Regardless of the type of company or organisation you run, the size of your workforce is a strong indicator of the size and scale of your company. This means a growing workforce is not just about recruiting more workers, it is also about transitioning from a smaller business to a bigger one.
That said, good ideas and clever solutions exist for many challenges you might face as you scale your business grows. But before we get into the solutions, let’s look at the challenges of managing a growing workforce.
Onboarding Issues and Costs
Onboarding new employees can often be tougher than onboarding new clients. You only have to tell the client what’s relevant to them. With a new employee, you have to bring them up to date on years of business history, familiarise them with your business methods, add them to payroll and work schedules, and still give them a grace period to allow them to find their feet. According to Sapling HR, the average new hire goes through 54 activities in their onboarding process. That’s a lot.
Employee-Management Gap Widens
The bigger your workforce gets, the greater the divide between the employees and the management becomes. This is simply because your managers (or you) can no longer afford to get close and personal with all your employees. There are now too many of them. If your style of management is hands-on and personal (which is usually the case when you start), you have to find a way to adapt it to a larger employee base or come up with a new management style entirely.
Higher Employee Turnover
With a growing workforce, you lose employees more frequently. That means you have to spend time, effort and money recruiting new workers periodically. Since up to 20 percent of employee turnover occurs in the first 45 days, and it typically takes up to eight months for a new hire to reach full productivity, some of your hires won’t even stay long enough to work off the cost of hiring them.
Tips for Managing a Growing Workforce
Now that we know what the issues are with managing a growing workforce, here are some tips to help you overcome them.
1. Build a Healthy Company Culture
A huge part of successfully managing an increased workforce is fostering a healthy and productive corporate culture, with motivated employees and quality professional relationships with you, the employer.
It is important to start building this culture early, so incorporate it as part of your growth plan. That way, when the employee-management gap starts widening, you’ll have a culture in place that encourages and provides channels for employees to relate with you. And more importantly, makes them feel like they are doing useful work, even if the boss doesn’t know them by name.
2. Invest in Technology
From creating a streamlined onboarding process to creating and signing documents, managing schedules, payrolls, and projects, communicating company-wide with ease and giving feedback, there are a lot of ways to leverage technology for better workforce management.
By implementing a customer relationship management (CRM) solution, you can integrate your organisation’s digital processes into one seamless picture. Software like Infor CRM offers these benefits alongside setup, customisation, training and consultancy services to help you get started with CRM technology.
3. Optimize Your Hiring Process
The more effective your hiring process is, the higher the quality of employees you hire. It’s that simple. It’s not enough that an applicant has the right qualifications, so if you are just randomly picking applicants, chances are you’ll end up with some bad eggs.
As you grow, you have to refine the ideal employee and restructure your hiring process to better identify how close an applicant is to meeting this ideal. And it’s easier and cheaper to keep out a bad employee than to let them go after hiring them.
Tracking Your Business Growth
It is important to note that every business has its peculiarities, and the growth of your business might not essentially manifest in the form of an increased workforce. There are several metrics to measure the growth of a business, and workforce size is only one of them. With that said, you should always be looking to improve the quality of your workforce and manage it better.
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