The most important asset you have as an entrepreneur is your team. A good idea can only go so far without a great set of people backing it up. So it’s in your best interests to make sure that they enjoy what they do. The more the like going to work, they better they’ll perform, which means grand things for your startup. Here are seven ways you can make your office a great place to be:
1. Get Good at Setting Goals
Setting the right goals can motivate employees into working hard, but you can’t just tell them to do something and call it a day. You have to use those goals as a motivational tool. Often, it’s a matter of framing it properly. For example, you might be a home cleaning service, but you can tell your employees that you’re providing people with a comfortable and clean home they can live in. Both mean the same thing, but one frames it in a way that stresses the impact your employees have on your customers, which can inspire them.
If you’re not sure how to do it, remember to make their work more meaningful. Talk about how it improves lives, and you’ll find your employees more energized.
2. Transform Mistakes into Teachable Moments
The worst thing you can do to your team as an entrepreneur and boss is to punish mistakes. Although they must be aware their errors cost the startup time and money, shouting or berating them will make your team timid and unhappy. They’ll start hesitating at key decision points, electing for utter safety instead of what’s right in order to avoid your wrath.
Instead of punishing them, bring the team together and explore what led to the mistake, and what can be done, so it doesn’t happen again. This tells people that a mistake is not the end, and they’ll be less afraid for their job security. Often, this leads to a more relaxed and productive workspace, and you’ll have a team that embodies the entrepreneurial spirit.
3. Lead from the Front
If you practice what you preach, your team will follow. Vinod Ramchandra Jadhav, Chairman at Sava Global, says, “If you want employees to focus on customers, as they should, you should do so as well. Listen to them, and put focus on answering and adapting to customer complaints and requests. When your team sees you willing to put in the time and effort, they’ll follow suit.”
4. Act Decisively When It Comes to the Team
Handling poor performers is a tough job, but it’s something you’ll need to do. Not everyone you hire, despite a stringent screening process, will perform well in your startup. “Don’t hesitate to speak to them as soon as you notice a problem,” says Vinod Ramchandra Jadhav. While you shouldn’t micromanage them, you should give them every opportunity to succeed. Help them, and if they really can’t work with your team, terminate their employment. It’s better for both them and the startup.
5. Maintain Your Composure
You’re going to run into your share of setbacks. Some of them will be terrifying and will put the future of your startup at risk. They’ll rock to you to your core – but you must, under no circumstances, lose your composure at the office. You shouldn’t even express your doubts. That’s because you’re the entrepreneur and the leader.
Your team will follow your lead. If you don’t think you can succeed, your team will pick up on it. They’ll hesitate to commit fully and will wonder if each day is the startup’s last. That’s not going to lead to a healthy environment.
6. Define and Constantly Reinforce Your Company Culture
Your company culture is what will determine a lot of things, from the people you hire to the attitude the startup as a whole will adopt. It’s also something you need to reinforce constantly in your daily actions. A consistent culture keeps your employees happy to work because that’s the culture they signed up for. If you deviate too much, people will end up unhappy and will likely leave.
7. Empower Your Employees
The best way to make your startup a great place to work is to give empower your team. A quick way to do that is to provide them with authority to make decisions. Sometimes you’ll have to make the call, especially if it’s on something that impacts the startup on a macro level, but if it’s something within the employee’s responsibilities, let them handle it. Not only will it make them feel better, but it’ll also give you more time to handle more significant issues.
As an entrepreneur, your startup is only as good as your team. Keep them happy and motivated, and your company’s future will grow brighter. Ignore their needs, and you’ll fail.