Startup entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone. Metaphorically speaking, for up-and-coming business gurus, the months that lie ahead are bound to be cold, dark and dreary to some extent. From problems involving cash flow and time management to issues related to task delegation and growth, it’s easy for self-doubt to rear its ugly head, complicating things in the process.
Making matters worse, these kinds of disheartening experiences aren’t only hard on you, they take a toll on your team, as well. When things aren’t going as planned, it’s easy to lose track of the most simple aspects of your startup that are vital for keeping it fully intact and running smoothly.
Because of this, if your startup is passing through a hard time and needs a boost in morale, whatever you do, make certain to not lose site of each of the five startup facets listed below. Needless to say, when ignored, morale is guaranteed to take a heavy hit—proceed with caution!
1) Lackluster Internal Communication
Yes, “information is power,” but that doesn’t mean you should shield it from other members of your startup’s staff. When you do, communication is severely hindered. Without a uniform, startup-wide understanding of corporate vision, direction and goals, it’s nearly impossible that team members become excited about the work they’re to tackle on a regular basis. Keep your employees in the loop and they’ll help you boost business morale.
2) Not Enough Focus On Individuals
You’re a team, right? Isn’t the success of the group what matters most? You’re right on both accounts, but with the issue at hand being an improvement in morale, it’s important to remember the worth of individuals. Technology has made it easier for large teams to work together, but real people are the smaller units that make up the larger whole. As a startup executive, take time to speak with each member of your team, providing words of praise and gratitude along the way.
3) The Commodification of Employees
Sugar, salt and soy—these are all commodities. By no stretch of the imagination do employees belong in this category. That said, far too often do stressed business men and women treat them as if they were resources to be rationed. Sure, employees are resources, but the role of a manger is to provide them with the kind of support and organization that yields success—not to milk them for all they’re worth before tossing them aside.
4) Favoring Loyalty Over Results
Trust and motivation in the workplace are direct byproducts of real, measurable results. When employees are able to produce the numbers to back up their work performance, at least one of the rewards is almost always an improvement in team morale. The opposite of an emphasis on results is loyalty to a manager or executive. People grow and move, anchoring oneself to a person without results is a recipe for disappointment. Your startup isn’t some sort of fiefdom—it’s a business. Give credit to those who routinely bring about results.
Disclaimer, loyalty is important and absolutely a valuable trait. However, there is a fine line that shouldn’t be crossed.
5) Always Assuming the Worst
The knee-jerk reaction when your startup finds itself trying to stay afloat in choppy waters is to point the finger at your support staff. Whether warranted or not, this is rarely good for encouraging the people who largely determine the state of your startup’s morale. Instead of assuming that coworkers are wasting time and stealing company resources, put your trust in them and watch as they become even more committed to the cause of your company.
Morale is key for the future success of your startup. When team morale is high, employees come to work more relaxed, have more fun and are substantially more effective with what they’re able to accomplish during working hours.
But there’s much more to talk about, here! I’ve identified five different ways startup executives often contribute to a weak moral in the workplace. Now, I’d like for you to help me out with some of the solutions! As a business, what are you doing to keep employees happy and motivated? In the comments section below, please share the secrets to your success! Thanks for reading!
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