What is the best formula to keep your startup employees excited and enthusiastic to show up at the office everyday? If the answer is only competitive salary, then probably most startups won’t survive the game. Given limited resource and budget, startup founders cannot afford to invest huge sum of money to pay the employees.
If the answer is awesome perks with PlayStation area and VR games, then there are good chances that these cool quotients will sabotage employees from their work instead. Don’t employees need quiet work space with less distractions to focus on the ongoing projects?
The truth is, beyond monetary compensation and benefits, there lies a more powerful driving force to keep your employees engaged at work: the work culture.
With so many business plans and agendas that a startup is required to focus on and deal with, it comes as no surprise that employee engagement often becomes the last priority in your to-do list. While in fact, keeping your employees happy and engaged is the key to thrive and grow in today’s highly-competitive startup environment.
Although you might not be able to offer them good paycheck or ‘free-flow’ of everything, you need to convince your key talents that their contribution is impactful and valuable. To ensure that their spark of spirit does not die over time, it is crucial to keep them motivated, fueled by enthusiasm and opportunity to actively participate in building a seed-stage business.
According to a recent Gallup study, only 29 percent Millennials are engaged in their jobs, which makes the largest labour force for startups. Millennials are the most likely generation to switch jobs. Therefore, if you do not want to fail your high-achievers, you should foster a healthy and supportive startup culture that encourages high productivity without compromising on ‘fun at work’.
Take a closer look at the following tips on how to boost employee engagement for SMEs and startups alike:
- Share the company’s values
What do you want to achieve in your business? What kind of mission and vision does your company aim to achieve? It is important for startup founders to share the company values with the workforce. When your employees thoroughly understand the principles and align themselves attuned in accordance with the principles to reflect in their working, they find a sense of purpose and clarity to know, what is expected of them to be delivered to meet business growth objectives.
- Empower your employees
Autonomy is one crucial element to boost employee morale. Empower your employees by giving them freedom to work on projects that interest them and allowing them to make the most crucial decisions for business success.
When given the right portion of authority and control over their own works, employees find thrill and excitement to succeed and be committed in their workings. This in turn, results in higher productivity and better work quality.
- Connect with your employees
Open and honest communication between employer and employees is influential and important for every business success. As a leader, you should connect with your employees, since their first-day of joining the organisation.
Take time to bond with new hires by initiating face-to-face meeting, discuss about the company background, core values and goals, history, workplace culture, and other strategic plans. This will help them adjust easily and settle in the new role faster.
- Recognise achievements
How do you feel when you have given your best efforts in something, only to find that nobody notices the time and efforts invested? If anything, this does make you feel awful and terrible. Do not let your employees feel such a thing, because it will only discourage and disengage them.
Everyone fancies the idea of being recognised for what they have done for the company. Good thing is, recognising employee achievements do not always have to be reflected in financial compensation or other benefit provisions.
Instead, you can express sincere gratitude with simple appreciation emails, such as for example congratulating their success during team meetings.
Do you have any exceptional ideas to manage excited and enthusiastic employees? What do you think is the most important factor in creating a great startup culture? Do share with us!