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5 HR Strategies for Business Expansion

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Although the road ahead is still extremely bumpy, there is growing optimism that the UK economy is on the mend and... whisper it... growing again.

The CBI recently raised its own economic forecasts and expects the UK economy to grow by 0.4% by 2023 and by 1.8% by 2024. The CBI also expects business growth and investment to increase and reach pre-cost of living crisis and COVID-19 pandemic levels by the end of 2024. Considering that inflation is also showing signs of falling, one can perhaps be a little more optimistic about the future of the UK economy.

With the outlook less bleak, many business leaders are likely to focus on growth. But here lies a problem.

To grow a company, you must be able to attract the best and brightest applicants from the job market to fuel that growth. Unfortunately, the British labor market is not only cooling down rapidly, it is also shrinking: key skills are in high demand, but supply is tight.

In addition, although business growth is relatively easy to achieve, it is difficult to sustain over the long term. McKinsey Journal Insights, for example, warns that no matter the size of a company, it is very difficult to maintain growth - especially if the expansion has occurred quickly. In a survey of high-growth companies, it was found that 85% were unable to sustain their growth rates over time.

So what can companies and HR teams do to ensure rapid growth lasts longer and isn't just a flash in the pan?


One thing HR teams can do to support company growth is to continually focus on a company's core values and culture and ensure that these values permeate every part of the employee experience. A clearly defined and strong corporate culture promotes employee commitment, alignment with company values and a feeling of belonging - and ultimately teamwork and productivity... all important factors for sustainable growth.

This statement can be supported by prominent research results. CIPD research suggests that a clear purpose and values play a crucial role in the continued success of a business. They set the direction in which work gets done, influence the way employees feel about their work, and make it more likely that the company will achieve its goals.

However, there is a risk that these values will become diluted as a company expands and grows, and may even disappear altogether over time. In this case, the aforementioned continuous focus is crucial for sustainable growth and must be proactively maintained by HR teams.

So how can companies clearly communicate their values and ensure they remain solid as they grow? Here's what HR teams can do...


Look for small but clear signs that employees are becoming less engaged as the company grows. Employees may lack the passion they once had or may be less willing than before to go the extra mile. A clear sign of this is an increase in absenteeism or a higher turnover rate in your workforce.

Additionally, there can also be more subtle signs that something is going wrong. You may notice that there is a lot of gossiping and grumbling within the teams and a general feeling that something is not right. In this case, it is important to keep the lines of communication open.

Consider conducting regular surveys to gauge engagement and sentiment throughout the year. These surveys can provide important clues about the state of company culture and give you the opportunity to investigate issues before they become a serious problem.

Finally, it is important to speak to employees individually - for example through 1-1 check-ins - but internal social portals that allow employees to share information and discuss ideas can also play an important role. When used well, they help maintain the "community atmosphere" that employers strive for, keep employees informed and create a sense of enthusiasm for the challenges ahead.


How many times have you walked into a company and seen the company values proudly hanging on the wall in the reception area? Inspirational" statements like "For us, customers come first! Or "Our employees are our greatest asset!"... Well, it's written on the wall... that must be true! The problem, however, is that these statements don't actually tell employees how to do their jobs and what they should do differently on Monday morning.

Organizations need to find ways to make clear what their values really mean in practice in terms of attitudes and behaviors. Employee focus groups where employees talk about "how we do things around here" can help reinforce the behaviors the company wants to encourage. Posting examples on the intranet, HR portal, or internal publication of how employees have delighted customers or handled a difficult situation ethically can also be an effective way to keep the message alive .


People often long for the "early days" of a company, when there was a "family" atmosphere, everyone knew what was going on, and the CEO had time to chat in the hallway. This inevitably disappears as a company grows; but by teaching your employees the "backstory" of your company - as well as their role in building the future - you can increase their engagement and sense of ownership.

Include information about the company's journey in your induction program for new employees so they understand where you come from and what came before you. Making stories an integral part of your communication can also help people understand the meaning of change and the reasons why you want them to do things differently than they did in the past.


As a company grows, official processes and procedures tend to proliferate and become more complex. However, cumbersome forms and lengthy approval processes can hinder efficiency and leave employees feeling disempowered.

HR processes like vacation management are a prime example of how companies can turn a gnat into an elephant by insisting on tedious, often manual processes that annoy and frustrate employees. The latest HRIS platforms can do a lot to simplify and streamline processes. They help build trust and engagement and free up employees to focus on their actual work.

For example, with HR software, employees can check how much annual leave they have left and apply for it online. The manager can access an up-to-date calendar showing who on the team is free when and approve the request with a click of a mouse or a tap of an app.


The CIPD recommends making your values the “common thread” that runs through all your HR processes. So when hiring new employees, don't just think about technical skills, but look for people whose personal values and way of working match those of the company.

If maximizing your employees' potential is one of your values, you should ensure that this is reflected in your company's performance management processes. It's no use telling employees you want to invest in their development if the annual appraisal is constantly postponed and promised training never takes place. It's about the company putting its own words into action. If employees see that HR and management live the values they stand for, they will align themselves with them.

In conclusion, IceHrm offers five effective strategies for HR to support business growth, emphasizing the importance of core values, vigilant monitoring, clear communication, streamlined processes, and alignment with HR practices.

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