Do your employees / contractors know the big picture?

October 16, 2014

Do your employees and contractors know the big picture?

So you said goodbye to your employee life and started your own organization. It’s currently growing fast and you have expanded your team with contractors and/or employees. You are excited; you can serve your customers even better with more knowledge at the table, plus you can handle a larger volume!

Or so you thought. The challenge you’re facing now is that you have increased your expenses whereas the return on investment (ROI) is not as high as you expected.

What is going on?

Here’s a pattern I have detected after speaking to business owners:

First, the tendency to focus on immediate results.

As a small business owner keeping customers happy is the first and most important result that must be achieved. The formula goes like this: Tasks done + happy customer = pay check. The formula is not changed after hiring new team member(s).

Second, the big picture enters the small business owners mind.

No longer is it all about immediate results and managing tasks. Founders start juggling customer and employee/contractor happiness. You have to keep an eye on growing monthly expenses. Often, you also become more aware of personal liabilities that affect the organization: their health and lifestyle, their cash flow, time scarcity and confidence.

Third, a new appreciation for former employers.

Especially if owners have worked for a small firm before, they begin to understand their former employer’s perspective. You may still disagree with certain opinions or situations, but now you know that you only saw one piece of the puzzle in the past.

Fourth, remembering the employee perspective.

Owners with new employees begin recalling the relationships with their peers and their manager at their former work place. When expanding with contractors, the memory of freelancing returns (for example, “I need to book more time and become their sole contractor”).

Fifth, bringing the employee/contractor the bigger picture

You don’t want to be that bad manager that drove you to entrepreneurism and want to be a leader. To become that leader, you need to bridge your owner’s knowledge with the employee mindset and guide your contractors/employees.

Transform into an entrepreneurial leader

The biggest piece is to share with your team how they fit into the larger piece. Explain the entire puzzle and work with them on understanding how their piece of work is instrumental in completing the puzzle.

Become a clear communicator and negotiator: what do you need and what do you want. Your needs change with the company growth and added responsibility, your negotiation skills have to adapt accordingly.

To do so, it is imperative you understand yourself and your company. Try a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis or a leadership test to find out more about your personality.

Can you spot where in the pattern you are? Do you have tips on how to move forward?

Image Credit: by Atosvia


Lisette Andreyko

Lisette is the founder of Kaleidoscope and is passionate about start-up leadership, personal growth and women in business (and psst.. about tea!). She enjoys connecting with small businesses through her network. You can find her on LinkedIn.