The transition from small company to medium company is rarely smooth, but it can be made much easier with the correct framework in place. A company that grows from seven staff to 27 staff takes on a considerable HR burden. A company that grows from four clients to 68 takes on a lot more work and needs to be far more accountable.
Both aspects demand better processes and more rigour. “When you’re a small company you’re six or seven people, you’re all doing everything, you’re doing what you need to do and there is not a lot of process or rigour, or documentation,” says Nutbourne’s Marcus Evans.
“It’s more a case of let’s get this done, we need to deliver and we need to pay the bills. When you start to get bigger and people get their own area what you’ll find is that you’ll start to get responsibility for set areas, you’ll be more accountable for what you’re doing.”
From a people perspective, the focus moves, Marcus adds. People that are organised and document their work become increasingly valuable because they follow process and procedure as a matter of course.
In their absence, things can still get done, whereas those that are disorganised will get their job done but when it comes to relying on other people in the organisation to help them, it’s a problem.
“So your HR focus shifts. When you need to recruit, you need people that buy into your organisation as a concept. You need processes and policies in place for discipline and accountability. You can no longer rely solely on the camaraderie you had when there were 5 or 6 people.
“People can hide in a group and you don’t know they’re not working hard enough. So we have put in place metrics like number of tickets solved in a month, quality of tickets solved – just so that we know what they’re doing.
“Of course you need to have the software and programmes in place to do this, which we have addressed too.”
In the next article, we examine how software, systems and processes have given Nutbourne greater transparency