While hosting UHY’s monthly Cause & Affect radio show on Atlanta Business Radio recently, Amy Gallagher, Principal with UHY’s Resource Solutions Group, addressed some of the challenges businesses face when managing through periods of company growth. These challenges impact organizations regardless of industry, size and stage of maturity. No matter the cause, getting the right people, processes and technology in order is critical.
UHY Managing Director Frank Fenello and UHY Director of Business Development Melanie Baer joined Amy, along with the team's guests Maria D’Alessandro, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the HVMG Corporate Leadership Team (Hospitality Ventures Management Group); and WestRock Chief Accounting Officer Steven Meadows.
Effectively Measuring Growth
Accurately measuring growth is one of the most important ways companies can better manage through it. Steven shared the significance and differences of measuring growth financially, by the number of employees, number of office locations or number of customers. But he also stressed that the success of customer partnerships is critical for his company growth.
Maria shared that the two most important growth metrics for her are revenue and guest satisfaction. It’s all about market share, and in the hotel industry, if your guest satisfaction is better than that of your competitors, you're going to grow your market share. She places just as much of an emphasis on guest satisfaction as she does on revenue.
At UHY, when we see our clients going through a period of growth, typically that means they need the support of additional resources, especially within the finance and accounting side of that growth. Unfortunately, we’ve seen that companies often overlook this need -- until the employees of those departments get so overwhelmed that it starts to negatively impact productivity. Resource support can get them through that growth much more smoothly and keep morale up at the same time.
Using Technology to Help You Grow
Maria explained that when you have so much constant upheaval you need to really rely on technology. Solid technology tools should flex with your company’s changing needs. She heavily invests in the cloud, in software as a service, so there’s not a lot of investment in the infrastructure of technology.
Finding the Right Amount of Change
Steven shared some examples of managing through a financial integration – including accounting, payroll and taxes - when companies go through a merger or acquisition. He noted it's very difficult to ensure a company has the right balance between being in control of the change and being out of control of the change. People shut down with too much change, but they should be able to handle moderate amounts of change when managed properly and engaged throughout the process.
Frank talked about how the uncertainty of what the change means to an individual affects their ability to get engaged and adopt what's happening. As much as you can, engage the people at the front end, help make sure that they understand every step of the way and what's coming next. That will help you keep their engagement longer.
There’s a difference between companies that react and scramble to get help and those that stop and become proactive about it. A proactive company asks for outside help before they even get started.
Stay tuned for more and be sure to check out all our episodes here.