5 Tips to Increase Startup Productivity
The startup stage of a business is an exciting time when the foundation of the company is being built. And like any foundation, the steps you take at this stage will affect everything that happens after. Taking the time to increase team productivity now will help any startup meet their daily challenges more effectively, and pay big dividends down the road. Here are five tips to increase startup productivity for you to try.
1) Have dedicated brainstorming sessions.
Startup life can feel chaotic. There’s so much to do, and everyone has to wear multiple hats. The go-go-go mindset can become all-consuming. Resist it. Dedicate time for constructive brainstorm sessions. Brainstorming is very simple but surprisingly easy to do ineffectively. If you’ve never seen how it’s done, check out this great brainstorming article. Don’t let any one person dominate the meeting. Make sure everyone gets their input in.
A successful brainstorming program is an invaluable source of innovation solutions, but it’s more than that. Lots of employees work for companies where they don’t feel like their ideas are valued. A brainstorming program lets employees know that their ideas matter, which increases their loyalty to the company and boosts productivity.
2) Go out as a team once in a while.
Find out what common ground your team shares. If you don’t know, take a survey. If there’s more than one, rotate it on a schedule. Startup companies sometimes can be stressful environments because there’s just so much to do. The chance to bond with team members and get to know the person behind the employee goes a long way to creating strong bonds that will help your company take on the challenges ahead.
3) Consider alternative forms of compensation.
Startups are always strapped for cash. Giving raises and paying the team what they deserve can be challenging when the company is still struggling to keep its neck above water. But lots of employees are receptive to an alternative form of compensation. Flex time, telecommuting, and negotiating discounts with local business are all ways to show your team that you’re fighting to get them what they deserve.
These days, healthcare is a hot topic. Gym benefits, time to exercise in the middle of the workday, and ergonomic office furniture all go a long way to making employees feel valued, and in turn, more productive.
4) Don’t wait to invest in organizational software.
Whatever your startup does . . . from engineering to accounting to real estate . . . you’ve got data. Mounds of it. A lot of startups make the mistake of limping along with dozens of different Microsoft Excel sheets. The sheets are manually operated, making them time consuming. They don’t talk to each other or share info. Organizational software and databases are worth it if you want to make a big jump in productivity. Need some help getting started? Take a look at this great article on software for startups.
5) Recognize your team’s accomplishments and reward them.
Every startup is an underdog. Not a single startup in the whole wide world makes it big without overcoming some serious challenges and dealing with soul crushing failures. What separates the startups that make it from those that don’t is their ability to handle mistakes.
A lot of startups make the mistake of obsessing on what needs to be done and what’s not working. It’s an easy habit to slip into. You and your team are problem solvers. You all care about problems. Once the problem is solved, then hey, on to the next. But make sure you slow down and recognize what’s been done right along the way.
Draw attention to victory whenever you can. That victory doesn’t have to be monumental or game changing. Break out some of the alternative compensation from #3. Do it publicly. Make it an event. Show your team that they’re being productive, and they’ll draw strength from that and be even more so.
What startup productivity tactics do you use? Post your comments below.