Growing companies depend on many things, such as operations, finance, sales and technology. But human capital often gets overlooked. People are a company’s most valuable asset, and businesses that get the human capital piece right are a step ahead of the competition. While there are many nuances to the human resources puzzle, here are five ways to improve growth potential:
Bolster company culture. Corporate culture is the thread that runs throughout the fabric of a company—from employee engagement and productivity to processes and organizational alignment. But as a business grows, its culture can fall victim to neglect. To keep company culture from taking a dive, businesses should focus on maintaining communication, set expectations and share them. When employees know the company’s mission, its values and what’s expected of them, they can focus on doing things that align with the company’s goals.
Focus on recruiting and retention. Businesses in growth mode sometimes can’t fill their positions fast enough. But hiring without having a strategy could create more problems than it solves. That’s why a recruiting strategy is crucial.
Companies should have a job description and a list of attributes for the job. Use top performers’ characteristics and attributes to develop an ideal-candidate profile.
Companies should also be mindful of the employment brand. What are reviewers on job sites saying about the company? Is the position being advertised accurately? Will current employees recommend the company to their connections?
It’s important to make every effort to retain good employees. It’s costly to fill the same positions repeatedly. Companies that focus on rewards, recognition, training and communication are doing what they can to keep good employees.
Minimize HR-related risk. Businesses are vulnerable to potential HR-related missteps, such as unemployment claims, discrimination and fines. Just because it hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean it can’t.
Having guidelines and policies in place is best when dealing with risk reduction. This can start with an employee handbook that all employees know and use, and extends to training, communication, hiring and performance-management practices.
Emphasize development. The best business leaders know that a company’s growth doesn’t come from maintaining the status quo. The same holds true for the people within that company. To move the company forward with innovation and productivity, its people must continue learning.
To be effective, a professional development program should support the company’s goals. Consider various types of learning, such as online courses, lectures and coaching. Also, consider giving top employees stretch assignments that will challenge their skills and creativity.
Get ready for the next phase. Preparing for the next move—whether it’s merging, selling or exiting—should include a clear assessment of the organization, its key players, culture, productivity, compensation system and processes.
Having this information will help potential buyers assess the quality of a business’s human capital infrastructure. And for those looking to sell, it can increase the company’s valuation and attract a higher caliber of buyer.
Mike Ross is manager, innovation and development, at Insperity. He has a background in corporate finance and strategy and is responsible for M&A activity at Insperity.