As SMEs are predicted to be nearly five times more likely to recruit than big businesses over the next few months, a professional body has stressed the need to handle any growth carefully. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has cited having a clear purpose and values as the key to success for smaller businesses planning on expanding by recruiting more staff.

This comes after research validating this standpoint was presented at the CIPD’s HR in SMEs conference in London recently. Small businesses were surveyed and 77% agreed that success relied on them staying true to their vision and values, while 79% already had plans to focus on this during growth.

On the other hand, 17% of the firms questioned thought their colleagues would struggle to describe the company vision and values.

Danger of company values becoming “diluted” over time

Dr Jill Miller at the CIPD said:“We know that having a clearly articulated purpose and values is vital for business success, and our research among SMEs shows that they wholeheartedly agree. However, there is a danger that if these values are not a living part of daily operations, they can become diluted or even disappear as the business changes and the workforce grows.

“Keeping hold of ‘what you’re all about’ over time requires constant attention as culture, purpose and values will affect the standard and style of customer service delivered, the satisfaction, engagement and retention of your people and ultimately your organisation’s performance.”   

The research findings highlight how employees often feel less connected to an organisation as time goes by and regular efforts are needed – particularly during the interval stages of team growth.