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If companies could simply order a shipment of growth culture from stalwarts such as Amazon and Zappos, it would be a dream come true. Obviously, reality is far from it and building a company culture that spurs growth takes hard work. But how does a culture of growth look like in practice? It is an organisational mindset wherein setbacks and challenges are seen as stepping stones to development, learning, and overall growth. Such a mindset is starkly different from a fixed one wherein ‘proving themselves’ is always a priority for participants. According to a CBI Insights research, a single common solution can help overcome the top 20 reasons businesses fail and that is – cultivating a growth culture right from the start.
Here are four strategies companies can use to create a culture of growth:
#1 Start by cultivating a culture of learning: Growth is a natural consequence of learning and even when organisations hire talented employees, it is important to push them to learn constantly in order to avoid a fixed mindset from taking over. Make ‘hiring for growth’ a key HR priority wherein interview processes should be structured in a way to identify candidates who have a passion for learning and development. Having L&D representatives on the hiring team is a good idea to start building such a culture. As the importance of L&D becomes globally recognised, organisations are also increasingly outsourcing employee training and development to specialized experts to reap superior value at an accelerated pace.
#2 Conduct ongoing performance discussions: Steering clear of assumptions is a critical imperative, for which organisational leaders must engage in regular conversations with their teams. These discussions should revolve around the value the company’s products/services provide to its users, pain points they solve, market and competitor profiles, profitability analysis, etc. Leaders must focus on valuing each and every employee’s contributions, feedback and suggestions, regardless of the department they work in as fully engaging all hands and minds is the route to success.
#3 Put growth into action by leveraging talent mobility: A talent mobility program can be a valuable asset that can really fast-track a growth culture for any organisation but lack of understanding on this aspect often undermines its potential. Companies can start by leveraging talent management platforms to help employees set future goals for themselves, track goal progress, and leaders should provide ongoing feedback and arrange for external training/resources to help employees achieve their potential. Spotify is a perfect example of a company leveraging global mobility as a key cultural pivot. RMSI, an Indian IT services provider that toppled Google to become the Best Place to Work few years ago also relies on internal talent mobility to keep its staff perked up for growth.
#4 Make time for growth: Innovation doesn’t exactly happen when employees are buried under piles of work. Organisations have to make time to allow employees to brainstorm, experiment, make mistakes, collaborate, and get excited about growth – both at the level of their personal careers and the organisation. Take a leaf from Google’s 20% time policy wherein employees are encouraged to use 20% of their work time for side projects – most of which have turned out to be the company’s most iconic products.
Sustaining a growth culture is work in progress
There’s no one size fits all solution to sustain growth – companies have to constantly look at new ways to engage employees, fire their imagination, and keep up their morale. The bottom line is: organisations that are serious about growth must remain tuned in to the needs of their employees and customers always.