Prepping the People Side of Your Business for Scale or Sale

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This is a guest post from our friend, Kirsten Ross Vogel. Kirsten helps business owners build high performing teams with leadership and communication strategies to eliminate the friction that can happen while scaling…or working with family.

What would it feel like to enjoy a team working in harmony towards a common goal?

What would you think if you delegated work and the tasks were done well and on time consistently?

How does it feel to have employees come to you with creative solutions or, better yet, a challenge that they handled efficiently?

If experiencing this with your team feels next to impossible, please know that you are likely only a few small tweaks away from a solution. Whether you’re positioning your business to scale or moving toward a sale, a focus on fixing the friction in your business is a great investment.

Over the past 30 years of helping business owners build high performing teams, I’ve found the most common causes of workplace friction. This list will give you a great place to start to identify the root causes in your business so that you can create an action plan that harnesses the full focus of your team so you can achieve your business’s mission.

Drama Outside the Workplace:  People naturally bring outside issues into the workplace.  Look for on-going support or accommodation from co-workers and leaders to help keep the drama to a minimum.

Process Problems:  Failing processes create frustration and lost productivity as employees create workarounds or struggle through barriers to completing their work. In addition, humans have a tendency to fault people for process issues.  Employees begin to waste time blaming each other.  Departments will pit one against another.

Down Time:  Too much free time creates opportunity to focus elsewhere, to ponder questions like who said what to whom, who did more work, etc.

Inconsistency: Inconsistent treatment of employees can lead to friction.  Leaders may find it easier to address issues with nicer employees than with defensive employees.  Family or dating relationships within the workplace can also lead to inconsistency.  Expectations can be higher for better performers than for those who skate by.  Whether the inconsistency is real or imagined, it will create drama.

Inadequate Communication:  In organizations, there can be a lot of talking but not much communication.  Inadequate communication leads to drama in many ways. In the absence of data, humans tend to fill in the blanks with negative assumptions. Or perhaps words and body language or tone of voice are inconsistent, leading people to make assumptions.

People Problems:  Where there are people issues there will be drama.  Some may not have the skills or desire to do well.  Top performers end up picking up the slack, which breeds resentment over time.

If any of these resonate with you take some time to do some evaluation and develop a plan for improvement. If it feels overwhelming or the path is too long, let’s explore how I can help. You can grab 30 minutes on my calendar by going to