At What Point is the “Human Element” Needed? (Part 2) – Explosive Growth

June 10, 2015 | Communication, Leadership, Trust

Photo by LHG Creative Photography on Flickr

This the second post in a 3 part series regarding establishing a point where the human element in a business or organization. If you have not read the first post, it can be found here.

If a company has not established its “human element” at its inception, a key time to examine establishing it would be in the midst of explosive growth. This situation/opportunity is a critical crossroads where we should address these soft initiatives that can make a good company great.

In late 2009 Ambulatory Care Solutions (ACS), a company that I helped found, doubled in both revenue and full time employees (FTEs). Who wouldn’t want this for their company? To say I was excited would be putting it mildly. However, we realized that in order to have sustained growth, increase operational efficiency and maintain a healthy financial statement we needed to standardize and implement behaviors that would increase communication, employee engagement and trust in leadership.

In 2010, turnover was measuring at 16% and turnover numbers among front line staff were much higher. Based on this information, we believed we needed to focus on the “human element” of business as equally important to the company as the financials, quality metrics, and growth.

It was then that we implemented initiatives such as rounding on employees, actively and consistently recognizing employees for their efforts, revamping the interviewing process, setting standards of behavior, and addressing issues with low performers consistently. After these initiatives were implemented, we were able to decrease employee turnover to 9% by 2012.

Also at the end of 2012, an employee opinion survey revealed that employees trusted leadership and understood and embraced the mission of the company more so than the survey in 2011 revealed. Furthermore,, customer satisfaction increased from 4.62 to 4.78 on a 1 to 5 scale. A complete case study on the progress achieved at ACS can be found here.

The most important item to note about about the success of ACS is that all of Senior Management did not just support these changes, they embraced them. This is absolutely critical to the company’s successful implementation of the “human element”.

As we said in the first part of this three part article, there is never a bad time to address the “human element”. The question we will address in the last installment of this 3 part series is when it may be too late to address them.

What other items would you have addressed when ACS’ business doubled in such a short time? What are some other ways to be prepared for explosive growth while minimizing growing pains?

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