Growing Pains – a case studyNatalie Lewis
One Director’s journey on turning his toxic workplace into a thriving, and profitable business with a now engaged and committed team
The company referred to in this case study is an established company in the digital/creative industry. They have been providing web design, marketing and digital services for the past 8 years. The company initially grew quickly and had been profitable. They had grown from an initial 5 employees to 35 in just 3 years to keep up with customer demand.
Dynamic HR’s growth and profitability process really challenges business leaders to get to the nitty gritty of their business. We guide businesses to build the foundations of a growth and profitability plan assisting them with implementing it to create real change. Outcomes include increased staff retention, reduced sickness absence, increased employee engagement and improved customer satisfaction. By keeping people at the centre of all business strategies, our processes improve overall business profitability and set you up for growth.
Picture a fun and buzzing digital/creative workplace. The team are highly engaged, committed and happy. There’s a fun and positive atmosphere and customer work keeps rolling in.
The company started out with just 5 members of staff and grew to a team of 35 in a matter of 3 years to keep up with customer demand.
After this period of growth things started to take a turn for the worse; instead of being more productive and profitable, there were increasing customer complaints and a dip in sales.
Within the team, sickness absence increased, staff came and went within a couple of months. Unrest and bad atmosphere took over the once fun and buzzing office. The team were less willing to help and manager’s time was increasingly being taken up with staffing issues; disciplinaries and dealing with poor performance. Micro management became the norm.
The company Director wanted to be seen as the hero-boss but didn’t know why his staff seemed to hate him and what he could do about it.
Whilst the Director identified that something was going wrong, he wasn’t sure what and he started to question his skills as a boss. He was getting stressed out with the fact that his managers were moaning, employees were leaving and his business wasn’t hitting the targets he had forecast. His wife had started to put pressure on him too as he was spending more and more time at work and not getting the results he wanted.
It was 9 months ago, that the Director saw my posts on LinkedIn and got in touch for some advice. We had a long chat and I identified that his business had grown too fast, forcing him to ‘distress recruit’ the wrong people. Having met with him and carried out a diagnostic, I provided him with a written report and recommendations. We put a 12 months plan in place which aimed to turn his business around.
By focusing on the culture he wanted to create and putting in core values from which everything else stemmed, the Director was able to make strategic decisions on who he wanted to take forward with the company.
I assisted him with down-sizing the company to just a few core employees who all closely match the company values leaving him to be able to strategically recruit people with the best value and cultural fit.
We put in place robust processes to support growth and profitability and manage staff performance and their development.
Just 9 months into the Dynamic Growth and Profitability Process, despite being 15 employees strong, the company has gone from strength to strength. That fun and buzzing atmosphere is back. There is very little absence and staff engagement is high. Their customers have reported a huge difference in the support and service they now get.
Staff sickness absence has reduced by 90% (everyone gets genuinely ill from time to time!) Managers now have time to focus on coaching their staff rather than micro managing and every member of the team has clear outcomes and a personalised career development path.
The company’s overall profit has more than doubled and the Director is now seen as that hero-boss he always wanted to be!