The success of a startup relies on the founder’s ability to attract the right people. By “right,” we mean a diverse group of people with different skill sets that, when combined, can move mountains.
Choosing the right people early on is paramount; teams within startups bond to unite their efforts for long-term success. The startup culture is rather different than that found in the traditional business setting, so this first step should be properly brainstormed.
How do you know which people are “right?”
For starters, look for people with a shared vision. It’s the job of the reams to realize smaller goals on the way towards achieving the big picture, so it is essential that they share the same vision.
It takes lots of effort and risk-taking to overcome each milestone and keep going stronger into the future, while all the while keeping the vision in mind.
1. Brainstorm Desired Startup Culture
For people to be able to fit in, they need to fit into the startup culture. While much has been said about the dynamics of startups, it also holds true that every one of them is unique in its own way.
The culture you want to build should be rooted in the shared vision and reinforced by target values and beliefs. It should also take into account individualism so that every team member can get their chance to shine.
2. Be a Leader
Startups are characterized by able leaders, as opposed to the traditional concept of managers. It has been said many times that startup teams are like a family; it’s only reasonable that there’s no place for top management in such an environment.
However, being a leader in this sense of the word isn’t easy, and certainly isn’t for everyone. Startups face all kinds of challenges and need risk-takers to keep it moving forward. That’s why proper leadership and team building are essential.
Because this is an ongoing process, it is difficult to plan all actions ahead. Suffice it to say that you should keep the morale high and acknowledge each milestone as you go forward.
For, not only do startup teams share a vision, but they also nurture belief in the grand idea. This, in turn, inspires them to move forward.
3. Look for Those With the Right Goals
When it comes to setting the right goals, the Objectives and Key Results (OKR) methodology might just be the ideal approach.
Targeted goals are what you should keep in mind, but even the most defined of goals are not guaranteed to be achievable if you don’t know how to refine them and track progress. That’s why defining key results is crucial, and the OKR is just the way to go about things.
Here are some OKR examples.
4. Supply the Right Tools
If there’s one thing that defines every startup, it is the dynamics. Startups rely on innovative technologies for pretty much everything, and it is crucial that you supply the right tools.
One doesn’t only need to manage tasks in Gmail to boost creativity; there are other tasks, large and small, that can be successfully automated.
Startup teams comprise tech-savvy people, as a rule, and they always keep track of the developments. That’s one of the chief reasons why they’re able to always be one step ahead even in the face of a crisis.
5. Provide Training for New Employees
Even if the teams are tech-savvy, that doesn’t mean that everyone knows everything. It is, therefore, crucial to provide proper training, delivered in the most efficient format (mLearning, gamification, etc.).
Employee app rollout can be helpful in the beginning, but make sure to customize your approach depending on the feedback.
It’s important to underline that anonymous feedback is as important for a startup as it is for any other business. Even the most creative thinkers can be motivated by different motives (and they usually are). Finding the right measure is the way to go.
6. Offer Opportunities for Growth
As mentioned above, learning must take place for a startup to be successful. Learn about blended learning for starters as it can be crucial for long-term success.
It is important to provide your teams with the opportunity for growth. Shared visions and inspiration are fine and all, but people do have ambitions.
Assuming you’ve already set training sessions, allow some time for the team to get tuned in with one another. Team building activities are a great approach in this regard, and they can revolve around interpersonal communication and technical aspects alike.
It is also crucial to take your time with role assignment. You can start with small projects in the beginning and adjust your approach as you track your teams’ strengths and weaknesses.
Once the team has been aligned, it’s time to outline career growth prospects and development opportunities to further motivate people.
Employee satisfaction should never be underestimated. Even the best-functioning teams may fall apart if the members are looking for better job prospects elsewhere. Startups cannot allow this to happen, which is why career growth prospects are paramount.
7. Continual Assessment for Long-Term Success
Lastly, in order for efficient teams to remain efficient, it is crucial to continuously assess the situation. It is a natural state of affairs for situations to change all the time within a startup, meaning that it is easy to lose track if you slack off when it comes to assessment.
Also, don’t forget that knowledge gaps may occur from time to time, so deal with the potential issues in a timely manner. The startup culture is, after all, all about continual learning and adaptation.
The keyword for success when it comes to startups is “development.” It is closely followed by “assessment,” and everything else falls in between. Startups are like families with a shared vision and goals, and that equilibrium is by no means easy to maintain.
That’s why you need to devise career growth opportunities and continually work on polishing your goals. As always, the first step is the most important one — choosing the right people. To do that, you need to train your mind for efficient leadership and continually improve your skills.
After all, it’s only fair to practice what you preach. Leading by your own example will inspire people, and that’s exactly the state of affairs you should aim for.