To build a successful startup team, you need to be aware of several factors. Firstly, look for like-minded people with unique outlooks. Different perspectives are always valuable, so you need to create an equal-opportunity environment and bring together people who think outside of the box.
Mediocre mindsets should be discarded immediately, as in order for a startup to survive — let alone thrive — all participants need to be open-minded and non-judgmental.
While everyone knows this in theory, in practice things stand differently. People are people, after all, and even the most creative of minds may have their own merits that don’t mix well with others.
Basically, if you manage to create equilibrium and ensure everyone’s ideas will be considered, that is already a good starting point. From there, it’s all communication, the right tools and strategizing.
1. Ensure Flawless Communication
The importance of communication can hardly be exaggerated, but for startups, it has a somewhat different meaning. Basically, because startups by definition comprise tech-savvy people, the right communication tools are the starting point.
However, not just any kind of communication should be your goal. Go for active participation and aligning company efforts with all team members. Goals and ideas need to be communicated clearly from day one, so proper channels of communication for all aspects of doing business need to be established.
2. Startups Need a Performance Improvement Plan
A performance improvement plan is a good starting point. Presuming that you have communicated the goals, it’s time to deal with the big picture in detail.
Firstly, milestones need to be established. They need to be clearly defined, communicated clearly and easily measurable. You should make an effort to coordinate every team member’s participation with company objectives, too.
To be able to draft and explain the details of the performance improvement plan, first choose the optimum online communication tools. Make sure to layer the communication channels to ensure that employees will be able to reach you whenever they need to.
This is to say, don’t bother with daily meetings. A more efficient strategy is to draft a communication calendar that takes all eventualities into account.
3. Supply the Right Tools
As mentioned above, startups are all about digital innovation. In the matter of the first line of communication — that is email — things should go a bit further from simply choosing an email service provider.
Email management tools should be employed to ensure timely and flawless communication, without distracting the workflow. Opt for integration apps to achieve this goal and make sure to educate the workforce for optimum results.
There are a slew of convenient apps and tools for just any kind of task. Commonly used ones presently include Asana and Trello (task management), Slack, Zoom, Google Meet and similar (communication tools), and Google Drive and OneDrive (document management and file sharing tools).
It goes without saying that apps come and go and that the digital revolution is fast-paced, so always be informed and test new apps to be one step ahead.
4. Provide Training for New Employee Apps
It goes without saying that no apps and tools will help your case if your workforce doesn’t know how to utilize them to their full potential. In fact, the issue is rather troublesome since everyone is struggling to keep track of the fast developments.
Human resource managers spend tremendous amounts of time devising training plans. So far, online training sessions and seminars have proven to be a good approach.
Remember that employee app rollout is about planning and deployment. Take your time coming up with the best approach and keep polishing it!
5. Offer Opportunities for Growth
It’s not rocket science that employees are motivated by growth prospects, but how are you supposed to know everyone’s expectations?
There’s one good strategy, and it’s called anonymous feedback.
Since employees generally fear retribution, especially if feedback is dealing with their managers, it is necessary to introduce anonymity to the mix. In that way, no matter how much they complain, there will be no consequences.
Further out, anonymity ensures that everyone is being treated equally — managers and newbies alike.
Finally, where honesty is involved, feedback inevitably shows reliable results.
Use feedback to determine employees expectations and brainstorm ways to promote growth. It’s a good idea to learn about blended learning while you’re at it, because it is presently the best prospect to help your employees achieve their goals.
In short, blended learning combines the best of two training environments — high-tech eLearning and face-to-face learning. The combo is ideal for both people who are used to the traditional learning methods and those who don’t know what a library is. Chances are, there will be many younger employees, so use blended learning to combine the best of the two worlds.
6. Set OKRs
Coordinating team efforts can be enforced by adhering to the Objectives and Key Results (OKR) methodology. This concept focuses on the objectives while defining key results.
Key results are the means of reaching the goals. In order for them to be efficient, they need to be measurable, moderate in number, and have deadlines. Track them in real-time and adjust the details as needed for best results.
There are a number of factors contributing to startup success, but the axis is always the workforce. No matter how innovative your environment is, at the end of the day, it is people who drive success in the long run.
That’s why you should be generous with growth opportunities and always give your best to provide education and support. Managers/leaders should always be on hand when support is needed, and a clear communication plan needs to be established.
To empower this whole complex process, you must keep an eye on the developments or, more specifically, measure performance improvement.
Adhering to the OKRs is one way to do this, but do feel free to get creative, as there is really no universal formula for intergalactic success.
Lastly, be daring. Startups are, after all, all about risk taking. Empower your workforce to work in unison and make people love their job. That’s the true route to long-term success.
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