Company growth can be a wonderful thing, but there's also a downside to expansion—particularly when it happens quickly.
“When a company reaches a certain threshold of employees or a frenetic pace of business, they forget about the things that made the place special, and/or the importance of taking care of their employees or providing the employees with sustainable performance initiatives,” said Mark Levy, the keynote speaker at the 2019 AV Executive Conference.
Levy is an advocate of growth by design and ensuring that what made a company special in the first place remains at the company expands. He recently shared three special connections designed to keep employees engaged during what can be the difficult process of growth.
1. Connecting Employees to Other Employees
Levy recommends ensuring employees are connected to each other—and not just the employees who interact on a daily basis. “It’s more important that you’re connecting with people outside of your normal span, because that’s how the company doesn’t feel so big” advised Levy.
Digital signage can help, too. The content should not just be driven by leadership—employees should be able to provide content to share. Whether it’s getting to know fellow employees or publicizing the availability of resource groups, AV can be a way to connect your teams.
2. Connecting Employees to Customers
Another critical connection is between a company’s employees and its customers. Levy, who is the former global head of employee experience at Airbnb, shared how the digital lodging marketplace facilitated those relationships. Each quarter, he said, employees were given a $500 Airbnb credit and were encouraged to visit the Airbnb rental of their choice. During that stay, Airbnb would provide the employee with a gift to bring the host and the employee would “ask them to sit down in their living room and ask them what it was like to host on Airbnb.”
3. Connecting Employees to the Community
“Social impact is a big part of the employee experience,” said Levy. He suggested providing the opportunity for employees to volunteer in the community every month or every quarter.
Allbirds, where Levy served as head of employee experience, would create volunteer opportunities in its retail stores where both customers and employees could serve the community together focused on the company’s mission of sustainability.
“If you grow by design and if you think about culture in a way that has you realistic about what you need at this stage—what do you keep, what do you adapt, and what do you introduce?” added Levy. If you think about those ways of creating connections, I think that you can continue to know the company and the headcount while ensuring that your culture evolves.”.
This article originally ran on avnetwork.com.