Managing High Growth Companies

Over the past few years I’ve had the opportunity as CEO to experience times of slow growth when we were on the brink of insolvency to periods of high growth where the demand is far greater than the capacity of the workforce. Both are equally as challenging. Here are some characteristics of high growth companies as well as some strategies for managing through the change.

Characteristics and Challenges of High Growth Companies

  • Short term focus versus long term focus – stuck in day to day
  • Substantial increase in volume of work, increased problems and frustration
  • Employees with inadequate skills and business with inadequate systems
  • Internal turmoil – new employees, decision making changes, turnover
  • Talent management – employees aren’t growing or maturing at same rate as company
  • Recruitment – trouble hiring employees who are action oriented and comfortable with change
  • Development of employees –not providing appropriate time for career development and goals
  • Decreased morale and satisfaction with manager and position – employees feeling stretched

Strategies for Managing High Growth

  • Vision and values need to be reinforced by management team
  • “How can we do this better” as a response to “I have too much work”
  • Communication has to be clear and frequent – what, why and how
  • Actively managing versus passively managing
  • Handle employee concerns or complaints serious – as if they were customer complaints
  • Carving out time to focus on long term
  • Improving and simplifying systems – both process and technology
  • HR to play larger role in employee-manager relationship management

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