The Challenges for CEOs and New Hires of Fast Growth Companies
The Top Challenges for CEOs
I recently stumbled on an article from Entrepreneur about the most common challenges CEOs of fast-growing companies face. According to the author, Deepak Narayanan, one of the most common pain points business leaders share is not having enough time to do everything they need to do. I don’t think this thought is exclusive to CEOs. Few of us would probably say we had all the time in the world to accomplish everything we would like. We are busier than ever and balancing work, family and personal goals is generally a struggle for all of us.
The article outlines what the author believes to be the four most common challenges nearly all high growth companies need to address in order to be successful:
- Hiring and retaining a good quality team
- Investing in technology
- Winning and retaining quality clients
- Challenge the status quo
Hiring and Retaining A Good Quality Team
Hiring and retaining a good quality team is what this author believes to be the primary pain point for CEOs of high growth companies. What grabbed my attention was this sentence:
“It is true that CEOs cannot spend time on a daily basis with everyone across the company but the culture of ‘engagement’ that they build should allow a process of two-way feedback, build an environment of trust and build platforms for people to know each other as individuals and not just as ‘co-workers.”
He finishes the article with a quote from John C. Maxwell, a global leadership expert and author, “Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flow charts. It is about one life influencing another.”
Clearly, this author understands the value of an engaged culture in the workplace. Maybe his wisdom is based on a 2016 Gallup poll which measured U.S. employee engagement at a dismal 32 percent. As Gallup puts it, “Organizations have to approach employee engagement as an ongoing human capital strategy.” It’s not a one-time effort and it doesn’t happen overnight.
We all want to work with people we know, enjoy and respect. Sadly, there are many organizations who fail to foster this type of environment. Employees work in silos, are often disengaged and apathetic, and dislike many of their co-workers. Some of this negativity can be attributed to employees simply not knowing each other. When I say “knowing,” I mean appreciating someone beyond what their title says about them or where they sit on the company ladder. How are employees, particularly new hires, supposed to encourage proactive and intentional “knowing” of each other?
Building A Platform to Build Relationships
To “build platforms for people to know each other as individuals and not just as ‘co-workers’ is a critical acknowledgment of the fact that simply because people work for the same company and in the same office, they may not ever really get to know each other. It’s a mistake to assume proximity automatically equals relationship, much less friendship.
In a previous blog, I wrote about some interesting statistics I found about the role friendships have in the workplace. According to the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, “friendship groups performed significantly better than acquaintance groups on both decision-making and motor tasks because of a greater degree of group commitment and cooperation.” I also found that 70 percent of people say having friends at work is the most crucial element to a happy working life and 50 percent believe having a friend at work makes them feel a strong connection with their company.”
These stats only support Narayanan’s claim that people really want to build more than just a relationship with fellow employees that is based on job titles and reporting structures, but real friendships based on mutual respect, common interests and shared goals. It’s about erasing the lines and boxes in a flow chart and giving employees the ability to see each other as real people. The key to inspiring this feeling of kumbaya lies in the number two biggest challenge for CEOs of growing companies, namely, technology.
Building A Culture of Engagement
CEOs and other business leaders are often inundated with sales pitches from software vendors promising they have the the best solution to solve any and every possible problem you may not even know you had. I get it. It can be overwhelming to decipher which product could bring true benefits and ROI, and which will be colossal wastes of money.
However, if the number one challenge that needs to be overcome by fast growing companies is hiring and retaining quality team members, doesn’t it make sense to find technology that can have an impact here? And if giving employees a mechanism to get to know each other better so everyone can feel good about where they work, be more engaged because they are happy, and build friendships that make them want to stay, isn’t that worth the investment?
There is software purposely built to do all of this and more. Modern organizational chart software is providing fast growing companies with solutions to their two biggest challenges. By offering employees an engaging, beautiful platform they can access anytime from their mobile devices that have everything they could ever need to know about their fellow employees, you are taking huge strides in attracting and retaining quality talent.
The Top Challenges for New Hires
We now know the top challenges for CEOs, but what about new hires being asked to join these fast-growing companies? One-third of all new hires cite “getting to know a new boss and workers, and fitting into the corporate culture” as the second greatest challenge they face when starting a new job. The only other answer to top it was “learning new processes and procedures.”
What if you could tell a prospective new hire that your company provides an interactive app where they can find anyone in the company they may need to know, with personal details and information they can use to connect with them on a personal level to ease them into the culture more quickly?
I’m talking about software that enables employees to upload personal photos to their employee directory profile, along with department, areas of expertise, specific skills, outside interests, past education, hobbies, and current projects. Would that be of interest to a new hire of a fast growing company? Would these details be something existing employees would like to have at their fingertips and could use to increase productivity and efficiency? How much time could be saved searching for a certain skillset or project leader? How could access to this information help all employees get to know each other “as individuals and not just co-workers?”
Technology makes it possible to show a different side of employees, the side that is more likely to attract friendships. Sure, you would have the professional details that are helpful for collaboration, but you would also have personal information that creates a personality instead of a basic profile. People relate to personalities much more readily than profiles. No employee spreadsheet or HR software program can do that.
If you’re a CEO or business leader in a fast growing company, it’s worth your time to look into modern organizational chart software with an interactive employee directory. It will do more than simply organize your employees into a comprehensible structure; it will bring life to your organization. It will give employees an easy and fun way to get to know each other, put faces and personalities with names, and build friendships.