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  • January 22, 2015

Let Your Values Be Your Guide

It’s easy to forget your company values when you move through your day-to-day responsibilities and rush to forecast and plan for your next business milestones. But, discarding (if only for a moment) the values that make your company what it is can lead to dissatisfaction within your team. Preserving your values is an everyday task, and it should extend across other aspects of your business: growth planning, hiring practices, and how you communicate with your team. Decorative Illustration

If you’re setting a growth strategy for your business, be sure that your plans align with the principles you stand for—whether that’s working collaboratively, teaching or learning something new daily, or solving problems in a creative way. The things you can do with four employees aren’t the same with eight,15, 25, or 30+ people. Yes, you can still collaborate, teach/learn, and problem-solve, but what once took five minutes might now take an hour—and your costs are sure to increase. To retrofit your values to your new size, you may find yourself collaborating in discrete groups to maximize time, or identifying new revenue channels to support increased staff. These are the types of situations your growth plan should account for to ensure your business—and employees—grow together smoothly.

Sticking to your values and maintaining company culture begins and ends with hiring. This is even more important in times of growth. Haste in hiring decisions makes maintaining cohesive company culture difficult, and if you allow a poor hire to remain, you may find your culture begins to disintegrate. Plan for the time needed to bring in the right people (how do their values align with yours), using freelance professionals to supplement ongoing work as you search for Ms. or Mr. Right.

Keep the lines of communication open. No matter how big you are, or plan to be, if you stop talking with your team, you can’t provide the type of guidance they (or you) need to be successful. If you are unsure of how to manage communication across a growing team (or you are assigning management responsibilities to others), it may be time to seek the help of a professional. Management/Executive coaches are plentiful and more than willing to provide workshops or individual consulting to provide people with the training they need to be awesome.

Your values say a lot about who you are, what you do, and how you do it. More importantly, they reassure your team that what’s important will always be preserved, for their benefit and yours.

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