Several companies, including some of the biggest tech giants like Facebook or Apple, have humble beginnings. Things usually start with a close-knit core group who share the same enthusiasm and ambition. Then, after a few years of hard work, late nights, and some immeasurable chance, that familial team can expand into an army. While this is usually the hallmark of success, it also offers a whole new set of challenges to those leading teams within high-growth companies.
While some believe scaling quickly is critical, it’s even more important to scale well to meet the demands of that growth. Scalability is about capacity and capability. Will your business operations, infrastructure, and team be able to support growth?
There are three key components to managing a growing team — culture, action, and roadmap.
Think of culture as the personality of your business. It is what defines the environment in which your employees work. Culture is a huge component of turnover rates. There are a few keys to creating a culture of retaining talent — and creating an environment that feeds off of drive and passion for the company:
- Autonomy – allowing a great deal of freedom for employees to make choices in the workplace. Employees thrive off of autonomy. The flexibility and freedom to self-direct their workflow is key to a great culture. They have the freedom to work from home one day, or go visit a sick parent, this will in-turn make them more grateful to the company for allowing such flexibility.
- Integrity – doing the right thing even when no one else is around. The ability to act with honesty and consistency in whatever you are doing based on the particular moral value or belief compass you have. Managing a growing team is already tough, but if they don’t have integrity? It’s nearly impossible to allow freedom and autonomy. Integrity is a key attribute everyone on the team must have, otherwise, day-to-day operations could start falling apart.
- Accountability – the responsibility of employees to complete the tasks they are assigned, to perform the duties required by their job, and to be present for their proper shifts in order to fulfill or further the goals of the organization. Accountability is necessary to create the right environment where employees feel and see their work impacting the company’s overall goals. Being able to connect the dots from what an employee does to the impact and letting them know that impact, adds a great deal of pride and passion to their work.
While you are scaling and managing a growing team, it is important to include a plan of action. How do you make sure you are on track with that plan? Report. It is vital that everyone is accountable to another co-worker or boss. To take it a step further, the managing team should be meeting regularly to discuss their department's goals and targets. Then you measure, are the goals and targets being hit? Why or why not? Analyze and reassess monthly.
- Plan – Quarterly department goals helps to set the direction of the company’s growth and the tactics that will help achieve them.
- Report – Regular reporting (weekly, monthly, quarterly) ensures teams are focused on reaching targeted objectives.
- Measure – measuring output tells a story. How is staff and company stacking up to targeted goals? This is an opportunity to ask the right questions and adjust metrics if necessary.
Build a Roadmap
As companies work to scale, it can be easy to get impatient or distracted with the end-goal and not pay attention to the journey. Companies need to establish a clear strategic vision and plan for accomplishing their growth goals, which will align the staff to move in the same direction.
Securely Scale your Business
Culture, taking action, and being goal-oriented with a roadmap are keys to scaling a business, however, there is one other component to add — security. As your team and company grow, the likelihood of a breach increases, and with more people accessing the network remotely the higher chances of a security breach by remote contractors or employees.
Our business VPN, Access Server, can help mitigate those risks by implementing least privilege access to network resources for remote workers. OpenVPN Access Server has been downloaded by more than 60 million people worldwide since inception, becoming the de-facto industry standard. It was created for small-to-medium sized businesses, but also has the capacity to scale into the thousands. So no matter the size of your organization, and no matter what your end goals are for your business, Access Server can help you get where you want to go.