New Decade, New Playbook: The Shifting Dynamics Of Business Growth For Midsize Companies

Subhomoy Sengupta

Part 5 of the “2020 Strategies and Insights for Midsize Companies” series

It used to take decades for small companies to grow into viable and highly competitive large enterprises. Not anymore. Businesses that make digital transformation a priority open themselves to business model innovations that change the way work gets done and enable them to compete more effectively.

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According to a recent SAP-sponsored IDC InfoBrief, “Becoming a Best-Run Midsize Company: How Growing Companies Benefit from Intelligent Capabilities,” companies that follow a digital mindset achieve eight times greater revenue and profit growth, seven times better customer satisfaction, and four times higher employee productivity.

But make no mistake: Even the most advanced technology cannot rewrite the entire playbook for business growth. While digitalization can accelerate growth, hiring and retaining the right people, and understanding the reasons why certain outcomes happen, will determine long-term, sustainable success.

Build a future with employee retention and hiring

Traditionally, most midsize businesses focus primarily on retaining the experience and talents of their existing workforce. However, equally important is hiring new talent who will drive the company forward in an agile manner, responding to change and doing things differently to ensure future success.

No company can afford to lose key people in their workforce or miss out on highly skilled potential talent in today’s highly competitive business climate. This is where a great employee experience comes into play.

As the talent environment becomes more competitive, each stage of the team member’s journey must be meaningful, strategic, and future-minded. HR leaders must cater to a multi-generational talent pool that has a wide variety of expectations and mindsets shaped by ever-changing consumer trends, digitally-enabled behaviors, and social norms.

Relationship-building and personal connections foster a culture that values talent development, well-being, and succession. Full-time employees will appreciate this environment, as will part-time, contract, and contingent workers. Most importantly, so will the key people who are ready to help take the business to the next level.

Let experiences influence operational change

The key to creating the right culture for a business is analyzing what’s happening company-wide, and why it is happening. On the one hand, operational data – such as costs, revenues, and sales – provide visibility into business actions, outcomes, and performance. On the other, experience data is tracking how every person involved in the business ecosystem feels and why they react the way they do.

When brought together, these data points can provide insights that empower business leaders to influence what happens next, understand formerly invisible gaps in processes and experiences, and drive meaningful improvement. Businesses that prioritize the connection between experiences and operations are the ones that understand why specific issues arise and how to resolve them proactively. Just as critical is the ability to predict outcomes and communicate resulting business value in ways that resonate immediately to all relevant users.

Such a human-centered approach requires decision-makers to think about how every employee and customer interaction can improve their experience and empower them to make the right choices. With access to qualitative experiential feedback and quantitative operational data, business leaders can determine which processes and actions work well and which ones do not, while understanding everyone’s expectations. Additionally, people-first interactions can play a distinct role in maintaining consent-driven communication and data privacy.

Get ready for a new decade where every experience matters

The decade may be just beginning, but it will be undoubtedly unlike anything we’ve experienced before. The factors that separate winners from the rest of the competition will evolve. People’s preferences and acceptance of business practices, brand priorities, and interaction channels will change. And it’s even a safe bet that the dynamics of economic and market growth will shift faster than ever.

But no matter what comes along the way, transforming midsize companies to become more digital will prepare them to respond more efficiently to changing environments and business models, while strengthening their defense against new competitors in the new decade.

See IDC’s list of top trends for small and midsize businesses in the 2020s. Download the IDC infographic, sponsored by SAP, “The Roaring 2020s – Key Trends Shaping Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) in the Next Decade.”

And don’t forget to register for our upcoming Webinar for a deeper dive into each of these trends and what you can do now to take advantage of them.

This article originally appeared on Forbes SAP BrandVoice.

Subhomoy Sengupta

About Subhomoy Sengupta

Subhomoy Sengupta is Head of Small and Midsize Business Operations at SAP.