How Startups Can Improve Employee Engagement

How Startups Can Improve Employee Engagement
Want to learn how to improve employee engagement? Learn from a startup

Being a part of a startup is a marvelous experience. You get to work with some of the most innovative minds and come up with solutions to complex problems.

The one problem with startups is that during their early phase, they don’t address the identity they want their company to have. In the occasion that they hit that metaphoric hockey stick and continue growing, they wouldn’t want to falter due to a poor culture at the office.

There’s no such thing as a company that is too big to fail. But if the right mission is preached to the staff, it makes employee satisfaction and engagement easy.

Leading to more innovation, less turnover, and of course, more profit. So what can startups do to improve employee life from an early stage?

Make Sure Leaders Don’t Fake Integrity

There are a lot of different leadership styles out there, but the one thing that can make even the nicest of people hate their boss is having a person that has bad intentions.

A startup is a very unique ecosystem. Since it is basically a company at its infancy, you need every aspect of the organization run well. As soon as one person lets their ego get to them the team will falter.

I’ve been around plenty of startups to know that the scariest thing out there is an employee with the wrong intention. There’s plenty of people out there doing their best to get on a boss or investor’s good side, and will use manipulation to get there.

Preaching holacracy while giving employees a voice and have them give continuous feedback to one another may be the route for them.

Preach The Dream, Not The Dollar

One of the beauties of growth metrics is that founders can see all the things that they can do to build an up-and-coming startup.

The only problem is that we can fall into a trap that makes us believe that data is a direct indicator of an individual’s success.

Analytics and big data have changed the way that we view job performance. We make changes and optimize processes to get more sales now, as opposed to more innovation.

When you over-optimize you lose creativity chasing goals. Which is why companies need to set good performance indicators, whilst still giving them leigh way to create new products and have ideas flourish into new revenue streams.

If you want to see the best possible example of a company that has preached, marketed, and sold their dream (and succeeded); look at the company out in the Cupertino. That’s right, Apple, Inc. is the most profitable company ever and their vision hasn’t changed since they were in a garage.

Though they might not have the cleanest reputation and their founder can be viewed as an HR nightmare. Considering the size of the company and what they are able to accomplish, they have to be one of the best ran organizations in the world.

It all starts with their training process and how they treat their talent. People are taught to innovate and be themselves.

They supply employees with enough belief and confidence in what they do, that when it comes time to sell products, people flock for whatever they put out.

Try to put yourself at the other end of the spectrum. Imagine a company that doesn’t encourage nor motivate employees. They just preach obtaining a sale, or any some kind of measurable component, to be the endgame for their work.

No only is it an employee engagement killer, but it hurts turnover.

For large companies, it’ll likely affect the attrition rate of the company. As there is always more money to be made in another market.  Smaller sized company: it’ll cause disengagement and lower productivity.

If you’d like to learn how to improve employee engagement, empower individuals and hear them out. Give them the power to be as creative as possible, and keep the momentum going to create new products, ideas, thought processes.

Be Transparent

People sacrifice a lot to be a part of an early-phase startup. They sacrifice security, mental well-being, and they give all their talent and effort to help build a dream.

The best thing a leader can do is to be transparent with how the company is doing at the moment. It may be rough at times, but a startup has to endure a lot of pain before it can finally hit the ground running.

This should not only be applied to early phase startups but any company really. Employees tend to show higher levels of job satisfaction when the management creates an open and honest atmosphere.

Companies have tough times and releasing some bad news will never be an easy task, but people will appreciate it. If a company can overcome a rough patch with its employees, the people will appreciate the transparency even more.

It’s safe to say that honesty and trust will always be the simplest and most inexpensive way to improve employee engagement. Of course, it’s a lot easier to instill this culture at an early-adoption phase, as opposed to when a company is established?

What Do You Do To Improve Employee Engagement At Your Office?

Is there a way you go about keeping employees happy within your office? Let us know.

Jeffrey Fermin is a leader in the HR Tech industry, he spends his collaborating with multiple companies to help come up with solutions that will improve the modern-day workplace.


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