How to Not Crumble When Your Small Biz Reaches 50 Employees
Recently, I hit the 50 employee mark with my small business which is, in a word, awesome! When I think about how far we have come over the years, all of the offices we’ve worked out of, partnerships we’ve established with other like-minded companies, and talented faces that have joined our team, I can’t help but feel tremendously proud of our growth as a business. We worked hard, played hard, and it all paid off—and continues to keep paying off too.
At the same time, any entrepreneur can tell you that growing up means taking on and embracing newfound responsibilities. As a CEO, you might have been able to manage everyone individually with a team of 10 employees or less. When you have 50 hired employees (or more), it’s impossible to manage every single person and their needs all on your own.
What should you do when you scale quickly? Rather than try to keep up with the pressure to be everything to everyone at all times, focus on building up and strengthening the foundation of your company culture using these three tips.
1. Adopt a growth mindset.
Before you can begin to manage your team, you must adjust your existing mindset. The best thing to do is to adopt a growth mindset. This mindset goes against the grain of zero-sum thinking, where in order for someone to win someone else must lose.
Take, for instance, the expansion of your business. How does it really make you feel? Are you happy and excited for the direction that you’re headed in or do you find yourself upset in thinking that you do not deserve this kind of success? Instead of letting the negativity of zero-sum thinking take over—which can paralyze you from progressing onward and upward—say yes to the growth mindset. A growth mindset teaches us that there is an infinite amount of happiness and wealth within the world and that it is available to anyone who is willing to work hard and think positive. Embracing a growth mindset allows us to pass that torch along to other team members who pay it forward to others and keep the ability to thrive going.
2. Get all leadership hands on deck.
As I mentioned earlier, the more employees you have on your team the harder it gets to stretch yourself in every possible direction and fulfill their needs. It’s time to call in the big cheese for help, AKA your department leaders.
Take the time to identify team leads within each department to assist with communication and training. Once you’ve identified these leaders, conduct bi-weekly meetings with every department. These meetings do not have to be long, but they should come with agendas. Be able to discuss what you are working on now, what the leaders will assign the members of their department in the future, and address any questions that need to be answered.
3. Recognize the small victories.
When a business grows, it’s critically important to make sure every team member is engaged with their workload. A lack of engagement creates a terrible domino effect for businesses, causing employees to feel undervalued, develop growing feelings of negativity towards the company, and even exiting their jobs.
Make the time to recognize the small wins and to thank your team members—every contributor, not just a handful of individuals. Thank each employee on a regular basis, to further motivate and empower them to continue going above and beyond in their workload.
Don’t forget to celebrate either! You did hit a milestone employee hire mark, after all. Offer up fun company perks, snacks, and outings to keep morale strong and every team member excited to come in to work.