The Key to Getting Employee Alignment
Our recent guest Lauren Kaplan is the Founder and CEO of Growth Ops Advisory (GOA), a process-driven Human Resources (HR) partner that enables companies to upgrade the employee experience and sharpen management strategies.
Lauren started the company nearly five years ago while working as a COO of a startup that offered accounting, COO, and tax advisory to other startups. She noticed many startups were missing the basic back-office infrastructure necessary for growth. In particular, they were missing the infrastructure that allowed their people to be really successful in their jobs.
It was apparent to Lauren that the companies that invested upfront in the necessary infrastructure got a lot further than those that didn’t. So, she founded GOA and began providing consulting and execution support to companies that wanted to make the investment early to attract and retain top talent and grow their business.
Lauren and her team view HR as two-sided: transactional (compliance, administrative, etc.) and strategic—and the two go hand-in-hand.
“The strategic side is a lot harder,” said Lauren. “It requires you to carve out time to say ‘what am I trying to achieve in this business, what are my goals this quarter and this year, and in order to achieve those things, what do I need to build and put in place and invest in to get those rewards.’
“It’s a lot easier for us to put together a checklist and just cross things off the list, right? That’s transactional. That’s traditional HR…By looking at what you’re trying to accomplish, we can build a longer-term strategy…and get you both the quick, short-term things and the long-term things at the same time.”
Businesses are eager to hire top talent, but even top talent needs to know how things work in your organization before they can begin to contribute at 100 percent. By implementing long-term strategies and smart processes, Lauren’s team has helped reduce onboarding time from several months to three weeks, which makes a sizeable impact on company growth and efficiency.
“Oftentimes people see HR as a cost center. But in reality, if you’re investing in very strategic initiatives that support your team in being efficient and producing more, then HR becomes a business partner, and they become a profit driver,” said Lauren.
Other than compliance-related documentation, Lauren’s clients are most frequently missing clear goals that they share with the company.
Small businesses specifically are often hesitant to share revenue and profit goals with their company for fear that their employees will view it as a money grab. But connecting these goals to strategies such as improving the employee experience, improving onboarding, and offering better benefits (after hitting certain milestones), make it more likely that employees will buy into and support these goals.
GOA often works with businesses that have unclear or nonexistent mission statements and values, too. This makes it difficult for employees to know what they’re aligning with and what behaviors the organization believes should be reinforced.
“Once we get them over the hurdle of setting those things and then working toward them, they can’t believe they hadn’t been operating that way the entire time they’ve been running their business,” Lauren said. “It’s such clarity for them and such a change for the organization to be working toward something where they’re focused.”
GOA adds obvious value to new employees, but the benefits can be seen for existing employees as well. Creating clear and effective onboarding practices helps set a standard for performance. And, the faster new employees onboard, the sooner existing team members get relief and avoid burnout—or move up to a higher level of work.
With most of her clients struggling to keep up with administrative duties and paperwork, Lauren has found great success referring them to WBN.
“My clients needed virtual assistants that would be able to pick things up quickly, could be in communication regularly, and work in a similar time zone,” she said. “And I love your interview model where you keep going until you find the right fit. I recommend WBN time and time again to our clients.
“The transformation for those founders and executives is incredible because now they’re freed up to do the higher level work they should be doing, not the admin work they drown in.”
Watch the full video to learn more about the key to getting employee alignment.