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Pallavi Jha

The author is CMD, Dale Carnegie Training India

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Effective Ways of Managing Workforce for Startups

A strong, consistent line of communication and direction is vital. It is imperative that your workforce understand your organization’s fundamental attributes - only then can they be empowered with higher echelons of autonomy and ownership.

Photo Credit : ShutterStock,

A workforce is arguably the most crucial factor in the success of any start-up. Despite today’s progressive technology resources, implementing business strategy and spurring growth is contingent on managing a workforce that is both competent and motivated. While there is no one, definitive marker to foresee employee management success, there are a couple of things one can do to efficiently manage a workforce.

A strong, consistent line of communication and direction is vital. It is imperative that your workforce understand your organization’s fundamental attributes - only then can they be empowered with higher echelons of autonomy and ownership. Once a start-up grows beyond 50 employees, regular communication programs should be implemented; such as all-hands meetings, video conferences and orientations (remember to keep these interactive to encourage feedback and participation).

A majority of traditional performance management systems are non-applicable to start-ups, and some have even attracted criticism for being inaccurate. Rather than introduce a formal review process pre-maturely, start-ups should create flexible rewards, such as bonuses or peer-to-peer appreciation. There can be great significance in rewarding an employee for doing a good job when they aren’t expecting it. In fact, a lack of pre-defined restrictions can encourage out-of-the-box thinking and motivate increased ownership towards growing the brand.

Today, companies that succeed have leaders who listen keenly to the market and give it what it wants and needs – sometimes, even before it knows what that is. It’s the same with managing people. Rather than merely looking towards decision-makers to come up with new notions, tap into employee suggestions. This approach works especially well in the context of a start-up that is nascent and still shaping itself – and the benefits are manifold. For one, when managers listen to their staff, they give them an opportunity to have a say in which direction to steer. Not only does this build trust between both parties, but as a leader, it is crucial to have your finger on the collective pulse of your workforce. In fact, you could consider it a step closer to tapping into the wants and needs of your consumer target group. A management approach with two lines of open communication is one wherein the development of brand offerings is constantly being bettered and fine-tuned. Also, a collaborative approach towards meeting targets instills team spirit, and organically promotes workplace transparency.

A good leader can’t rule from afar– that approach isn’t conducive to keeping up with an ever-changing business landscape - leave alone at a start-up. Great leaders build from the ground up, walking alongside their pack, rather than in front of them.

For a start-up, achieving star status is an uphill climb. To play in the big leagues, know the rules inside-out, forecast precisely, hire the best talent, and adapt to the transient trends that impact your business.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house


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Startups Workforce startup growth

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