When launching a new business or product idea, it may be difficult to maintain employee engagement while you and your team are surrounded by all of the unknowns. Yet, maintaining the focus and collaborative support of your team members is how the great ideas are brought to life.
Most managerial teams draw a blank when it comes to figuring out how to inspire their staff. But the fact is: it doesn't take much. Rather, one of the easiest ways to inspire your team and renew employee engagement is to show your own enthusiasm in the project, faith in each person's ability to contribute, and your appreciation of the commitment they've made to your business venture.
Here are three quick and cost-effective tips to improve your employee engagement in your startup and to drive success in your business venture.
1. Encourage Feedback From Your Employees
Start your company off right by cultivating an environment that thrives on feedback. Feedback is a 2-way street. Just as you can use it to help develop your employees, so too can you use it to grow your company. In addition to creating a structure for top-down feedback, ensure lower-level team members have a way to give feedback on the company as a whole and their supervisors.
While you're busy massaging the high-level issues to build a successful company, your employees are the ones with the boots-on-the-ground perspective that can optimize your operation.
Present regularly scheduled feedback requests as an opportunity to help the company and to welcome everyone's feedback. You can automate this process by creating a standardized form where team members can submit their notes as they arise.
If silence creeps in for fear of speaking out, your automated system provides space for ideas to be submitted anonymously.
Once ideas are submitted, discuss them in an open format. This is a critical setting for timid employees to recognize that they're not alone in their opinions and together you all can steer the ship in the right direction.
By implementing solutions that originate from the entire team as opposed to a single leader, employees are far more engaged, open to sharing their ideas, and will keep an eye out for future areas of improvement, as well.
2. Celebrate Successes Big & Small
Acknowledging the little things along with the big things can make maintaining employee engagement a consistent priority. Celebrating a workplace accomplishment, milestone, or birthday can raise team morale and allow for healthy bonding experiences.
As a startup, it may be difficult to spend tons of cash on celebrating successes, but don't underestimate the power of verbally recognizing an employee at each team gathering.
Pointing out to your team how well Bob did on creating that new spreadsheet that saved the company time motivates Bob, keeps him focused on the right standards or work, and gives other employees positive examples of productive behavior.
Create a company ritual of celebrating special days such as birthdays or an anniversary with the company. Even a cool $50 spent on balloons, a card, and a cake to celebrate does a world of good for team morale. Such a small investment yields massive ROI in the way of employee engagement, morale, and employee retention.
3. Invest in the People Investing in You
When someone buys into your idea enough to venture into an employment position at a startup, it's important to acknowledge them and their support of your venture. Not only is the individual taking a leap of faith for the sake of your business, but also they're pledging to dedicate their time, energy, and expertise to grow your dream to fruition.
Get to know the person behind the work you've employed them to do. Find out what they enjoy doing outside of work.
Mindvalley founder Vishen Lakhiani encourages every new employee to complete his "3 Most Important Questions" exercise and tack it up on a bulletin board for all employees to see. Then, employees with shared goals can unite their efforts to have incredible, meaningful experiences.
If you invest in the people who invest in you, you'll have a higher chance of succeeding – and you'll have an incredible journey along the way.
Employee Engagement Drives Results
It doesn't take much to improve employee engagement within a startup. Where funds may be lacking, little celebrations, focused attention, and creating new company traditions can supplement.
The most valuable commodity is your attention. Companies can provide all the best benefits and most creative perks, but if you're not giving your employees your attention and verbal reinforcement, those other gestures can feel hollow. Simply taking the time to get to know your employees and celebrate their successes ensures your other initiatives feel sincere.
Taking the time to create an inclusive and welcoming work environment will do wonders for your employee engagement and propel you to new levels in your startup success.
What's one thing you can implement in your company today to improve your employee engagement? Let us know in the comments below. Then share this article on social media to inspire your team to join in the conversation.