Building Highly Motivated Teams
Most of the times the startup team members have little exposure to the reasoning behind the corporate strategy. The founders carefully guard the rationale for decision-making, mistaking it to be a competitive edge, which needs to guarded and shielded from everyone.
Many of the employees in startups work on assignments, that may be far removed from the market- place and the customer, and they have a weak line of sight between what they do every day and what difference it makes. Even if they are close to strategy and have a strong line of sight towards end results, their perspective may be narrow. If your startup has remote teams; a common phenomenon these days, the remote settings add yet another measure of distance between the work and its impact.
By only focusing on ?what? and ?how ?only, the resultant model may be an efficient model, but one that lacks heart.
Aligning startup team members on the ?why? quotient can pay big dividends. Engaged employees consistently perform at a heightened level of effort, which translates positively to bottom-line results. Research from Towers Perrin?s global data shows a significant link between engagement, employee behaviour, and customer behaviour and, ultimately, revenue growth and profitability.
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How to address the gap in understanding of ?Why.?
To create energy and build an understanding of the ?Why?, consider these sorts of activities:
– Invite customers to address the group and describe their business challenges. Ask what they think the organisation does well or not so well, and recommend three things that could be done better to meet their needs. Provide an opportunity to ask questions.
– Invite suppliers or partners to address the group and describe their business challenges and what it is like to be a partner. Ask what they think the organisation does well, and what they need from the organisation so that they can be more successful. Similar panels could be set up with internal partners, customers, or suppliers.
– Divide the group into teams, and assign each a competitor to research. Have the group describe the competitor, what it promises the customer, and what its vision and competitive edge are. Present the research to the whole group and explore distinctions between ?us? and ?them.?
– Find a way to experience what it is like to be the organisation?s customer or supplier. Observe a client operation using a checklist to record observations. Debrief insights as a group to inform the development of operating principles and standards.
By aligning the hearts and minds of your startup team members, you will be able to create an awesomely engaged culture where people understand how their activities stack up in making the startup successful.