Working on your startup idea is a very interesting and extremely exciting endeavor. Gathering the right people to join your team is just the first step. The second one is to keep them motivated and disciplined. That is a task no easier than gathering them under one company and this is why many founders struggle with keeping their bunch keen on achieving the end goal.
There are some not so bright sides regarding the startup life related to the huge uncertainties that such companies hold. The risk is high and you have to make sure that everybody within the team knows how much is at stake. Great leaders know how to keep their teams inspired and focused and in this article we will try to go over the most important ways to do that.
1. Create an amazing company culture
Company culture plays an important role in general business development because it affects nearly every aspect of the organization – from recruiting talented individuals, all the way to ensuring their satisfaction. Without a good corporate culture, most of the people within the company will struggle to find real value in their day-to-day activities. In turn, this could lead to a large variety of negative consequences for your revenue.
One of the best ways to build an inspirational company culture is to ensure your people’s wellness and satisfaction. If they are not at their peak – physically, mentally, or emotionally, your organization will never be stable enough and thus your competitiveness will suffer.
2. Schedule regular meetings and discussions
Every company holds meetings to stay updated, brainstorm, solve problems, work on tasks and make collective decisions in order to reach its goals and objectives. It helps the collective to address any arising issues within the organization, keep track of processes, productivity KPIs, team building, and many other issues.
A team’s regularly scheduled meetings will help maintain momentum and strengthen the relationships between the members. The frequency of these regular meetings should be set depending on several parameters: the experience of the team, nature of the required work, the stage of the startup, and others.
3. Arrange one-on-one talks
Many managers have such meetings with their employees, but very often, they organize them rather inefficiently. Regular status updates, awkward silences, and frequent postponement are just some of the symptoms of ineffective one on ones.
4. Ensure that they are informed about the status of the company
Nowadays, organizations have many alternatives when it comes to employee communication. Despite the vast array of communication tools, sometimes managers just need to meet with their teams or departments face to face, in a group.
People feel much more appreciated when they are kept in the loop. They will think of themselves as a real part of the enterprise and not just mere pawns that you use to achieve recognition.
5. Work hard alongside them
Make your employees feel like you are one of them even if it is not exactly true. Share their labor and make them see that you are putting huge efforts to push the company forward. Be like the general who fights alongside his soldiers and you will witness how your ‘’army’s’’ morale will go sky-high. This is how you earn loyalty and this is how you will connect with them on a much deeper level. By creating a loyal team the chances of increased productivity will explode to new levels because they will see you not as their “boss”, but as their leader who leads entirely based on virtues.
6. Repeat often the company’s vision
A regular inspirational speech will raise spirits during hard times so make sure that you do not miss to remind your team about the vision that your startup holds from the very beginning. If you truly believe in it, it won’t be hard to convince them of the righteousness of your cause. At the beginning of the endeavor, you should try to talk with them much more often. Talk with them honestly and openly, ask them about their opinion and feelings. Doing that will also allow you to get very good feedback on your progress as a leader and adjust accordingly.
The team needs to be excited
Creating an environment that gives your team purpose, a high level of autonomy, mastery, and deep connection to their job will help them feel excited about being part of the team. As a result, they will likely be much more proactive and focused on reaching their goals. If your employees think that you actually care about them more than just as tools to earn a profit, they will probably get attached much deeper to the organization. Your startup’s goals will become theirs. Only by winning their hearts, you will have a chance for survival in the competitive startup world, and getting in their minds is crucial for success. Imagine that you are trying to get through the jungle and survive all the dangers that you come across. If you try to do that by yourself, chances are that you won’t make it and that is why you will need highly-experienced (or at least highly motivated) people by your side.
The art of motivation
Motivation is a total necessity when it comes to startups (although not only with them) and it should be something beyond money – a willingness to achieve greatness, to create things that never existed before or just to add great value to the world. Motivation and your ability to dig deep and keep pushing even when things are going bad or when people stop believing, is one of the crucial things that separates those who manage to reach their goals from those who fill the startup graveyard of broken dreams. If your motivation fades even a bit, things can get delayed and it can quickly go south.
One of the keys to getting tasks done, especially when they are hard, is by sharing your aspirations with peers. When you share your goals with other people, not only can you get them interested about what you’re doing but you can also get them along with you on the great journey. Some of them would even regularly check how things are going and whether you have reached an important milestone. The more inspired you are, the easier it is to get anybody excited about your plans and, get them to actually contribute with their talent. This is even more important when you are leading a team. When people see the founder is burning with motivation, it’s much easier for them to get inspired and push harder forward when times get rough.