Keeping your employees satisfied can be a challenge in any work environment, and can prove even more difficult when running a startup. Though startups do offer an exciting alternative to the normal 9-5, the long work hours, tight budgets, and slim chances of success can prove exhausting for even the most experienced entrepreneurs.
Since startup culture is all about value generation, being able to manage workplace stress is especially important as a means of ensuring that your employees remain productive and motivated. We spoke to five different startup CEOs and asked them for their best advice for keeping employees happy
Preserve the Company Culture
The best way to keep employees happy is to hire employees who are a cultural fit with your organization. The second best way is to figure out everyone’s strengths and weaknesses and divide responsibilities accordingly. In a practical sense, that means your HR or recruiting team should be using a strengths assessment tool like Good.co to make sure prospective hires are a fit, and then line of business managers are playing to their employee’s strengths. Once you’ve done the assessment, I recommend using a collaboration tool like Samepage to break down silos and increase communication.
Kevin Holmes, Founders Network
With the rise of the generation Y professionals in the business world, the dynamics in the business environment are changing as well. Now people have other expectations and money is not the only thing that they are looking for in their jobs. If your employees are happy, they will stick with you. If they stick with you, they will produce solid results and make you happy in return. They are already doing something they enjoy doing so do not make this a “work” for them. Set them free, give them delegation and do not lock them inside an office room. Give them flexibility and responsibility. The outcome can be really amazing.
John Kagit, Socialeyes
Encourage an Entrepreneurial Spirit
We maintain an entrepreneurial spirit throughout Network Union, not just from the founder’s view point. This allows employees to have freedom to complete tasks and projects with flair, and brings thoughts and ideas which may not have yet been considered. Employees need to feel part of the business, and should be allowed to bring their own personality to projects. Gone are the days of repressive 9-5 working.
Robert Sturt, NetUnion
Recognize Their Efforts
One of the most crucial aspects that a leader need to keep in mind is to recognize the employees where they are not expecting recognition. As soon as that is done, the employees quickly start to realize that they are treated in a more personalized way than just being another number in the company.
Also, take out top performing team member of the week out to lunch. This is a very nice way to keep everyone engaged and motivated. Although it adds a bit of competition, it wouldn’t be a major setback if one doesn’t end up being the top performer. Make sure you spend that time learning a bit more about that employee outside of work.
If you have their back, they will have yours. Its essential to overlook small mistakes every now and then. That way even though, they know you might have noticed it, they would be happy to know that they are not penalized for it. However, this could be a bit tricky as if too much of this could affect accountability.
Muneeb Mushtaq, AskforTask
Make Everyone Feel
I don’t particularly like the word “employee”, I would rather prefer using “team member”. The way to keep the team happy is to treat everyone as if he/she were a volunteer, and to ensure everyone always continues to feel an integral part of the team i.e. value the contribution that everyone makes and acknowledge it frequently.
Jahanzeb Burana, Nameless
What are you doing as a CEO to keep your employees (team members) happy and make them focus on their goals? Do share with us as comment.