Don’t You Forget to Be Awesome Buddy
I have been part of many startups both successful ones and the ones that failed.
There has been one common thing among these startups..both successful and failed ones….”PEOPLE”
Among many of those discussions with global founders and entrepreneurs who have led successful startups one thing came into light that SUPERCHARGED, PASSIONATE and GO GETTERS were the ones who made a striking difference to the startup team.
So how the hell do you supercharge the Startup Team ?
I did throw out this question open in the Startup Specialist Community on ” How Do You Keep A Startup Team Motivated ” and there were a myriad answers from global startup specialists.
The answers were also beyond the usual (though these are critical) R&R, Offering equity and Giving regular monetary benefits to the startup employees. As a Founder or an Entrepreneur you may find these small tips handy.
Let me share some of the pointers with you:
- Realization: If the startup employees are made to realize that once the big fat fish was a small fish half of your work is done. If the employees realize that their blood and sweat will help the startup to grow into a big venture your efforts are minimized. The employees need to realize the fact that the venture is trying to become big.
- Training & Team Bonding: In the flight of fantasy and aggressive expansions some startups fail to keep a note of this topic. A startup which invests into training of the employees and creating an atmosphere of team bonding always has an edge. The employees of such startups are well equipped, trained and geared up for faster progression and bigger roles.
- Importance of the Customers: A startups that feeds its employees with this critical notion that customers are the backbone of the company, tend to have an edge. Bringing some customers to the office and sharing thoughts with the employees is a good means to bring a two sided communication. Sending some employees to customer’s office is also very healthy practice. It also helps the startup team to know their customer, and to start to care again about the problem the startup solves for them.
- Human Capital: Ensure and Empower your startup employees to think that they are human capital and not just employees and they are the most important asset more than ANY physical assets of the company. Once they realize this they will create an atmosphere which is progressive and ever energized.
- Realization of Benefits: Clarity in short term and long term benefits for employees in a startup is an essential element and should be regularly be communicated to them. Giving awards maybe not monetary benefits e.g. Best Coder award for fixing a critical bug and giving him a food coupon is a good example. Yes Compensation, Equity do have the additional benefits all along.
- Communication: Successful and Awesome Founders have a great sense of communication. If there is a “Regular & Streamlined” communication with the employees then this serves and solves a lot of issues. All startup problems which can become roadblocks of future can be tackled in advance. Keeping an open line of communication across the startup helps to build transparency and better bonding across all layers of the startup.
- Clarity of Goals: If the “Idea” and road path to the idea is shared with defined pitstops with the employees they become aware of the challenges and the requirements well in advance. They are then well equipped to handle all roadblocks well in advance. A clear definition of WHEN and HOW things will happen is a good way to cut the levels and talk directly to the startup employees.
- Creating a Challenge: Specially in Tech Startups if the motivation is clubbed with some challenges to the employees say every week or every month then chances are that the adrenaline rush is higher. e.g. a weekly hack to create an App of choice and bringing it live and supporting the developer with all marketing/UI/UX support is a sheer way to kickstart a new level of passion in the employees.
- Adopt a Culture: A 925, 6 days a week or flexible timings or any permutation that works best for you can be adopted and taken in. A basic culture that brings in passion, teamwork or ability to perform has to be built in top down. It entirely depends upon how the founding team wants to adopt a culture that will be followed across in the coming times.
- Encouraging Mistakes: People do mistakes but then someone should come up to them and tell them thats fine UNLESS the mistake is too critical. Founders who help the team in rectifying their mistakes without an element of penalty are well accepted and well respected within the startup.
Wouldn’t be a bad idea if you are a startup employee and you share this with your bosses 🙂