A new world order, or just a fabulous new set of opportunities?

In an ever-changing business world, there are a few constants that we are happily stuck with – and that’s people. We need people to create the workforce and we also need people to supply our goods and services to.
It’s the same with your growth journey; as growth can only be achieved through people.

It is one of the great wonders of the commercial world, how hundreds of people can come together from all walks of life, with their different personalities, needs, wants, and motivations; and in an eight-hour day can organise their thoughts and behaviours in such a way that an organisation can grow and succeed.

Growth is a result of people being given real direction and working in an environment where they understand and buy into the culture, values, objectives, structures, processes and procedures. A great leader will successfully grow a business by acting as a catalyst to combines this collective knowledge and talent. Focusing it to ensure that it is used as the engine for organisational growth.

Where the world of work can often be seen as mundane at times, fast growing organisations break this stereotype. There is a palpable sense of adventure, with energy, belief and opportunity fusing to create a working experience unlike anything witnessed in any other organisation.

This culture not only attracts new people to the organisation but your existing people will also want to stay with you for as long as they possibly can.

The more you grow, the more your people will grow; and the higher their expectation and demands will become. Trust me though, that’s a good thing.

From my three decades of working with high-growth companies I have found that there are 15 key questions often asked by employees on the growth journey.

The Changing Workforce Demographic

The different generations within your business will ask different questions. As what motivates each generation vastly differs. However, you need an insight into the inter-generational thought processes. Once you are aware of the questions, thinking about their answers will certainly help you to connect with the motivations and considerations of all the employees in your organisation.

Never dismiss or forget why the answers to the questions highlighted above are so important.

AND NEVER FORGET:

1. People just ‘get’ business

Your team are probably more business-savvy than you may think. It’s through programmes like The Apprentice, that they have developed their own set of positive and negative views of operating a business. Resulting in a more knowledgeable and opinionated workforce than ever before. Don’t forget, that all that energy and opinion is there for you to tap into.

2. People are talking

Social media has made it easy to destroy or enhance reputations at the swipe of a button. With soap stars, media personalities and business all seen as fair game. In terms of your organisation, people are no longer scared to share their opinions with others inside or outside the business.

3. The good, the bad and the ugly

More information, linked to the role of leadership, is downloaded and read every day. Your workforce is being constantly exposed to what good, bad and ugly leadership looks like in every walk of life including business, politics, and sports. This repeated exposure means that values and opinions regarding leadership abilities are being formed and reinforced on a daily basis.

4. Conversations are already taking place

There is a growing focus on what a great company looks like. Or where’s a fabulous place to work. There are a growing number of specialist employer platforms like Glassdoor, measuring and communicating everything from leadership capability, organisational culture and salary expectations.

5. Bring your story to life

Successful growing companies have a strong, inspirational narrative explaining their journey and the experience enjoyed by their people. They use this story to attract, recruit and retain talent. Develop your own story and bring it to life by making sure that your organisation truly lives it every single day.

6. Tell your story for a better match

Recounting your organisation’s unique vision and story during the recruitment and selection process will help ensure that you are attracting like-minded people to your organisation. All of which helps speed-up your progress on your growth journey.

7. Don’t keep things to yourself

The more your people know and understand about the growth journey, the more united they will be in supporting you and your leadership team. A journey shared is a journey enjoyed. Otherwise you are simply steering people to an undisclosed location in the hope they enjoy it when they get there.

8. Communication is key

The number one improvement requested by employees in every company survey in the world is linked to communication. Think about how you feel when you don’t have all the facts.

9. The questions are a barometer

The questions your teams ask actually enable you to understand and set the expectations of your people on the growth journey ahead. They are valuable insights into the mind-set, motivations and levels of ambition that currently run throughout your organisation. They also provide you with a foundation of context and clarity that will become vital as you lead your people towards your growth destination.

10. The answers are the forecast

The way you answer the questions your teams will raise will help you measure the performance of your leadership and management team. With your answers you’ll be putting a stake in the ground by which your teams will hold you to account. Leaders are expected to think strategically, deliver operationally and inspire individually. Managers are expected to organise, manage and deliver performance through their teams.