Working in a startup is a peculiar mix of thrilling and frightening. The workday is less tedious than the routine corporate cubicle, but there is no telling what the future holds. Having a successful, engaged team is paramount to achieving greatness in business.
Here are seven ways to keep your team motivated:
1. Guiding Vision
Vision is a guiding light that helps startups traverse the pitfalls of the early stages. It must be embedded into everything the company does and stands for.
Employees need it to latch on as well as a purpose to work towards. In practice, owners often act as parrots, repeating the vision over and over again.
Indeed, the passion has to emanate from the founders and spellbind the members of the collective. Also, to make the fluffy vision more tangible, founders must also set realistic, measurable goals, and communicate them properly.
2. Business Leadership
It is up to business leaders to keep startup teams motivated. A true leader does not hide behind anyone but stands at the front lines with employees.
It is all about the virtue of rising to the occasion, showing accountability, and appreciating other people’s contributions.
A study in the U.S. has found that the number one complaint of workers is a lack of appreciation by managers. Beyond everything else, good leaders evoke two things: respect and empathy.
3. Perks and Rewards
Bear in mind that each team member is motivated through different incentives, so keep the fingers on the pulse of individual wants and needs.
Rewards, though, are usually a surefire powerful motivator. Uber treats the best drivers with American Express gift cards and public recognition, which has paid dividends in terms of motivation.
This is not to say that money is always a solution. In fact, startups are forced to do much with very little. What is more, 60% of employees prefer employee perks over raises.
4. More than Money
So, you are not without means of instilling motivation without money. It is often the little things that matter, and I do not mean pats on the back.
For example, keep the office stocked with coffee, and utilize food as an excellent motivation-booster. Interestingly enough, around 30% of workers state that flexible schedules and remote work possibilities are top perks they crave for.
It is clear that practices such as telecommuting need to be implemented into daily operations more often.
5. Cultural Dimension
A great culture works wonders for motivation. It makes something remarkable possible: To see your workers coming to an office with a smile on their face.
Emphasize the company’s values and empower employees to grow professionally and personally. They should be able to work on varying projects they believe in as well.
Allow informal interactions as well as an individual’s unique creative process to take place. This kind of culture of innovation and collaboration has become a new standard in the startup landscape.
6. On the Same Page
Communication is pivotal to the success of any enterprise. Apart from face-to-face interaction, use email, video calls, direct messaging, and similar tools.
Keep everyone in the loop in regards to updates and ongoing projects. Let workers pitch and execute their own ideas, and they will feel like they belong in the team.
CB insights, for instance, is a startup which takes advantage of pitch and demo events to boost motivation and engagement across the board.
7. Team Bonding
Startups tend to have unique group dynamics that established corporations cannot match. Strive to make the most out of this.
Hold periodic meetings with the team and steer away from rigid hierarchical structures. Regular lunches are also a good idea, as they allow people to establish solid relationships.
Feel free to think in terms of trips to theme parks, group yoga classes, cinema nights, and other team-bonding sessions. Notice that Dropbox employees enjoy not only meals and gaming tournaments, but also Whiskey Fridays!
Motivation is the best kind of fuel for getting business operations off the ground. Capitalize on this by establishing open lines of communication and avenues where employees can meet, socialize, and get to know each other.
Promote and nurture responsibility, freedom, and collaboration. Offer rewards and recognition, and lead by example.
These efforts pay off in the long term because happy employees are 12% more productive than their discontent counterparts.
How Do You Motivate Your Startup Team?
If you have ideas that you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!
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