Growth is an exciting time in any company. Before your company scales rapidly, it's essential to assess your company and ensure it has strategies and systems that will enable optimal and sustainable growth.
Analyzing your company's ability and readiness to scale can be done at any time but is especially important at junctures like fundraising or acquisitions. Creating scaling strategies brings together your executive team and your HR team. Doing so ensures that everyone is preparing for rapid, short-term, and long-term growth together.
As you prepare your company to scale, here are four places to look:
1. Look forward
Where will your company be in 6 months? Or 1 year? Or 3 years? As you build teams and systems, evaluate both your future growth and current needs. Of course, the purview of each role and who you will need to fill those roles will likely change as your company grows. But, if you can consider your company's future now, you will have a much easier time scaling those roles when you need to while avoiding inequitable frameworks and unclear hierarchies.
2. Look around
We all know setting your company apart from the competition is one key to success—and that's also true of scaling. To attract top talent that will aid your growth, you must clarify what differentiates your company from your competitors. Evaluate your compensation policies, company values and culture, and what you offer for long-term career growth. Compared to market standards, how does your company stand out?
3. Look at your process and tooling
Once you have your growth goals in place, it's vital to make tools that bring those goals to life. Executives and HR teams will use these frameworks to support the growth. A few things to consider establishing in this toolkit:
»Robust and cohesive HR systems
These systems are crucial to meeting the HR expectations of employees and candidates. The systems should be able to store and organize data, allowing your HR team to make data-driven decisions on candidates and hiring practices.
Charts will help you visually see your company's structure. Monitoring your organizational chart can help you see where to split larger teams into more distinct groups, where additional support is required, and how reporting structures are performing. This documentation can also help you create a framework for career growth, so current hires and future hires clearly understand how their current position fits into the grand scheme, and where their future career can go.
Using your organizational charts, create a framework for compensation across your entire company. Having a clear idea of employee compensation (including wages, salaries, equity, commissions, and bonuses) for each level of your company will save you significant headaches later as you scale. Make sure compensation is fair and consistent across related jobs, taking your desired market position into account. Reevaluate this framework regularly, keeping up with current market standards and expectations. Scaling without this framework in place often results in discrepancies in pay between similar job responsibilities, which leads to disgruntled employees who are less likely to stick around for long-term growth.
For your HR team to effectively support your intended growth, it's essential to get very detailed on your intended growth. You should include future company size, the location, the general timeline of scaling, and the cost. This plan brings your recruiting team into the conversation and can help them assess their readiness and ability to keep up with your future growth.
4. Look inward
Creating frameworks is a significant step, but critical team members won't help if they aren't on board. Make sure you leave your door open for discussion about the importance of these structures and how they will support your company's growth. Once your HR team understands this, they can determine what metrics to track to evaluate progress.
Establishing a growth strategy early on will ensure a smoother ride when rapid growth occurs. These frameworks can help you maintain the core company culture and values you envision for your company as you scale from a small start-up to a thriving enterprise.