If you are lucky enough to see your company growing, or if you are an early stage employee at a growing company, here are four things for you to consider.
Four things I have consistently seen working when taken into account, or snowballing into disasters when disregarded.
As you promote people into managerial positions, make it crystal clear that their new priority is managing people. This requires a very different set of skills, and most likely some external training is needed. Do not assume that just because somebody is good at their job, or is an expert in a certain area, they will also be good bosses. If they are too busy, make space for them. They should not.
When somebody makes something that is very good for the company, make sure to take some time to acknowledge that and craft a story out of it. This is valid at many levels, and it is one of the responsibilities of leaders and managers to elaborate on why what was done matters, here and now, as well as to spread it. This is the behaviour you want more of.
At this point, you probably have some type of culture deck or presentation or brief. Put it to test, and change it as the company grows. Finding examples and stories (see also above) that resonate with the type of culture you want to establish is fundamental. Your culture lives, whether you want it or not, and it’s up to you to approach it strategically.
Finally, remove “good job” (and its variants “great work”, “amazing content”, “superb teamwork”, …) from the accepted phraseology. If something is truly good, make a commitment to say why it is so, and how it does serve the purpose of the organization at this stage. If it’s not, establish an environment in which candid criticism is accepted and not taken as a personal judgement of someone’s abilities.