Most startups are going through their toughest phase in the pandemic. With the “stay indoors” orders leading to major reduction in customer footfall, it’s become crucial for startup founders to find ways to stay afloat.
As a startup founder, trying to control every aspect of the situation alone can take a toll on you. It can feel tempting to do so, but it may not be feasible in the long run. You need to ensure your business stays relevant and for that, it is important to get your employees involved.
Instead of focusing on how bad the situation is, focus on empowering your employees. By doing this, you can cultivate a culture of accountability and help employees work to their full potential. This will help you make the best out of the situation without feeling burnt out.
Here are some of the best practices that can help you empower your employees and facilitate business growth:
1. Equip employees with knowledge and tools :
One of the best things startup founders can do in this phase is to equip their employees with the right skills and resources so they are ready to deal with challenges the pandemic is presenting. With the help of tools like LMS, it is possible to deliver training digitally to enhance employee L&D experience.
Modern LMSs like Performance Pro also help you measure employee performance and highlight areas of improvement. Investing in employee L&D will allow them to make better decisions and execute their work with more confidence.
2. Be a mentor, not a boss:
It is quite common for startup founders to want to control every little activity of their employees, but micromanaging can lead to them feeling frustrated. Instead of bossing around, try to be a mentor and guide them.
As a mentor, you can support them by giving them the autonomy to structure their day however they want and showing faith in their abilities to achieve their goals. This way, employees can learn to take accountability of their work without feeling pushed.
3. Set clear expectations:
Without clarity, it is futile to expect employees to know exactly what is expected of them. Define goals and set clear boundaries so employees can take better decisions.
This should be done not to put them under restrictions but to help them make decisions that benefit the company. This way you can give them the space to grow while ensuring they work towards achieving business goals.
4. Focus on the positive things:
It is always easy to look at everything that’s going wrong and be bothered by it. It is equally easy to find faults in employees and judge them for their performance. But this can create a very negative work culture.
Instead, focus on the good and acknowledge every small positive effort your employees make. Nothing motivates an employee as much as appreciation. When employees fulfill their commitments, giving them public recognition will empower them and compel them to perform better.
5. Walk the talk:
It is easy to throw orders around expecting employees to know how to do things. But it will never inspire employees to be creative or shine through. What will help them feel empowered is if the founders themselves practice what they preached.
As a startup founder, you need to occasionally roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty to show employees how to handle certain things. Be the change first if you want employees to start taking initiative and handling responsibilities diligently.
Startup founders need to treat every employee as important and have regular conversations with them to encourage them. This makes them feel confident about voicing their opinions and empowers them to deliver their best.