Management Pitfalls: How to work with staff at different stages of the company’s development?


The owner of a small business often has to manage the hired employees independently. And having no education in the field of working with cadres, can make mistakes. The most common is to keep people on the same position who together with the owner of the business have made the way from the formation of the company to its successful development.

When you draw people’s attention to some nuances, they are surprised that everything is so simple. How could you pass by the obvious and please into another trap? Remember yourself and others: the obvious sometimes does not attract attention, but seemingly simple things cause difficulties.

So management: many pitfalls in this area will seem obvious to you … after we discuss them.

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Stages of the company’s existence

The life cycle of a company is similar to a person’s life …

  • Birth and early years, when great care, attention and patience are required;
  • In the phase of active growth and development, aid is still needed, but there are also first independent steps and successes;
  • Stabilization – much has already been achieved, special breakthroughs are not expected, there is a systematic and progressive development, without sharp ups, with rare failures (after all, experience is already accumulated);
  • And the last stage is extinction.

In accordance with this, the stages of the company’s life cycle are also built. We list them …

1) “Question marks” – The starting stage of the development of the company, which is characterized by high uncertainty, the need for greater efforts without guarantee of results and the creation of virtually everything from scratch, the frequent problem of insufficient resources, and the fact that “everyone does everything”. This stage is often accompanied by a rush and the need to go beyond the scope of their duties, a weakly expressed subordination.

2) “Stars” – It is a stage of rapid and active growth, business is developing at a rapid pace, there is an aggressive seizure of the market, ambitious goals are being set, a lot of new information is coming in, more professionalism is needed, sometimes – several times, a number of problems and conflicts arise.

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3) “Milking cows” – A stage of maturity and stabilization, business processes are debugged, there is no active growth, only the current development can be. As a rule, the main task at this stage is to maintain what has already been achieved, and evolutionary development.

4) “Evil dogs” – A dying business or a separate direction, which by virtue of any circumstances became unpromising. Nevertheless, it still functions for a while, as it is necessary to complete its obligations to the market, or prepare a direction for sale, or minimize possible losses.

Obviously, different stages of the life cycle require employees of completely different competencies and motives.

Image Source: Google Image

A trap for a long time in one company

The trap consists of two things …

1) When selecting or moving people, the features necessary for this stage are not taken into account. For example, a procedural and conservative professional can be very successful during the “milk cow” period, but it is unlikely to achieve much in the first or second stage of the life cycle. That is, in this case, the recipe is extremely simple: determine the stage of the life cycle [of the company] and consider [it] when evaluating a person.

2) The second trap, perhaps, is more critical. It is that an employee who has been successful before, at a new stage, ceases to meet the requirements or even becomes a destructor.

To overcome the second trap, there are several tools …

  • Movement within the organization between units that are at different stages of development. For example, we have several startups, which get bored when things are stabilized, and we always move them to new sites. And the conservatives, on the contrary, put them in their place;
  • Additional tasks / projects that allow, “to give” the missing motivation;
  • Permanent rotation, which can prevent burnout;
  • Competent introduction of changes.
Gabriel Montgomery

Gabriel Montgomery

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