There are two different ideas of a company’s success while one idea is to identify your organization’s need to do more like getting more clients, spending more money on advertising, fixing the infrastructure defects, creating more ad campaigns. The other aspect is to organize and expand teams that make it possible to achieve these goals for the company’s success. All these achievements are a result of combined efforts and if impossible for a person to figure it out with single-handedly. It takes quite a rigorous effort from everyone in the leadership team to choose a direction and figure out the details. But without this preparation, your team expansion can become a serious long-term liability.
As per the Startup Genome Report, researchers from UC Berkeley and Stanford found that of the 70 percent startups they surveyed had tried to balance their team too early, before other essentials of their business were fixed. The report also established that untimely scaling of teams was the main reason behind 90 percent of failed startups.
So why has scaling been a prevalent problem? It is true that such decisions do not come out of void positions. When the need for improving performance increases, managers are tempted to increase hiring as a disguise of success. Instances of such situation are when a startup founder could be under the pressure to provide favorable indicators for the next business meeting or a medium sized software company has to develop an additional feature for their product much before their competitors.
Though it might be the need of the hour hiring is not as simple as just flipping a switch and starting the production in full force. In the words of Morgan Lyman, an industry expert in Talent Acquisition says “Depending on the position, it can take up to nine months to really start getting ROI”. Money invested in hiring includes the cost of hiring, which according to an estimate by SHRM is about $4,129 per employee, which also includes the working hours’ current employees spend training the new employees. Lyman further explains “Unhealthy and premature turnover means a huge loss of company assets and resources”.
So, instead of covering up the long-term uncertainty with a quick win, you should spend time determining how to operate a new team with your organization’s vision, values, and culture.
Balancing Teams On Aspect Of Company’s Vision
Balancing a team cannot be referred to as one-size-fits-all. So before you can do well at expanding your team, you must identify the purpose of why you would need additional people in your team. There can be two scenarios:-
- You have a fully functioning department with excellent leadership and need more people to increase the capacity.
- You are expanding the business to newer arenas, for which you need someone with skills and insights that your organization doesn’t have.
Although In many cases, it is a bit of both you must define the nature of your team expansions before you start writing job descriptions for the new team members. An unclear job description is a common mistake which most organizations make while hiring under pressure. But if a little more time is devoted at this stage for nailing down the details of the job it can lead to good hires in the long term.
An instance of such a situation can be explained with tasks that can be automated. If the HR department of manager of your organization cannot keep up with the recruitment needs it would naturally be easier to find software to streamline the process rather than to hire HR executives and train them.
Team Expansion Based On Values
If the vision of your organization describes what you want to achieve, then the values of your organization describe how you want to arraign that vision. If you want a Long-term success after balancing a team it would then require synchronization between the values of employees and the values of an organization. In absence of this alignment, it will be very difficult for you to acquire and retain employees according to your expanding needs.
Values need not be written in words for employees to understand them. They gradually learn it with their experience in the organization. If your organization values profit above everything else, it will be shown by how employees and customers are treated by the organization. If your organization gives values to a candidate’s experience right from the hiring phase and acts accordingly, it will naturally reflect in the reviews that existing and former employees post on Glassdoor and other professional review sites.
Hence it can be said that the values of the employers and employee are two sides of the same coin, but still, they have important differences in how they can be explained and herein most of the confusion arises. Let’s say, a small organization may come to value an employee’s independence, a work culture in which employees work together can speak their minds, and can come up with great ideas without waiting for someone else to go in the first place. As this organization begins to expand its team, they plan on keeping a flat structure, where everyone works autonomously without layers of management that sometimes slows down productivity.
But when this plan is put into action, it will become difficult to provide oversight for such a large group, further making it difficult for all to understand the vision and leadership in order to make corrections. This is when the difference between autonomy and independence can be understood.
Balancing Teams for Future Growth
Expressing the organization’s vision and values create the final ingredient of successfully balancing a team and that is an effective culture. Though there are many definitions of an effective culture, the one that is best fit is “Organizational culture is the summation of how people within an organization interact with each other and work together”.
A Clear vision enriched with values and authentic work culture is all that a company needs to positively scale its team. Whether you are considering how to balance a startup team or how to expand a single team, these are some of the essential ingredients that are needed to make the difference.