to rewarding employees is through recognition. Showing public appreciation for employees' hard work can be just as rewarding as financial incentives. This could include special mentions in company newsletters or at team meetings, or even awards for outstanding performance.

Recognising the dedication of employees can also help to build a culture of appreciation within the company. Encouraging positive behaviour, such as exhibiting team spirit or going the extra mile to help colleagues, can be beneficial for both employees and the business.

Companies should also consider offering non-monetary rewards, such as extra holidays or flexible working arrangements. This could be a great way to reward employees for their contributions without making a significant financial commitment.

What advice would you give to growing businesses that are ready to recruit new staff?

First of all, they should ensure that the job roles and responsibilities they are advertising are clearly defined. This will help potential candidates to understand the expectations of the role and determine if it is a good fit for them.

Secondly, it is important to create a detailed job description that explains the duties of the role, required experience and skills and any qualifications that are expected. This will give both potential candidates and recruiters a better understanding of the ideal candidate for the job.

Thirdly, businesses should conduct thorough interviews to assess the candidates' skills and abilities. This will ensure that they are recruiting the most suitable person for the job. Lastly, businesses should ensure that the recruitment process is fair and unbiased by avoiding personal biases or favouring certain candidates over others.

What can businesses do to onboard new starters and get them up to speed as quickly as possible?

Businesses should take a proactive approach to onboarding new starters. This includes providing comprehensive induction programs that introduce new starters to the company's mission and values, as well as its products and services. It is also important to provide detailed job descriptions that clearly outline the new starter’s job responsibilities and expectations.

Additionally, businesses should provide team-building activities for new starters to help them get to know their colleagues and create a more cohesive work environment. Businesses should also provide training opportunities for new starters that are tailored to their individual needs and designed to help them learn the skills necessary for their roles. By taking a proactive approach to onboarding new starters, businesses can ensure that everyone is working together effectively and efficiently.

In addition to the onboarding process, businesses should also take steps to create positive work cultures that support and motivate new starters. This includes providing regular performance feedback, recognition for a job well done and opportunities for professional development.

Businesses should create an open and inclusive work environment that allows every employee to voice their opinions and concerns. This will help new starters feel comfortable in their roles, allowing them to perform more effectively and efficiently. By creating positive work cultures, businesses can ensure that every employee is engaged in their work and motivated to do their best.

How can businesses maintain a good company culture and employee engagement as they grow and employ bigger teams?

As businesses grow, it can be challenging to maintain a strong company culture and employee engagement. With larger teams, communication can become complicated and the risk of disconnect between employees and management is increased. To ensure that a healthy working environment is maintained, businesses should strive to keep their company culture strong and employee engagement high.

One way of doing this is by creating meaningful feedback systems, so that both employees and managers have a better understanding of each other’s perspectives. Regularly collecting employee feedback can give managers an insight into how employees are feeling and provides a platform for discussion that can help to address any issues before they become too serious.

Companies should also make efforts to ensure that employees feel valued and engaged with their work. This could include introducing incentives such as flexible working or additional perks. Building strong relationships between employees and management can also be beneficial, as this will create a more connected and collaborative work environment.

Businesses should ensure that they have a clear mission and purpose, so that employees feel motivated to make an impact in their roles. Working towards a shared goal can create a sense of pride amongst team members and boost morale.

By taking the time to nurture their company culture and foster high levels of employee engagement, businesses can maintain a strong working environment as they grow. This will in turn benefit the company in the long run, as it can lead to a more productive and engaged workforce.

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