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A recent survey found that happy employees are 31% more productive. They also take 10 times fewer sick days and are more emotionally connected to their company oftentimes serving as organic brand ambassadors. So… what motivates people to work and keeps them happy? No one knows better than a leader of a startup. 

Startup companies are nimble, fast-paced, and exciting places to work, but they can also be demanding. Pivoting to different strategies and changing up workflows is common as they evolve and grow. That’s why having employee buy-in is so crucial.

Here, Kim Grennan, the founder of the startup boutique marketing agency, Axle Eight, shares how she motivates her team. Just shy of two years old, Axle Eight has experienced massive growth making the cultivation of a motivated team even more imperative.

Be a Family

Team culture is everything to a growing business. I’m a huge believer in the fact that you’re a product of the people you spend the most time with, and your work family gets a huge allocation of your time! 

Finding people who all embody the same core values as the company will help everyone within the organization appreciate, trust, and respect one another. Better yet, if you find really great ones, you may get lucky enough that your team even likes to hang out with each other outside of work — then you’ve hit the real jackpot! 

If people love their teammates and see them learning and thriving in the environment that you’ve created, they tend to stick around. It’s crucial to create an environment that people want to stay in because they don’t want to give up the family element of your culture.

Encourage Input for Company/Product Improvement

As a manager, it’s easy to think your way is the right way. But challenge yourself to put some of those ideas into the hands of your employees. I guarantee the input you receive will blow you away AND it enables everyone to be involved and have a hand in the growth journey and success of your business. People want to say they helped build something successful–so allow them to be a key component of that.

Hire Passionate People

Find people who actually CARE about doing good for the business and your customers. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s actually far more difficult to find people who are self-motivated to this extent. When you find them, hold onto them and reward them for this.

Recognize Great Work

It’s more difficult than ever to make sure people are recognized while much of the world is working remotely. In our business, we’ve established a culture where everyone makes a point to do special “Shoutouts” to our team Slack channel when they see something that a team member has done that was extraordinary. This way, the person gets company-wide recognition and gives them the validation that what they are doing is spot on and incredibly valued.

Trust Your Team

I don’t know about you but I don’t know too many people who say that they love being micromanaged. And having to micromanage anyone is something that no founder has time for! 

For me, it’s critical that I’m able to trust my employees in everything they do, whether it’s getting something to a client on time, or simply just trusting their judgment on a strategic decision for a client. 

Your employees can feel when you trust them and when you don’t, and when you can show them that you respect and trust their opinions and decisions, that’s when you can see them take more control and ownership in what they are doing and thrive in that role.

Learn from Others

Being an entrepreneur can sometimes feel alienating and terrifying. There are so many decisions to make, so much you have to learn, and to top it off, you might not have an extensive network of like-minded founders who you can ask your burning questions. That’s why growth10 was formed. 

growth10 is a virtual community, educational platform, and 24/7 support system dedicated to helping entrepreneurs scale faster. By joining the tribe, you’ll be connected with fellow founders who are there for you every step of the way. No matter what question you may have, whether it be about hiring a great team or even forming a solid marketing strategy, you’ll have access to someone who has been in the exact same place as you. Sometimes as a founder, you may feel like you’re isolated on an island. But now, you no longer have to go at it alone.

Scale Your Company Faster

Joe Buzzello & Tom Healy
Author: Joe Buzzello & Tom Healy

Joe Buzzello & Tom Healy are the Co-Founders of growth10 and have a shared mission to help entrepreneurs grow faster and have a greater impact on the world.

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