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In many of my blogs, I discuss the following concepts of leadership, management, and entrepreneurship. As much as we can focus on the top of the hierarchy, we also have to understand and comprehend the foundation that makes a business run, its employees.

In the startup world, many companies face the various challenges of keeping their greatest talents for a long-term period of time. As much as you want to scale and grow the financial side of your business, you have to understand the initial key to your overall success. There is a famous saying within the private sector, “Your employees are your greatest assets.” As much as you can think you can replace such talent, you have to understand the competitive advantage your employees brings to your establishment. For these people, especially specific leaders, they are the ones that can help ignite the fire, drive, and passion that can spark an overall movement. In fact, they are the individuals who can cultivate that much needed foundation by setting precedence for the entire office as a whole. By providing them with encouragement, stimulus, and recognition, you will be able to derivate away from the startup name to a full-fledged business.

But as essential as employees are to the startup culture, many companies seem to overlook the talent that could push them into the next level. Much of this can be attributed to either the overall growth of the company or the financial competition of keeping them each and every year. As much as it is important to invest your time and money on the operational and production side of business, you have to understand the gravitas that your employees can do for you.

First and foremost, if we are speaking financially, you are already taking a hit if your employee does not reach the annual-year marker. Just think about it. For the first three-months, that individual will undergo a multitude of training. The time, money, and resources just to get them booted are something to take into consideration as an overall investment. Once they are fully operational at said-task, losing them in less than a year puts your company in a state of uncertainty. Not only will you be actively looking for a replacement, but also you will be losing three months of lost time and a additional few weeks trying to make up for their absence.

Now on the grand scheme of things, you also have to understand how a leave like that, especially for someone working for a few months can have on the overall work culture. Work culture, in itself, is a very delicate concept. One mistake, one change can impact the overall foundation that it is built upon. To prevent such a toxic work environment, you need to make sure you are investing in your workers. The office can understand a person being released if they are underperforming at a task. But for workers to constantly leave month after month is not just detrimental to the operation side of your business, but the morale as well.

So how do you prevent this type of toxic culture? What can be done to satisfy all of the needs with such limited resources?

In various studies, employees with high job satisfaction are generally more productive, engaged, and loyal to their company. Living in the realm of reality, many startups will not be able to compete with various bonuses and company perks that other established firms could offer for their employees. Instead, you have to create a viable culture that your employees can respect and invest in each and everyday.

Firstly, you need to be transparent. Money and promotions are important, but what people want to know is the truth about the state of the company. To do this, try establishing a dialogue between management and staff. This will allow your employees to understand why particular moves have been made. In addition, it will give them a greater value of being apart of something bigger than themselves.

Once that dialogue is set, make sure that there is a balance between work-life and personal life. For many startups, employees feel overworked for the amount of pay they are getting week after week. To prevent this from happening, be cognizant of the work your employees do. Try and honing the logistics of their day-to-day where you can create a positive, effective, and consistent work experience that can be rich and fulfilling to their professional needs. This can even go as far as creating possible career paths for them for either in your company or their future.

Last but not least, provide a strong line of positive recognition. We at times overlook the hard work and dedication many of our employees do for us on a day-to-day basis. In fact, many employees will leave a company because they are under-appreciated. To prevent this from happening, make sure your management is encouraging your employees through positive communication throughout all areas of the day. This will allow your employees to work in the most optimal way possible towards your company goals.