TL;DR: Managing team growth can be a daunting task for anyone. In this article, I’ll explore how Blankfactor manages growth, our main goals, and how we balance people’s expectations and processes.
Expanding companies usually talk about growth as if it were a phenomenon that’s oriented in a single direction: forward. However, a business can grow in many ways, and there isn’t a single, unifying metric to measure it. It doesn’t behave as a straight line. Many factors influence it.
At Blankfactor, growth has been one of our central objectives. In this post, I’d like to share how from an HR perspective we set goals, processes and make decisions that impact the entire organization in its pursuit of sustainable growth. I’ll include every aspect that we, as a team, have learned about growth.
How everyone’s story ties to Blankfactor
One of the most amazing things I’ve learned as part of the Human Resources team at Blankfactor is how everyone connects their own story to the company. My case isn’t very different. I started out my career working as a banker. I got some insight into how financial institutions work and how they use technology to handle everyday requirements.
Years later, I worked as a recruiter for a large company in the food industry. I managed the recruitment team for the European region, as well as the global mobility team. This was a very exciting and interesting experience with a lot of complex elements to it.
My current position at Blankfactor combines all of my previous experiences, which is really amazing to me – and it all happened by chance! I really believe everything I’ve done helps me understand the key elements that make a company successful as well as where we are headed.
Understand your direction
Having a clear understanding of what the company is looking for and where it is headed is a key need behind company growth. Taking your business to the next level can be a daunting task, especially if your objectives are too vague or don’t reflect a grasp on where your industry is headed and where your company wishes to be.
Right now, our focus is to create a global culture that’s cohesive. Yet we also want to make sure each local, regional, and individual culture is well represented, respected, and shared throughout the entire company. For that, we created an 80/20 rule: 80 percent of our processes are defined and aligned the same in every Blankfactor site around the world. Having the necessary cultural awareness and sensitivity to understand how to implement these processes is the remaining 20 percent.
Also, part of our responsibility is to maintain a connection with every team member, keep everyone engaged, and not lose sight of people’s personal development. On a company level, having a sense of direction helps everyone – locations, projects, teams, and people – understand how they fit into that big puzzle.
Empathy, the secret ingredient for team growth
On a global level, post-pandemic companies are still trying to figure out what work is going to look like. The pandemic changed a lot. Now, providing remote opportunities or at least a hybrid-type model has become more important. People are looking for more flexibility in their work-life balance.
What we’re trying to do is to really connect with people. We listen and empathize with their situation and needs. Such an approach was rare in the past. Empathy wasn’t part of the top values for most traditional companies. However, without listening or caring, it’s really challenging to keep people engaged, motivated, and satisfied.
We understand this is a very ambitious goal, of course. Let’s say, for example, we have developers who are looking for mentorship. We try to make sure there is a senior position available to take care of those questions.
What we do is collect feedback and foster conversations through which we can understand what the expectations are and how we can balance them. That’s how we make sure we provide opportunities for everyone.
Team growth requires strategy
As part of our growth process, one of our key strategies is to provide high-quality recruitment and onboarding. This is absolutely crucial because you attract top talents and make a good impression on new team members, introduce them to our company culture, and prepare them for what they’ll do. A good onboarding also provides good insight into career expectations. That’s how we may provide job training and new opportunities later on.
Managing expectations is as important as listening. We want to be really transparent about what we’re doing in every single one of our processes. We stay on course with our idea of remaining a friendly and flexible place to work while still growing at a fast rate. To me, that’s where we do things a bit differently.
Working as one
Let’s go back to our original goal. We focus on having aligned, streamlined processes and good communication with everyone in the company because we want to become a recognized and trusted partner in providing technical solutions for multiple companies with very different business models. Developing good relationships with our clients begins with great relationships within our own teams. It’s a full circle.
We’re very clear that we’re following a very different path. We want to introduce processes designed for people because we’re clear that our main assets are our collaborators.
We want to ensure that transparency, friendliness, and flexibility come through in everything we do. Taking good care of our team gives a special type of energy and motivation that helps everyone move forward and never lose focus on the main goal. Our record-breaking growth rates, willingness to help others, and fun and engaging working environment are the best proof of this.