How To Keep Employees Motivated In A Startup Culture

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Struggling to keep your employees motivated? As different studies back money isn't the most important motivator, we've curated some simple, effective tips for you.

Keeping employees motivated not only makes them happy, but it also keeps your bottom line healthy. A motivated employee is an efficient employee, and you need as many of those as you can get to stay competitive in today’s markets. Startup culture has proven to be different than that of older corporations, and the techniques used to motivate startup employees are just as diverse. Here are a few ways you can make sure the workers at your startup are driven to work with their peers at peak efficiency.

Bond Employees Beyond Being Coworkers

Employees’ familiarity with one another promotes the exchange of ideas and makes it easier for them to predict each other’s strengths and weaknesses. When they have a rapport with one another, they’ll work harder to help their friends. Rapport is built stronger and faster when done outside the context of work.

Employee bonding sessions such as free lunches, video game tournaments, outdoor events and employee mixers can help your employees become friends as well as coworkers. Nothing loosens up employees quite like having a good time on the company’s dime. Just try not to make it mandatory. Events should be fun enough that employees want to attend, lest they resent their boss for dragging them to an after-hours event.

Give Rewards For A Job Well Done

Sure, you pay your employees, but money isn’t everything. Many studies in the past have shown that money is not the most important motivator for doing quality work. Being appreciated signals to an employee that they are valuable and integral to the company’s success, a feeling that increases motivation and one which money can’t buy.

So how does one reward an employee without resorting to increased salary? There are several answers, and a boss should try and implement several. It could be as simple as verbal praise such as “great pitch!” or “the team excelled with this project!” Give detailed feedback and suggestions when an employee does a good job to let them know that you are invested in their work. Other more tangible rewards can come in the form of awards (like trophies) for good performance or gifts.

Regularly Exchange Information

When the flow of information and ideas is high from the top of the company to the bottom, employees will feel that they are part of something bigger than themselves and that their destiny is intertwined with that of the company. The head of the company should be as transparent as possible with the rest of the employees, even when it comes to salaries. Knowing that the bosses trust their employees with information will help everyone feel more like they belong.

Going in reverse, employers should let their workers pitch their ideas and give them an avenue to personally contribute to making the company better. Knowing that their opinions are valued and at least considered helps employees feel like their work is worthwhile and motivate them even further.

Feelings Matter

People like to think of the corporate world as cold and calculating; after all, “It’s just business, nothing personal”. However, getting personal and taking the human element into account can get your startup motivated and on track for success.



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