Entrepreneurs often make a big mistake. In creating their startup, they often assume their employees are all on the same page. This assumption may explain the failure of so many new businesses. As Howard Greenstein writing for Inc.com says, “it is at these crucial times that keeping the team motivated isn’t just an option. It is a necessity.”
If you want to create a productive and sustaining startup culture, you must understand your employees have a different perspective on what you are doing. Entrepreneurs thrive on a burning passion, a 3-dimensional vision. For most employees, work is a bread and butter issue, so if you want to motivate your employees, you need some starting points.
4 ways to motivate your employees:
- Build a community. You must make employees stakeholders in the business and its future. It takes regular meetings with individuals and groups to paint a picture of your vision — and their role in making it happen.You should avoid drawing a picture of monetary profits. It’s more motivating if the employees can see how what they do serves the customers and community. They should understand there are a lot of stakeholders.
- Give them the tools they need. If workers have the tools to excel, they will. For instance, coworking software offers access to most of your business functions. Employees can share dozens of apps for calendaring appointments and meetings, confirming inventory, billing and invoicing, experience management, and more.Approaches like this engage and motivate by enabling a culture of transparency and partnership. It’s important for everyone to feel they are involved and can make even the smallest difference.
- Make them risk-averse. Employees are vital to your productivity, and they need more than a role to play. They are also your business’s first line of defense against threats. You can assure those efforts if you give them some sense of ownership.If you expect effort and sacrifice, they should have some equity in the overall business performance. Of course, promises of “sweat equity” will help. But you can recognize, reward, and repay their effort in other ways. The occasional pizza party won’t hurt, but they need the safety net built of health insurance, flex time, vacation pay, and other benefits.
- Train them and train them good. Employee training makes them better employees and doubles your investment in money and time. You can underwrite their tuition, send them to seminars, or pay for their membership in professional organizations.
But you can also engage them with online games, videos, and TED Talks during work hours, especially where the time doubles as a reward to achievement. Learning is a relief, reward, and recognition with results that make the business better.
Remember, respect motivates!
According to a Harvard Business Review study, “Being treated with respect was more important to employees than recognition and appreciation, communicating an inspiring vision, providing useful feedback — even opportunities for learning, growth, and development.” Mutual and reciprocal respect consistently sustain leaders, employees, and startups everywhere.