One of the biggest changes that happens with companies that grow rapidly is a sense of loss of control of the company culture. This happens because of a few key areas:
- New people are added to the team frequently. For those employees that were there in the early days they feel a sense of loss of control. They may ask themselves questions about these new employees such as ‘what is their role?’ These people also don’t typically have the history and the context on why some things are the way they are at the company, which is why onboarding new employees effectively and accumulating organizational knowledge in a way that tells a story for new employees is increasingly important.
- New strategies aren’t as widely known. In the early days any shift in strategy or new process / approach is often widely known because it is a small team that can be involved in that process. However, as the team grows larger and you add layers of management early hires lose proximity to decision making and an understanding of new strategies.
- New locations or remote workers. As the company grows larger geographic proximity can start to become a barrier. New locations or remote workers mean there are more people who may not be connected to day to day decision making or have opportunities to build relationships with each other. This can cause the levels of camaraderie or trust to erode.
- More process and control. Bigger organizations also need more process and control to make sure that information moves up and down and throughout the organization and that decisions are aligned with organizational strategy. Also, as organizations get larger there is more to lose and risk management becomes more important. This can cause less autonomy and more people that need to be involved with decision making.
These are just a few of the ways that fast growing companies can change, and not always for the better in the eyes of employees that feel a sense of loss for the changing culture.
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