Maintaining culture, drive, and values in times of high growth for your company is no easy feat. Hiring the right candidates for your organization, centering your workplace around common goals, and growing your business takes hard work, dedication, and lots of trial and error.
By scaling your onboarding process during periods of high growth, you can avoid high employee turnover, loss of culture, employee burnout, and low productivity. Follow these four tips to not only grow, but grow sustainably.
Put Your Mission Statement and Values Front and Center
The kiss of death when it comes to scaling your onboarding process during periods of high growth (and really, the kiss of death for your company in general) is varied understandings of the company’s goals among employees and leadership. In any given company where goals and values are not explicitly defined and documented, particularly start-ups and small companies beginning to scale, you may find that if you ask 25 employees what your company goal is, you will get 25 different answers.
If you are not constantly collaborating towards one defined goal, your company will lose sight of the big picture in times of high growth. That’s why one of the first things you should ask new hires to do is familiarize themselves with your mission and core values.
Make sure that new hires can immediately familiarize themselves with your values—and that more tenured employees can revisit them whenever they want to—by documenting your mission statement and core values in a knowledge sharing platform. If your knowledge sharing platform allows you to do so, make your mission statement and core values document a piece of featured content so that employees can always find it at the top of their feed.
Design a Blueprint for Your Onboarding Process (Adjust as Needed)
Once you have established, documented, and shared the common goal that drives your business, you have the foundation for your onboarding blueprint. As you create new steps in your onboarding process and evaluate existing onboarding protocol, write out why each action is essential to achieving your company mission. If you find it hard to justify why a process is necessary, that particular step may not serve your onboarding process and should be reworked.
Additionally, when designing your onboarding process, focus on how you will measure its success. Evaluations of your process should be both quantitative and qualitative.
For example, you could measure new hires’ time to proficiency (i.e. the amount of time it takes them to acquire the skills and knowledge to do their job effectively) and also look at the results of qualitative surveys that you give to new hires at the 30, 60, and 90-day marks.
The important thing is that your various evaluations allow you to make constant adjustments and improvements to your plan.
Make Smart Hires
A goal and a blueprint are all well and good, but without the right people in your company, your goals and culture will be lost as your company continues to grow.
Nothing is more critical to successfully scaling your onboarding process than making smart hires, and diversity of hires is the key ingredient. Although it may be tempting to hire candidates that work and think like you, in doing so you are crippling the future of your company. Look for candidates with a wide variety of backgrounds, work experience, education, and personalities.
As you continue to grow, fresh perspectives will bring innovation and creativity to your work so that the organization does not become stagnant. After all, the purpose of scaling your onboarding process is growth, which brings us to the next point.
Embrace Change and Empower Your Team
We don’t need to tell you that technology is rapidly evolving. If you’re not keeping up with the latest software and tools to empower your employees, you will quickly fall behind your competitors.
As you evaluate tools for your tech stack, think about how those tools can fuel growth in your company.
By investing in a modern knowledge sharing system, you empower your employees with constant and immediate access to the information and resources they need to do their job, and new hires with a streamlined and searchable onboarding system that they can reference again and again. Rather than expecting new employees to retain everything you teach them in their first few weeks of work, you can keep all your training materials in your knowledge sharing platform so that new hires can reference them as needed.
No matter how many new hires you take on at a time, a knowledge sharing system will help you keep their onboarding and training thorough, organized, and efficient.
With all of this is mind, it’s important to understand the effects of varying speeds of growth in your company. Rapid growth is exciting, especially when that growth is made tangible by an increase in hiring. But too much change too soon may mean you run the risk of losing your company culture and the goals and values you worked so hard to define and achieve.
In periods of rapid growth, remember that you still need to be deliberate in your hiring and onboarding. Continue to set attainable goals, perfect each step of the onboarding process, adjust as needed, and grow at a rate that is healthy for your company.