Startup to Scale-Up: Transitioning Employees Effectively
Most founders are great at strategy and execution and lay the foundation for a company’s growth. But scaling up with employees is not everyone’s forte
An entrepreneur, a startup founder, is a visionary who also happens to be an execution expert. They visualize, they delegate and follow through straight up to the implementation. And they grow – they grow fast, they hire well, their passion is infectious, and their energy, it seems, drives destiny in their favor.
Then they falter.
Less than 5% of all startups show growth trends over the medium to long-term, and leadership-employee disconnect is to blame. Almost entirely. In fact, the permeation of organizational vision and strategy into the employees’ mindset is probably one of the greatest differentiators between the survivors and those who fall by the wayside. According to the Harvard Business Review, there are three critical and intrinsic drivers of employee connect that no entrepreneur in the process of scaling up can ignore.
The Art of The 'Listen'
Entrepreneurs, in their natural element, tend to be more wired to instruct than listen. Fairly obvious, then, that most employees especially the ones who come on-board later, tend to face a massive disconnect with the rest of the founding team. Listening is an art that is almost mandatory for the modern entrepreneur. Having conversations, asking questions must form the schedule of every founder’s weekly routine.
Planning Growth – Not Yours
Employee career planning is directly linked to organizational growth. Entrepreneurs need to understand and acknowledge this more than anything. The modern workforce expects their employers to be career guides, and map out a growth path as aggressively as they would, on their own. Startup founders need to be aware of this need and cater to it. Employee retention is sure to follow.
Teams Within Teams
For the fast-growing startup, nothing is as threatening as employee alienation. Founders and HR leaders need to prioritize the employee connect, not only with management but also within themselves. Get this right, and employees will connect with each other and form a strong sense of bonding with the organization and teams. Peer groups are a new strategy that CHROs are increasingly turning to, especially in fast-growing enterprises.
Starting up is certainly the biggest challenge that an entrepreneur faces, but scaling up is a different ball game altogether. Experts agree that founders should essentially bring in HR leaders and specialists at a team strength of around 30-40 to ensure a smooth scaling up and good practices.