As a start-up entrepreneur, you’ll be used to spending long periods of time glued to your computer and your communication devices, and whizzing between responsibilities on your path to success. In amongst all of your other responsibilities comes a crucial one, and one which you may find it difficult to devote enough attention to over time: your staff.
The core staff in a start-up are crucially important for guaranteeing its success, and it’s in this article that you’ll discover the tips you’ll need to manage your workforce effectively in the first months and years of your operations.
As a manager, you may be seen as above your staff in the social hierarchy, but it’s important, in a start-up ecosystem, to do away with this traditional aura and to get to the point of friendship and harmony with each and every staff member you welcome into your business. Often, this starts at the hiring process: as the sole decision-maker on who you should and shouldn’t hire, you have control over you welcome into your business’ family. Often, you’ll make decisions based both on their character, and their experience. Meanwhile, making time to chat with your employees off the record and away from the office will help build rapport that you can leverage in difficult moments.
Staff in a start-up are often aware that their roles are going to be fast-paced, less organized than larger corporations, and full of peaks in which you need to hit tight deadlines in order to keep the company afloat. It’s this stimulation that attracts many employees to start-ups – so you shouldn’t worry too much about over-working your staff. You should instead focus on staff welfare: investing in their wellbeing in such a way as to improve their experiences in the world of work. Take time to understand their difficulties, and to plan gifts, in order to keep staff onside when the going gets tough.
Nothing is as sacred in the manager-staff member relationship than how you conduct professional meetings with them. Don’t simply throw out an email to employees asking for feedback, or send the occasional WhatsApp message asking if everyone’s okay: take a more hands-on approach by devoting a morning to inviting each member of staff into your office for a chat. Make these conversations unstructured and relaxed – informal, yet professional to the extent that you’re working on understanding what you can do better for your employees, while at the same time emphasizing the things you want them to do really well. This form of communication is vital to maintaining the buoyancy of your staff’s motivation.
Your staff aren’t working hard for you for the good of their health: they’re in it for the pay packet, too. Here, you need to be alert to your staff’s needs in order to get their payments to them on time, like clockwork, at the beginning of every month. You can use a simple online time card calculator to help facilitate your payroll calculations, ensuring that you’re getting the right amount of cash to your employees, and that you’re able to focus on more important work in the long-run, instead of needless bickering over payments.
As a start-up, you’re looking for your core team to be a bunch of superheroes, dressed down in shirts and trousers, but working their socks off in different departments in order to bring in revenue for your business. In order to make them far more effective at this, you should consider giving them some time off to attend training days and seminars, which can help boost the fortunes of your company. Be aware of the kinds of skills you have within your business in order to understand what you’re missing – and to onboard those skills to your team through training.
While as a manager you won’t have access to the social moments shared between your workers, you do have some control as to when your whole team heads out for drinks and events to enjoy. As a manager, it’s up to you how you choose to build your team – with weekends away, nights out, or social events that are guaranteed to get your whole team working together in a spirit of fun and festivity. Make sure you’re also providing some of the all-important office parties – most importantly, some kind of Christmas event to mark the end of a hard year of work.
Managing individuals can be more difficult that managing numbers and finances – but this guide aims to make it easy with some simply tips on how to manage staff in a start-up environment.