As your company grows your employees need to learn to grow too. Startups become big companies when they start to do well. That is a good thing. But some employees will see the growth as a challenge. These types of employees will say things like:
“Remember when we were 50 people and…”
“Remember when everyone knew each other”
With growth comes opportunity. With growth comes knowledge. With growth comes career change and advancement. Growth is a good thing and you shouldn’t hold onto the past with sadness, rather hold on to the past with happiness and strive to work towards something bigger and better. Work towards the “new” greatness for your company at a larger scale.
Startups who grow into “real companies” start to ask questions about how their company should act. Here are some things that we have seen and some ideas on how to deal with them as your startup grows up.
How do you keep teams and people connected as you scale?
- Patty McCord said in a talk we had at HubSpot something like this, “if you get smaller, you get eaten.” I don’t think that needs any explaining. But I lOVED that quote. Hope you remember it as you grow.
- Remember that growing your company is a good thing. If your company didn’t grow and scale then you wouldn’t have a job because the company would die. Do you want that? Growth should be seen as success and as a good thing. If your company stayed the same size how would that help you grow as a person?
- Things get more fun as the company gets bigger. Embrace the growth. Stay positive about the growth rather than reminding yourself of the “good old days.”
- Don’t keep saying things like “remember the gold old days when…” Create new memories and new ways of doing things. Hold on to that and keep the good old days close to you. But remember, things will never be like that again. So you either move on and grow too or you will likely leave.
- If you kept things the same as they were when you were a young startup then you probably wouldn’t have a company anymore.
Success is not a little startup anymore. Success is a big, big corporation. You are striving to be a big company.
- Your employees have to grow up to be a successful company. Strive towards being more grown up about everything.
- Whatever you did yesterday is yesterdays news. Move on and keep going. Work towards new and bigger things for your company and for yourself at your company.
- Evolve the culture like you evolve the product. I loved that quote. Patty McCord, one of HubSpot’s advisors told us this in a session at our office. It really rang true to me. Your product is always evolving and so should your employees and company as a whole. That is a good thing. Imagine if your product stayed stagnant, you would not have happy customers. Same thing goes for your employees. If your culture stays stagnant and doesn’t change then your employees won’t be happy.
- Every person wants work that is engaging and fullfilling. Make sure your company is striving to keep your employees engaged at all levels of the company.
People in management are not physic. They don’t know what you are thinking so remember to tell them things that you think they should know.
- When your best employees become managers sometimes the employees under that person start to think that this person should know everything. They don’t.
- You have to tell your manager your thoughts and pain points. Explain things to them that they might not know, it will help them to manage your team better.
- People are not physic. Don’t assume your manager knows what is wrong and right. Bring it to their attention if you want them to do something about something.
- Be brave enough to speak up when things aren’t working well. Also, be brave enough to say thank you and that things are working well.
Always be learning. Always be teaching.
- Early on in a startup people teach people. People are always learning. As time goes on people stop teaching and therefore can stop learning.
- Make it a point to always be teaching your company about things going on in the business. It will make your employees understand more and therefore will make them feel more included.
- Have cross functional breakout groups when you are exploring a problem. Having people of different jobs and specialities attack a problem together will allow your employees to learn from each other.
Make the right choices. Not everything matters as much as you think it does. Think about what you care about and put your time into it. That will help you do well as a person at your company and will also help your company to grow too.