Being a part of a startup team provides unique opportunities and experiences and is extremely exciting. But, a startup is often faced with – limited funds and resources. So, it’s important that the startup remains result-focused, while running against changing market conditions and consumer demands; and we must not forget there is competition too.
Founders have to constantly keep their team inspired and motivated – so that they could step up and be more productive. And, when that happens it will have an impact on the business.
So, as a startup business leader, how do you keep your team inspired and focused?
- Be the change: You can make a difference as a business leader, if your word is taken as valuable. Without having integrity and demonstrating that you hold yourself accountable, no one else in the team will feel the need to so. You can’t hold someone accountable, unless an expectation is clearly voiced beforehand, and updated regularly as projects and responsibilities change. Let the team know what’s expected of both individual and collective efforts. Meet regularly, to realign everyone around their goals.
- Craft a good culture: Nothing makes a job enjoyable than a great culture. If the team is unmotivated and less enthusiastic, it can be damaging for the business. Crafting a strong workplace culture works wonders for motivation, especially in the startup world. We see around us that startups are prone to encouraging exciting cultures, and have even made it the new standard.
- Emphasize the positives: It can be tough for leaders, especially if you are an entrepreneur, to have tough conversations with employees. Few would want to take a tough stand and put down anyone for poor performance. It can often stifle the creativity you need from your team. And, the fear of embarrassment or termination can be the worst type of motivation; and we know that fear can motivate, but it will never inspire.
- Make the team accountable: Everything begins and ends with accountability. If the team knows that the organization values personal responsibility and integrity, then the employees will work with focus and autonomy. But, there’s a word of caution – accountability only works if everyone agrees to it and holds others to their own commitments.
- Keep the team in the loop: Showing trust is one of the crucial factors for a good leader. And, one particularly helpful method is to keep employees in the loop regarding updates of the company. It clearly signals to the team that they’re trusted enough to discuss the future of the company. It also indicates that they have a say in various choices, and the result is that it keeps them motivated and even boosts productivity!
- Keep the spotlight on the ‘vision’: As a start-up leader, keep the focus on the overall vision, and keep repeating it. Repeating it ensures that there are no doubts about the ethos or culture of the company. And, quite naturally it builds a team that believes in the company. Being in a startup may be difficult, because there are pressures and it may happen that the small team may feel overwhelmed or overworked. As it takes a tremendous amount of passion and drive to get a business off the ground, every little bit of motivation is absolutely necessary. That passion has to start with the founders and then emanate to your team.