Why the team that got us here may not be the team to move forward

blog Nov 27, 2023

The Growth Journey of Any Business

Something that a lot of small to medium businesses experience is the growing pains when the team that helped them get to a certain stage, isn’t the dream team you need to take you to the next level.

Every business embarks on a growth journey, evolving through different stages: idea-powered, you-powered, person-powered, team-powered, and, finally, people-powered.

The dynamics and skills required at each stage are distinct. Understanding this journey is crucial for aligning your team with your business's current stage and future aspirations. It’s also important to have effective onboarding and offboarding to allow for this kind of growth to happen without disrupting your business or team.

Getting Clear on How Your Business is Evolving

As your business evolves, so does your role. From being idea-driven to person-powered, your responsibilities transform. Clarity emerges as you refine your goals. It's a natural progression that necessitates changes in your team to match the evolving needs of your business.

Some key things to consider:

How to Identify the Need for Change

To objectively identify the need for change, you must first be clear about your business's direction. Plan for at least 12 months ahead, outlining your goals and aspirations. A strategic planning exercise, such as the Clean Slate Exercise, can help identify gaps, surplus, and the ideal team structure.

Outsource vs. Hiring In

One pivotal decision is whether to outsource or hire in-house. The early stages might involve outsourcing tasks, but strategic hiring becomes essential as you grow. Many businesses overlook outsourcing as they grow, defaulting to hiring in but this doesn’t always make sense, especially at different stages of growth. Balancing outsourced expertise with an internal team is key for long-term success to building a winning team.

Clear Communication

Adaptability is vital as the methods of doing business change. Technology, market demands, and industry trends shape the way you operate. To ensure continued success, your team must be flexible and aligned with these changes. This is where clear communication becomes really important, and it’s often best as a leader to be proactive in communicating around any pending change that will impact your team and business.

Clean Slate Exercise

The Clean Slate Exercise is a great way to gain clarity on what your business needs at different stages of growth. It allows you to suspend what you know, and really dream up the best team, roles and structure for the next iteration of your business.

Use the Clean Slate Exercise to assess where you have gaps in skills and where there is surplus. Where you find gaps in skills, consider whether you need to outsource these, hire in, or even upskill existing team members to help fill them.

When you encounter a surplus, before you let anyone go, evaluate if the surplus team members align with your business's values. If they are a good fit, consider if they are coachable and trainable to help fill other skills needs you’ve identified. Cross-training can be a valuable solution both for you and for your team members and help you achieve business success through your team.

Exit & Offboarding

If the surplus team members don’t align culturally or they aren’t coachable, consider the best exit plan. Handling offboarding legally and empathetically is essential and these types of business decisions are some of the toughest you’ll ever make, but it's crucial for your business's growth to know how to effectively offboard employees.

By ensuring your exit and offboarding process is empathetic, compliant and purposeful, you can allow both you and your team member are able to transition through a positive framework. In doing so, rather than breeding dissatisfaction and unhealthy interactions which, unfortunately, can be the case for many organisation and staff during this period, you’re able to contribute towards maintaining a positive and healthy in house culture, and support your exiting employee into the next stage of their journey.

Embrace Change

Embrace change; it's the lifeblood of business. Anticipating the seasonal staffing changes that happen over the new year period can help you prepare your business and people for success regardless of change. When approached strategically, change can bring exciting new possibilities and help you find the right team at the right time for your business.

An invitation to join a thriving business community

If you own a business or lead a team within a small to medium-sized business, we'd love you to join us over in our free Facebook Group. Each week, I provide free training and updates in the group, so you’ll be alerted anytime there is something new. Plus, it’s a great place to connect with other business owners, leaders and managers in a group focused on all things HR, people and team management. We’d love for you to join us https://www.facebook.com/groups/hrsupportaustralia

 

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