Published June 27, 2023

Building a culture that works for everyone

As GCP supports a business into a new stage of its growth, the culture invariably changes to adapt to the new atmosphere and integrate the new additions to an expanded team.

As Portfolio Director, Sam Ellis works with the talented management teams that we partner with to ensure sustainable growth and drive company value. He brings a holistic view across our network to ensure that we are leveraging knowledge and best practice, allowing management teams to spend their time where it’s most needed. He works closely with the investment team who remain integrally involved throughout GCP’s investment period.

Sam has 13 years’ experience in the finance and technology industries. Earlier in his career he founded and sold a technology business servicing the construction industry. He knows and understands from personal experience the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur and hopes to provide a friendly ear to owner managers as they pursue their growth ambitions.

Adapting culture as a business grows

One of the most important enablers of sustainable growth in our experience is culture. Successful cultures evolve as businesses expand but this rarely happens by accident. A key focus of the GCP Growth Toolkit involves supporting this evolution with people and organisational strategies and support to underpin the continued growth and development of a business. From DEI to employee engagement and leadership training, having a holistic plan in place does much to smooth the process and ensure continued value for the business.

From our experience of developing genuine partnerships with management teams across sectors, some of the key areas of focus include:

  • Put core HR infrastructure in place. This includes a well-resourced HR team, robust systems to support a growing workforce, and enhanced reporting to allow data driven decision making.
  • Develop a workforce planning and talent strategy that supports the growth of the broader business. Support the execution of this strategy through establishing an internal recruitment capability.
  • Develop your people. From entry level Academy programs that assist a diverse demographic to enter the workforce to continuous development of current and future leaders, investing in your workforce pays dividends.
  • Aligning employees with the core business focus. As a business transitions from its early stages into maturity, ensuring the team will share in the successful execution of the strategy is critical. Engage to improve the employee experience – it is difficult to understand what needs to be improved to keep employees aligned with core goals without listening to what they have to say. Engagement, enablement, and recognition when merited are all key to keeping staff invested.
  • Work towards inclusivity. People-centric businesses can derive great value from an engaged and inclusive workforce. Recruitment, performance management, and DEI are all part of a positive and holistic strategy. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good in taking the first step.

The role of a PE partner in supporting People-focused development

GCP has supported many businesses transition into the next phase of growth, assisted by our two decades of experience investing in leading services and technology businesses. We know what good looks like and can provide practical guidance to get there. The GCP Growth Network is also able to bring in new internal staff or relevant external expertise to support where necessary.

Part of our overall portfolio management strategy is to share best practice from current and realised investments to ensure that each business’ baseline performance is continually rising. People and organisational strategy are key to successful growth and as such we place great importance on having the right people in key HR leadership roles with adequate resourcing and support, including the experience and network of the broader GCP network.

Our focus on developing genuine investment partnerships is underscored by the benefits of investing in good people and mature people systems.

Read more about Sam Ellis