Doing a start-up is really tough work and the only way to do it well and to create a sustainable company, is to have your team members, the people around you motivated to push on no matter what difficulties you face. Remember people are not like machines that can be turned on and left to run. People need to be motivated to achieve greater heights. It’s about bringing out the best in them. So the question arises, how do motivate your team and how can you make your employees feel they will profit from working in your company? Profit does not just refer to making money, but more importantly feeling a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment and self-fulfillment.
Additionally, employees are not only the lifelines of all your work; they are also your brand ambassadors. They carry your company’s name wherever they go, with whomever they meet. So it is important that they are happy and involved in the company; a contented employee will easily project a great product and a great brand.
So what do employees need? They need to be paid (of course), but they also need to grow, to be recognized and to be able to participate (give them a chance at ownership).
- Pay them decently well
A distracted employee is no good. It would be more trouble if they have to worry about their financial situation. It would be worse if they have to moonlight or figure out other ways to sustain their income. This would take focus out of their work and it would harm you more than anything. Another type of employee is one that is always comparing their salaries with their peers outside. By all standards, you should try to give the fairest wage as possible. The best thing to do is to reward them beyond what they expected, not in terms of just the salary you pay them but in terms of the total package, including what they can make from their stock options.
- Recognition and Growth
More than anything, people need to grow. They need to be better than what they were the day before. Whether it’s in their work, attitude or confidence, they need to be consistently growing and to be challenged. This would help take them to newer heights. As a leader, it’s your responsibility to help them grow. Talk to them individually, do a review. Show them and guide them on how to keep improving themselves further. Challenge them to improve on their skills and work levels. This is where great leaders shine. It is all about empowering your employees to grow and to become better. Always think of training them to be your equals or even better than you, so that they can add value to your company and make your vision better.
- Taking Ownership of their Work
When your work becomes something personal, you will strive to achieve the results expected and to go beyond. Employees should be involved in the company’s vision and the plan. They should feel as if they are working for their own benefit. Get them to participate and take ownership. Employees are stakeholders and since they are on the ground handling the tasks, they know best on how to improve the company business, so give them the power to do just that. Empower them to make changes and to add value to your business. Give them the authority to make those small decisions that will help improve your company. Think of it this way “If I treat the company as my own, I will strive to make sure it is a success”.
Companies likes Zappos (www.zappos.com) have given their front line sale staff the authority to make decisions that they feel is right for the customer. This helps keep the customers happy and as such brings in more revenue for the organization.
Gone are the days where employees work from 9-5. Today’s employees are stakeholders; who are the crucial gears in making an organization a success. They are key to driving the organization forward to reaching its goals and beyond.