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Reprinted from GrowVC. See original post here.
By Scott Hersh
Working in a start up is one of the most exciting things in the business world today; it is also one of the most challenging. Whereas keeping morale high in any business is important, in startups, it is do or die. There are two steps to creating and maintaining high morale, which I refer to as ‘defining’ and ‘encouraging.’ Defining means establishing clear goals for the company and the individual in order to focus every individual productively. Once goals are clearly defined and each individual understands their role in accomplishing those goals, the next step is to fan the flame which I refer to as ‘encouraging.’ These two aspects of defining and encouraging are broken down into 6 key ingredients of creating and maintaining morale.
Aspects of ‘Defining’
1) Have a Mission that Inspires
An office with a mission is a much different environment than an office without a mission. Make sure that everyone knows, understands and ascribes to the mission that your business has set out to accomplish. Working together towards a higher purpose is much more gratifying than working just to make money. It’s also a crucial ingredient to being profitable.
2) Define Individual Expectations
When people don’t know what performance is expected of them they are not able to gauge their level of success. Defining expectations means creating the opportunity to succeed and feelings of success breed morale.
Aspects of ‘Encouraging’
3) Make Business a Pleasure
What does a normal workweek in your startup consist of? I would say that it’s rare for anyone in a startup to put in less than 60 hours a week. With such demanding work weeks, precious little time is left available for being social. Therefore, it’s extra important to include an element of fun in the office by making sure to take time to celebrate together. Here are some reasons to have a short office party…
• Any business success
• Hiring a new worker
• Just as a pleasant surprise
4) Have a Collective Company Brain
Everyone in the startup should have an idea of how the entire operation is being run, and they should all be encouraged to give feedback. Keep lines of communication open between all facets of the company in order to encourage growing as one successful and healthy organism.
5) Hire Powerhouse Employees
Did you ever notice that some people have a personality that engages and inspires everyone else around them? Every great company has a few of them, make sure that you do too.
6) Get Personal
Take an interest in your employees and coworkers personal lives. By being there for them through the difficult times and celebrating with them during the good times, the workplace will develop into an extended family unit, which is great for loyalty.
This advice in this article is not just for upper-echelon individuals in the start up, it’s for everybody. The most successful businesses are ones where everyone collectively adopts a leadership mindset and feels personally responsible for the welfare of the business as a whole, and the individuals that they work
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