Why business growth starts from the bottom up

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It’s good to be talking about growth. Increasing Covid-19 case rates remind us we are still in a pandemic, but many businesses have had a good look at how they operate, have adapted (or are adapting) and are gearing up for a post-Covid world.

For me, the most striking point from the Next 15 Business Growth report, in partnership with Savanta, was the disconnect between junior and senior teams about what’s important for growth. While the majority of employees (54%) see personal growth as a key driver of business growth, junior staff still believe business growth is measured solely by the financials. Their perception is that personal growth is much further down senior management’s agenda (not even in the top five of their priorities).

This poses a problem. It’s much harder to grow without engaging all staff and getting everyone to buy into what you want to achieve as a business, especially at the junior level where fresh thinking, enthusiasm and energy is generally its strongest. In fact, with the Great Resignation, never in recent years has retaining staff been more important. Happy staff deliver great work, which leads to satisfied clients who spend more and go onto recommend you – the perfect circumstances to drive growth.

And yet, Covid has made our jobs as senior managers even harder – how do you create a culture of development and progression in a hybrid environment where many of your team are not together, are communicating via screens, and are being onboarded virtually?

At Savanta we have a programme in place looking at what the future of the workplace will look like, and we certainly don’t have all the answers… yet! But what we do know is that the senior team has to be committed to: investing in training and career development (we have just launched the Savanta Academy); ensuring that everyone has a clear set of goals and objectives (Career management training is a cornerstone of the Academy); actively seeking feedback and listening to junior teams about what they need (we use forums, feedback forms and regular well-being surveys).

If we get this right, the financials (which we can never ignore) should easily follow.

To understand more about what growth looks like to business leaders around the world, download our Growth report here.

By Caroline Hawkings, managing director, Savanta