The idea of joining a startup sounds exciting. Comparing a startup with a roller-coaster ride is not a silly thought. Certain people are scared of joining a startup, but there is a huge crowd of fresh graduates and highly-experienced doctorates, who are willing to join the able idea. But every willing heart cannot be a part of startup. There are two aspects to the story on what makes an employee suitable for the startup.
As an employer, who should you choose to be with you on-board with your startup? Experienced or fresher, proven talent or promising one, expensive hire or pocket-fitting, wits or hard work? Choosing an employee for an established company is easier, but the same does not go with startups. Each hiring has a major impact on the startup future. So, there are certain qualities that an entrepreneur need to look for in their employees for the startup to achieve glories.
As an employer, the offerings of startups are exciting but, at the same time, exhausting. The challenges and opportunities that one can experience with the startup is hardly a possibility in any phase of a well-settled business. Definitely, the startups have the potential to topple the settled-giants in their own market. On the rough side, a startup may just collapse without any warning alarm and it needs some nerves of steel to go (and grow) through it.
To cut the long story short, a startup is a give and take relationship between employer and employee, but on steroids. It needs some additional responsibilities on the employees to enjoy the adventurous roller-coaster ride. Here are the qualities that every startup employee should possess for fine sailing:
They Trust the Entrepreneur and the Business Idea
It’s a widespread myth that if someone joins a startup, they trust the idea of startup and the owner’s ability. Better salary package, experience to showcase in the resumes, learning the functions at a startup, or something similar could easily be the reason that might be luring them to join a startup. Such employee hardly makes a good find for the business. Startups require more than just a professional contribution from the employees. Employees not able to deliver that will eventually harm the startup and also their own career. A failed-startup employee cannot be counted among major achievements.
Trust on the startup among employees can be decisive factor for the success. The dearth of trust stops the employees from giving in the extra effort, which supports startup during the critical stages. Trust is always counted among the basic necessities of the startup and lack of it can be weaken the working environment, operational procedure, client handling, network, and many other business pillars. Well, one can easily spell all these as grave for the startup. Trusting the business idea and trusting the entrepreneur are slightly different concepts. But their consequences are more or less the same.
A bright entrepreneur can gain the trust of employees with his abilities in the longer run. But when someone is joining in fresh, it has to be the business idea that employee should trust on. So, how does a startup founder make the employees trust this business idea? Do you need to advertise the startup idea to everyone at the interview?
Well, never. Just give them a brief and see how they feel about the idea. A lame reaction in the support of idea is a danger sign. If the guy is interested and suggests some improvements or questions further or explains how he can contribute to it, you have some solid reasons to go ahead in choosing them. As an employee, it is a black or a white situation. If you have doubts you can ask your queries and present your opinions with it. Final decision to join a startup should come only if you believe it has potential.
They Avoid Office Politics
While a number of employees are working with each other, the sense of competition is unavoidable. This competition can lead to some amazing results for your business. But the basic necessity for that is that the competition has to be healthy, or else it could easily take a dirty shape and spoil the setup. In the dirty version of the competition, employees tend to show more than they actually do for the business. They would not miss out on any chance of making their peers feel inferior. Unfortunately, some employees in the corporate culture have mastered the art of presenting their accomplished tasks in magnified forms and downsize the achievements of others. Colleagues and reporting managers are the biggest reason behind the attrition of employees, eventually leading to their decision to quit the company. A few more number of employees following the path and the startup will be uprooted.
Even if the dedication for the startup is keeping the employees from leaving the company, office politics can easily cause the conflicts between various departments and employees, which are bearable for the established businesses. But, the startups are weaker and unstable that makes them more susceptible to the damage. Hence, it will fail to deliver up to its potential.
The startup employees themselves hold the responsibility for this issue. Employees who are willing to perform for the startup and earn recognition will be able to avoid the political clashes in the office. They need to overcome the tendency defaming others or shows superiority over the peers. Or in other words, they should let their actions do the talking. Most employers make their efforts with team spirits practices and that can help to some extent. Encourage the employees to speak up and get friendly with the colleagues. Employees working in a friendly atmosphere are not likely to indulge in dirty office politics.
They Are Enthusiastic About Their Job
Optimistic approach of the employees is the driving energy behind any startup. There is a sense of passion and enthusiasm at the workplace that is available in abundance among startups. This is the distinct feature of the startups that adds potential of outplaying the settled businesses in the market. Working in a startup looks very interesting on the core as there are some exciting challenges upfront. If the things keep going in the favor then this excitement also keeps on adding naturally. But that is not the story in every startup cade.
A few failures and working in the ‘exciting’ startup can be very frustrating. Struggle with the investors, denials from the customers, delays in product launch, some employees leaving at crucial junctures, failures at the test modes, arrival of the new competitors, and there are many more roadblocks that come up in the path of a new business. All this leads to mayhem in operations and then challenges that seems interesting turn into the work pressure. That is the time when excitement of being at startup can easily fizzle out and the negativity in the environment can be smelt.
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” ― Confucius
In this very famous quote of Confucius, lies the difference between just an employee and a deserving startup employee. Their passion and enthusiasm is connected with the job that they are doing and not merely with the startup idea. Good startup employees come to the rescue when business is not smooth and it requires some out of the skin doing. They are more concerned about delivering their job. Neither do they feel the job pressure, nor are they disturbed by the roadblocks. What’s even better is that their enthusiasm is contagious. That keeps the atmosphere at the workplace up and alive.
They Know It Is Not Meant For Forever
This point does not advertise the pessimism about the startup in any way. It simply emphasizes that things change very fast with the startups. Roles, positions, needs, budgets, goals and other such startup supplies can offer variations in very small intervals. The business plan may not get along as it was planned, which can be positive as well as negative news for the startup. A startup is usually not large enough to accommodate everyone, they had after such change. The employee who was most promising among the first 10 hiring might not fit the needs when the employee numbers grow another fold.
Startups need interested and highly motivated employees at the beginning, who can contribute with innovative abilities to the business to meet the tougher challenges. But as the business progresses to the stable stage, the demands change. The risk involved with the decisions requires to be controlled and the employees, who are solidity-oriented, should be involved. An employee, who was interested and highly motivated, at startup beginning must understand these possibilities and should remain prepared to leave the startup at the right time. Being prepared for such issues means an employee has a backup plan and no hard feelings for the startup if the startup tell them to leave. So, at the moment when the paths are separated, it is easier to sustain for the employee.
Startups are not always about the struggles and threats. There are a number of good and positive results that one can gain with the startups and, possibly, that can also be the reason for an employee to leave the startup. Expectedly, the employee retention rate for the startups are on the lower side compared to the settled business. But interestingly, the rate of employees turning into the startup founders is better for the startups. We have witnessed that so many startup employees parting their ways to start their own. This is because they have seen the operations and services more closely at the startup, which gives them the better understanding and more confidence of steering a business on their own.
They can Manage Themselves
Startups work in a specific direction relying on the idea of the entrepreneur. The fund is limited to work on the idea and the number of employees is pretty limited. Usually, every employee has a committed duty to perform that is reported directly to the founder. In many startups, founders are also working for product development, marketing, or such basic business tasks. So, the employees have to look after their own performance. In a way, each employee is heading their own department. This can easily turn into a troublesome situation for the founder, if they had to manage each of the employees. Hence, the startup requires the employees to be self-managed.
Managing themselves does not simply restrict to delivering on the expected performance targets, but it takes a lot more. Supporting and suggesting other departments, interacting with them on the assigned projects, developing a friendly culture in the office, etc. are some of the additional advantages that come with self-management in a startup environment.
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