This is part six of a series of six articles focused on organic growth challenges for SME (small-medium enterprise) engineering, consulting and construction firms. Each article will focus on one challenge area and provides some high level approaches to overcome these challenges.
A frequent theme in successful companies is alignment of their employees. In simple terms, a company should have a simple vision that describes where they want to be at some point in the future. There should be a set of strategies that describes how they are going to reach that future point. They serve as the foundation for decision making throughout the year. Another theme is employee engagement. Employees who understand how they contribute towards the company’s success will help them feel relevant, improve execution and result in their improved engagement.
Alignment and engagement are a challenge for almost all firms large, medium and small. Firms who have recently undergone M&A integration or significant reorganization have a significant challenge in this area. A really small firm with a family-like culture may actually benefit from natural alignment and engagement as long as the vision and strategy exists. The existence of a “catchy” vision statement certainly has no bearing on the success of a company but the lack of a vision and a set of strategies to reach it can certainly lead to management and employee alignment issues.
The smaller the company the more likely the leadership is heavily technical. It is what got them started and why their clients hired them. Their entrepreneurial spirit did well during the initial stages of company growth. Their natural skills may or may not be what is needed to create growth for the future in the existing industry environment. Those who recognize the need for additional business strategy expertise and seek a solution will fare better than those who do not.
Firms that take the time to develop a clear and compelling vision will outperform those who do not. I am talking about a vision that describes a future state, is inspirational to the employees and can be used as guidance in future planning and decision making. The vision should be a “shared vision” allowing employees to see how they fit. It should be developed using a collaborative approach, not just a few senior executives sitting in a conference room. Take a look at your current vision. Is it futuristic? Is it compelling? Is it understood and shared by all employees? If not, perhaps it is time you update or create a new one!
Jerry Strub is the CEO and founder of Strategic Growth Consulting, Inc. Jerry has led global and domestic growth strategies for over 30+ years in the engineering, environmental consulting, environmental services and construction industries. He has over 25 years of training, coaching and mentoring engineers and scientists on improving their business development skills and improving organizational business development practices. He is an advisory board member of two Chinese environmental firms and serves as an advisor and connector of CleanTech and engineering services between North America and China.
Strategic Growth Consulting, Inc.
Lombard, IL USA |Contact