A startup is any business that is in the first stage of operations. Until the business gets off the ground, it is often funded by its founders. A startup can also seek external investment from family and friends, venture capitalists, crowdfunding, or business loans. Any entrepreneur founding a startup has a lot to consider.
Startups usually focus on a single service or product, for which their founders believe there is a gap in the market. They need to consider where they will conduct their business and a legal structure. They may lack a complete business model and capital and therefore run a high risk of failure.
However, working for a startup can be a unique experience, with great benefits, a strong focus on innovation, and ample learning opportunities. What is it like to work as part of a small, dedicated team for a startup company?
Working For a Startup
Working for a startup can be attractive for a number of reasons. Often, the working environment can be fun, creative and offer a lot of opportunities to learn and grow. Anybody working for a startup has the chance to be part of the exciting project of building an organization from the ground up.
When hiring new talent, you need to consider whether potential employees have the right kind of personality to work for a startup. You need employees who are adaptable to change, can fulfill multiple roles and are real team players. You need intelligent and motivated people who believe in your idea and will burn the midnight oil to turn your dream into reality.
Any potential employees should be aware of the high risk of failure involved in any startup. They need a certain degree of flexibility and mental fortitude. If you can find these kinds of employees, you will be off to a winning start. But how can you set your employees up for success?
Set Up For Success
As a startup, you might not have long-term employees to help guide the new employees. You will rely heavily on an efficient onboarding process to help bring team members together. You may want to consider some of the best onboarding software to choose from. Let’s look at some tips and ideas that will help you set your employees up for success.
Expect Role Changes
In a small team, each employee may fulfill multiple functions. You may hire someone because they are a great graphic designer. If you then find out they also know a lot about fixing tech or about building social media followings, they may suddenly have another (informal) job title and an extension of their job description.
Once the business begins to expand, you may have to move the culture away from being a “small group around a table” and introduce some hierarchy to the workplace. Be ready to change things up. Be willing and agile to respond to the growth of your business.
Once you select a new employee, it’s essential to stay in touch. Get the necessities, like paperwork, out of the way early, and then create an engaging and welcoming introductory process for your new team member. Make sure you set the right kind of expectations. They are not working for a large corporation like Apple or Google with all the bells and whistles, and they need to know what to expect.
The right candidates will appreciate working on the ground floor of a new venture. Between hiring somebody and their start date, be sure to have a lot of communication.
Will your employees always be working from the office, or will they be allowed to work from home sometimes? What will a typical day look like for each job role? What will team members need to do their jobs effectively?
Who will get separate office space, and who will share the communal zones? Creative workers may enjoy working together and bouncing ideas off each other, whereas a sales team may need more seclusion and quiet to make calls.
These are all important things to consider, in order to provide the optimum conditions for your employees.
When new employees start working for you, make sure they have a chance to get to know the team. You could try icebreaker events or activities. Give people the opportunity to meet in a low-pressure, informal setting.
Make sure new team members get up to speed quickly and understand what is expected of them. Make sure the existing team knows where and how the newbies will fit in.
In the first week, allow a new employee to meet everyone and ease into their role. Make sure you go over everything with them. They should understand their entire workflow and what they will be responsible for.
Make sure you provide new employees with all the tools they need to succeed. Once they know what to do, take a step back and let them do their job. Keep open lines of communication and let people know they can come to you with questions.
Have a Device Policy
Will you allow employees to bring their own devices to work, or will you provide all the tech they need? How about your cloud network and remote access? In the beginning, you may rely on employees bringing their own devices.
Make sure you know how accessible your data storage is and what to do if a device is lost. Ensure everything gets backed up. You need to relay clear policies on devices and password sharing, so everybody knows where they stand.
A startup is in a state of flux. It is not the typical experience of working for an established business. You need to strike the right balance between giving flexibility and setting rules. Roles can shift as time progresses. You may find that some policies or workflows no longer work for your company. Remaining proactive in the face of ever-shifting challenges is essential.
Using some of the onboarding tips outlined here will help make new employees feel valued, settled, and part of your team from their first day as part of the team.