Start-ups are fast-paced and ever-changing working environments, and they’re certainly not for everyone. However, if staff are going to survive and thrive in a start-up workplace, they need to feel included, valued and happy in their roles and their teams. With so much at stake given the slim survival chances of start-ups, it is imperative that business owners and managers do everything they can to make their employees happy and productive as much as is possible. But without big budgets to spend on training and team-building, how can staff be nurtured and encouraged? Fear not; the little things can very much count! Follow this mini guide to keep on top of the small stuff:
Utilise Automation Where Possible
When starting a business from scratch, it can be easy to fall into the pitfalls of doing basic business activities manually – because that’s how you started out, and it worked, and it’s an easy continuation. However, as staff join the company and the business broadens, doing things manually can cause unnecessary burden and stress on those conducting roles.
Instead, use specific business software for tasks that can be automated and benefit from the time and cost savings these tools can bring.
Employee ‘buy-in’ is paramount in start-ups, because if everyone isn’t chipping in and doing their bit, there’s little room for error or failure. Effective employee incentivisation programmes can be implemented to reward staff for their contributions as well as to ensure they have a tangible emotional investment in the business doing well. Such incentives don’t need to just be in the traditional sense of performance-related bonuses or accolades but often also include shares to give maximum business engagement and to secure employee’s genuine desire for the start-up to succeed.
Invest in Equipment
Start-ups often need to be run ‘on a bootstrap’ but taking the economical approach to everything rarely pays off in terms of quality. Spending a few extra pounds on IT infrastructure and basic office supplies demonstrates value of even the most routine of jobs and responsibilities, and investing properly in office spaces and reception areas shows that the business is serious and looking to project a professional image. Start-ups are often renowned for their unusual office spaces, so it’s not uncommon to find innovative offices in the sector.
When a start-up is still small and in the position where all of the staff know each other and are able to openly and easily interact, clear communication should be valued and encouraged. Empower all staff of all levels to pitch in and keep all briefed on progress and developments. Stay open to ideas and contributions from anyone and never dismiss an opinion or perspective. Clear communication is critical to a happy, productive workforce, and should be built when the staffing structure remains as flat and as small as possible; as it can be difficult to integrate later on as more people join.
The world of start-ups can seem very profit-focused but in truth, those who prioritise their staff are the true business winners. Utilising employee engagement and empowerment can transform a business in a hugely positive manner, and this is where the true stars of business are often bought.