Managing Your Team at an Early Stage Startup

Building a team is essential for the eventual success of every startup. However, beyond just building one, you have to know how best to manage the team. There is always a lot of challenge for many startups at the early stage, especially as it relates to managing a team.

You can have the best individuals on your employment list, but poor management can affect their productivity. This is why every business owner must know how to manage a team at all business growth levels.

To manage your team effectively as a startup in its early stage, here are some things that you should take into consideration.

Hire the Right People

The most important step towards managing a team successfully is to hire the right people. When a startup is about to launch, there is always this desire to hire people we know or think can get the job done. While this has worked for some startups, it is generally not advisable.

How well you can build a team determines how well you can manage it. Start by identifying the different areas of the business that will need someone to handle it. When you do, create a recruitment system that allows you to hire only the right people.

There is always some misconception as to who the right person is for a particular task. Simply put, the right person has the required skill and experience needed to complete a task.

Over the years, it has been established that managing a team at the early stages of a startup is easier when you hire the right people for the job.

Create Systems and Processes

After hiring the right set of people for specific tasks, the next vital step is creating systems and processes that allow for effectiveness. A careful analysis of startups reveals that some subscribe to micromanaging the team.

This may look like a good thing to do, but it doesn’t allow members of the team to express themselves freely and in their full capacity. At best, you will have a team who pretends to be doing the right thing when you are watching, and doing something different when you aren’t.

By putting systems and processes in place, you make the team accountable to these systems and not a person. It also allows you as the founder to concentrate your time and energy into other startup areas for improved productivity.

Communicate Frequently

At the heart of every successful team is constant and clear communication. Take note of the words ‘constant’ and ‘clear,’ as they are two essential terms that should drive communication.

These two terms are not mutually exclusive from themselves, so that you can’t choose one at the expense of the other. Constant communication that is unclear or that the team doesn’t understand is as good as no communication.

As a business owner, there is no better time to ensure constant and clear communication with your team than in the early stages of the startup. Communication makes the team a team, as everyone will not be acting independently.

While it is expected that every member of the organization has specific tasks, everyone is expected to act as a part of the team. Depending on what works for your startup, you can create a system of weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly communication.

Technology has made things easier as you don’t have to be in the same place to ensure regular communication. There are several technological applications and software that can be used to meet online regardless of the location where everyone is, and some of them include:

Let Them Feel Loved Not Used

Managing your team at an early stage of a startup requires that you make everyone in the team feel loved and not used. No one is at their best when they feel used. However, when people feel valued, you will find them being passionate about what they do.

A great way to make your team feel loved is to respect them. There has to be a system in place that emphasizes mutual respect for one another. This doesn’t just improve the team’s working morale; it helps create a healthy work environment where everyone thrives.

Reiterate Your Startup’s Values and Goals to Them

The early stage of a startup should have you constantly reiterating the values and goals to the team. Repetition, they say, is what promotes persuasion, and this also applies to building a team.

It is not enough to assume that everyone who makes up the team is aware of its values and goals.

The team may be aware of the values that drive the startup and the goals it seeks to achieve, but an additional reminder won’t be a bad idea.

It is, however, important to reiterate these values and goals in the best possible way. How you reaffirm these values and goals determines how it is received. Some options that you can consider to reaffirm these values include:

  • Send out monthly newsletters to the team stating these goals and values, how far the startup has come with them, and what is left to be achieved.
  • You can plan monthly sit-outs or events where performing team members are rewarded, and everyone is generally encouraged to do better. In stressing this need to do better, you can further reiterate the startup’s values and goals.

Conclusion

Managing your team at an early stage of a startup may be challenging, but every effort you put in is a worthy investment. Many times, the difference between a successful and unsuccessful team is how well they are managed. Effective management of a team will always result in business growth and productivity.

There are several ways to manage a team, but it all starts with hiring the right people. Then, you have to create systems and processes that allow for accountability while ensuring steady communication. Also, you have to make the team feel loved at all times by ensuring mutual respect.

References

NY Times: How to Build a Successful Team

Undercover Recruiter: 8 Tips for Managing Your Team Effectively

Fifty five and five: How to hire the right people for your company

Inside 6q: 6 Warning Signs That You Are Micromanaging Your Team

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