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You Hired a Big Fish into Your Little Pond. How Can Your Company Make It Work?

Employees leaving their big companies for the thrill of a smaller corporation may be in for an eye-opening experience. In many ways, the shift from a large company may be a welcome relief to someone who is looking for a new challenge, or who wants to have a more hands-on approach to their job. While they may be excited about the possibilities a new position brings, they may not be prepared for the challenges they’re going to face.
Individual Performance Matters
In a larger company, the impact of a single person’s actions can get lost. With multiple individuals, numerous projects and various revenue streams, the impact of your performance on the corporation may seem insignificant. Within a smaller company, however, there is a sense that every action you take can have an important consequence. The loss of a single customer can affect the corporation. Acquiring new business can create new opportunities. Errors are more visible, and wins are more pronounced.
To overcome this challenge, help your new employee view their work as part of a team. While each individual is important, there is still a sense of teamwork within the organization that can alleviate some of the pressure on the individual. Create teams that work on projects together.
Company as Family
Employees at larger companies rarely know everyone who works there. They may know the people within their department, and selected people in other departments, but that’s it. Moving to a smaller company where everyone knows everyone can be overwhelming. There is more opportunity to develop close relationships with the individuals you work with.
To help employees fit in, provide opportunities for employees to meet and socialize. Offer department wide lunchtimes, with break rooms that allow for socializing. Host an introductory meeting where key team members can meet the new employee.
Smaller Departments Mean Less Support
One of the biggest shocks for individuals leaving large corporations is the individuality of their work. In a large company, employees are generally responsible for one aspect of a project. Other employees handle their specialties and all the pieces fit together to complete the work. Small companies, however, lack the number of employees to fill some of the support roles, leaving each employee to be their own “support staff”. There is more flexibility in responsibility, and the employee may find themselves performing the jobs of two or three various positions to complete a task.
When employees struggle with being a one-stop-shop, provide them with the resources they need to succeed. Use skill training workshops to help determine their strengths, and show them how to harness those skills to complete their tasks. Use goal-setting training to help employees set quality goals for themselves both personally and professionally.
Mission Minded Business
While larger corporations often support community service projects or have a specific mission related to their business, in a small business it is often a key element of the business. All businesses are designed to make money, but the mission minded business focuses more on the goal of the organization than the shareholders. Each employee has the opportunity to affect real change and support for the mission minded business.
During the interview and onboarding process, captivate the attention of new employees by sharing the mission and vision of the corporation. Employees who buy-in to the mission of the organization are more likely to stay engaged with their work and will view their job as essential to helping the company succeed.
The My Big Idea team has experience helping corporations of all sizes create effective employee training opportunities. Contact us today to find out more about what we can do for you.
Michele Bailey is president and CEO of Blazing Agencyand My Big Idea®. These two lines of business work congruently to support her clients’ success.

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