The excitement and energy of building something new lures many talented people to work for startup companies. But the uncertainty and instability of a new business can also mean big turnover in an organization at a crucial time in its formation. So, as a leader, how do you keep your team happy and engaged once the initial thrill wears off but the uncertainty of working at a startup remains? Here are five tips for motivating your startup crew:
1. Allow Flexible Schedules
A survey by TechnologyAdvice found that 30 percent of employees rate flexible schedules, including a remote work option, to be the No. 1 employment perk. Allowing employees the freedom to choose where and when they complete their tasks shows your employees that you value them as humans with lives outside of the office, and that you trust them. The president of Social Age Media allows employees to make their own schedule and finds that it results in a focused team that doesn’t need to be micromanaged.
2. Provide Opportunities for Education and Growth
A study by Willis Towers Watson found that 70 percent of employees will leave if they feel like they can’t advance their career in their current organization. Avoid this statistic by giving your employees the means to grow—in their current and into new positions. Offering professional development opportunities to employees will benefit the employee and your company. Amway does this through its online Amway Education program, a curriculum designed to give its business owners the tools to succeed.
3. Provide Office Perks
Motivated employees enjoy spending time in the office, so if you have a physical office space, make sure it is stocked with unique goodies that will make them love being there. The sky is the limit when it comes to in-office perks; some companies provide everything from cold brew and beer on tap to nap pods and ping pong tables. Even just providing snacks is significant. A survey from Seamless found that 60 percent of employees said having free food in the office made them feel more valued and appreciated. Facebook is notorious for keeping employees motivated by offering office perks like on-site laundry and free bikes to zip around its campus.
4. Share Profits
Employees who have a stake in the outcome of their work are more likely to feel connected to the business’s success. Offering profit-sharing will give your team a tangible reason to work hard for positive outcomes. The founder of AdBoom Group found that giving employees a profit-share plan shifted the mindset toward the company.
5. Live Your Vision
When working for a startup, employees become unmotivated when they get mired in the hard work of building and lose the vision for the company. As a leader, you should make the vision a central part of the company culture. Show your passion for the mission, and hire people who believe in the company’s purpose. Along the way, keep the passion stoked by highlighting how what your employees are doing is benefiting the overall vision.
The startup life can be both exhilarating and exhausting, and it can be hard to keep a team motivated through all the ups and downs. You’ll need to work hard to find what drives your employees, whether it’s flexible schedules, growth opportunities, office perks, profit-sharing, or sharing your vision. The work will be worth it in the end, because a motivated team is the key to the success of every startup.