How to Sustain Organisational Growth: Valuing your Staff

Bigger is better, more more more. In our society this motto is common, the more we have the more we want and this leads to continuous dissatisfaction, unnecessary stress, burnout and more often than not a complete implosion of the grander life that we have been working so hard to achieve. This scenario is not exclusive to the individual and it can often be seen within organisations. The small company that grew overnight into a multi-million Rand success often disintegrates as quickly as it started; but why is this? When we feel success is imminent and we know that we have the fundamental idea for practical success, we often strive to expand our market, increase our production; we hire more hands and even expand our office space, but often we forget about the basic elements that are necessary for continuous and future success.

When we expand, one of the first things we usually do is employ more people to ensure that the growing workload is being handled effectively. However, this need for growth often leads to too many hands and not enough quality. Numerous successful businessmen have indicated that employees are the pivotal cornerstone of any organisation, and treating them correctly (employee wellness and the like) is vital to any organisation’s success; and we cannot argue with this basic preposition. However, this value will only be sustainable if you have the correct people, doing the correct things at every level of your organisation, and this will continuously change. It is paramount to take stock of the employees you have and the value they have added to your organisation, not only from a productivity perspective but from a values and organisational culture perspective, on a fairly continuous basis.

Without taking continuous stock of our employees and how they are adding to the overall running of the organisation, we may become blind to the fact that employees are no longer adding the correct value that is needed to sustain the organisation’s growth. A few examples of such instances follow.

A bad apple

  • One employee with a bad attitude can spread their negative traits faster than a wildfire. Attitude and emotional intelligence can be bigger predictors of success than ability and cognitive capacity.

Hiding in dark corners

  • Some employees tend to hide in the cracks, and spend the majority of their time procrastinating or even just doing the bare minimum. This means that an important role in your organisation is being occupied by someone who is not creating value.

 Overstretched/ Underutilised

  • When an individual is in a role that is too complex for their ability, they will feel anxious, stressed and often this will lead to a loss in the capacity of the particular role. The opposite being that an employee that is in a role that operates at a level that is less complex than their ability, will lead to frustration and boredom and once again the organisation loses out not only on the capacity of the role, but also the greater capacity of the individual in question.

 Good employees gone bad

  • At times, employees who really have been your best asset in the past, become so over worked, and feel so unappreciated that they effectively turn bad. They no longer care to give their best and run through the motions of their role without really caring any longer. This may be the biggest loss any organisation may experience, as the value add was there, but was lost due to ineffective management.

The foundation of any organisation is its’ people, and the biggest mistake that any organisation can make is to lose sight of this, no matter how well or how fast the organisation is growing. If continuous stock is not taken and corrective measures put in place, the sustainability of the growth achieved is not likely to be maintained .