How to Motivate Employees in Startups

By Shriti Chhajed, Founder, BookEventZ

With an increase in the number of startups recently, many professionals are curious about working in one. We have been hearing many stories of people quitting their white collar jobs at corporate organizations to come and work in a startup, as it serves as a platform to showcase their skills and provide an opportunity to work with likeminded people sharing similar goals.

As there is definitely a lot of work and responsibility shouldered on the employees in a startup, the founders have to ensure they retain their employees for long. Here comes the need to constantly motivate the employees to enable them to deliver their best under such circumstances. I have come up with a few suggestions which can be easily implemented in a startup for motivating the employees.

1. Make the best of the space around you: Having a good work environment with dedicated desks for every employee may not be possible for a startup. Successful startups are the ones that are made of a good team of people, who can enjoy work irrespective of the location of the job. It's the team and their common goal that matters in a startup and not the room to motivate the team to perform.

2. Introduce breaks from work for relaxation: An employee working in a startup is bound to have lots of responsibility and accountability. Thus there is a need to include certain activities for the team to relax. These need not be high maintenance equipment like gymnasium or gaming areas. Low budget ideas like keeping best seller novels on your office rack and making them freely available for the employees where they can read and return them is a very convenient means of relaxation. In addition, the team can host Friday night video games, treks or even small coffee house parties which can act like great team building activities and motivate employees to be part of such a team.

3. Recognize employee performance: Felicitating the employees for their achievements serves as an excellent platform to motivate them. Appreciating them in front of their team will ensure the team knows the efficiency of the employee and this can encourage them for a better performance in the future.

4. Provide a good learning curve to the employees: Explore the strengths and capabilities of your employees and ensure you assign them tasks accordingly. Understanding their interests and encouraging them to try out different assignments will help them develop their skills and provide them with a good learning experience. When you have a team of just a few people and a number of tasks to be taken care of, utilizing the skills of an employee in a suitable manner can prove to be a savior for the employer and an opportunity for the employee. Providing regular feedback on their performance can help them refine their career development path.

5. Celebrate social events/fun days at work: To ensure your employees enjoy coming to work, introduce fun days at work by celebrating theme days, color dress code, chocolate days and the like. Celebrate Funtastic Fridays every month where you celebrate the birthdays/special occasions of all your employees during that month. You can also celebrate your company achievements by ringing bells or banging gongs. Monthly get-togethers for dinner & games can also be fun. Come up with creative ideas to enable employees to enjoy and remain stress-free while performing their tasks.

Showing your employees that you care, creating a friendly and a transparent environment to work in, and recognizing and appreciating the efforts put in by your employees will ensure your team will be as motivated as you are to achieve your goals. 

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