Foundations for growth – thinking about people

Building a solid structure for business growth

All successful businesses are built around a robust framework that supports growth in staff, sales and production without upsetting the existing set-up. This series of blogs considers some of the elements of that framework and how they apply to SMEs.

Payroll is often the biggest cost a business has, so it makes sense to think about organising staff and building a workforce that you can increase as needed without disrupting the business.

How to build a happy, productive workforce that is easy to manage and does what you want

  1. Hire the right people – define the roles before you hire using an organisation chart of the roles in your business and who has responsibility for them, job descriptions describing the employee’s responsibilities and who they report to
  2. Be clear about what you want people to do and train them in how you want them to do it. Write procedures for all the major tasks so that everyone does things the same way and nothing is forgotten. Add detail where it is needed, otherwise leave it out
  3. Build co-operative teams. Agree constructive ways of communicating with each other to reduce misunderstandings. Be clear about reporting structures. Define which decisions people can make and when they need to escalate to a manager
  4. Have regular meetings to review performance. Short and often – every month is good – with a more formal assessment once or twice a year to track progress over time. These reviews help you to keep in touch and resolve issues before they become problems.
  5. Have legally compliant contracts and grievance and disciplinary procedures so that you can minimise the harm if things don’t work out.

Six of the key items to have in place

  1. Organisation Chart, with allocation of roles and responsibilities
  2. Job Descriptions
  3. Written procedures for the main parts of the business.
  4. Established methods of communicating with your team – formal and informal
  5. Performance review schedule
  6. Professionally drawn up contracts and disciplinary and grievance procedures

Susie Collings helps businesses to run better – creating a good foundation for higher profit margins, loyal customers and staff, winning new business, easily adapting to change and growing sustainably.

 If you want to build a robust framework for the people in your business or discuss any of the points raised please call Susie on 0118 380 0545 or email

Leave a reply