5 Ways Startups Can Maximize Resources

September 18, 2014

Every business relies on great employees to build success. And great employees are especially important for startups. Startups and small businesses have limited time and resources when it comes to finding new talent, and many can’t afford the high costs that come with employee turnover. Luckily, there are many ways for businesses to make the most of their human capital, without causing burnout or creating undue stress. Create a work environment where employees feel productive, energized and excited, and you’ll have a more successful, happier team.Use these 5 tips to build a positive work environment, and get the most out of your human capital.

1. Create a strong workplace culture

Nothing is more important to employee happiness than a strong workplace culture. You don't want employees who show up to work every day just because they’re paid to. You want them to show up because they're excited about what's going on at your company and enjoy being a part of your team. Building a workplace culture that values openness, communication and fun is key to ensuring workforce satisfaction.The best place to start when it comes to building a strong workplace culture? Your own leadership team. Model the attitudes and work behaviors that you want to see from your employees. Stay positive, have fun, and clearly communicate expectations and goals to all of your employees. Make sure that your HR department has policies in place that allow team members to effectively contribute and succeed. Offer your employees a positive, supportive workplace, and you'll get the very best they have to offer.

2. Offer great perks

While you’re not required offer perks to employees in the same way you are health insurance, doing so can have a big impact on employee satisfaction and workplace culture. And perks don’t have to mean Silicon Valley-style benefits like free massages or yoga classes, either. Find out what added benefits you can fit into your budget, and implement them – your employees will appreciate it.Perks can be anything from free lunch once a month to discounts on tickets for sporting games and special events in your area. If your business is located in a major metropolitan area, look into reduced-price transit passes for your employees. To ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck, ask employees what kind of perks they'd like. And remember: employee perks don't necessarily need to be expensive in order to be effective.

3. Provide flexibility.

Flexible work schedules and telecommuting arrangements are a big benefit for employees, especially those working long hours at startups. If it's possible (and doesn’t detract from productivity), let your employees work flexible schedules that allow them to complete tasks while maintaining a work-life balance.Make it easy for your employees to take time off for doctor appointments or family commitments. Offer work-from-home arrangements to employees who don’t need to be in the office every day. (An added bonus? That cuts down on the need for extra office space, and encourages greater productivity from employees who also have busy family and personal lives). Just be sure you’re not pushing your employees to work all hours of the day from home.

4. Show employees you care

No matter your company's industry or annual profits, it's essential to let your employees know that you appreciate and value their contributions. Praise the team members who work hard to keep your business going, and do it often.Encourage managers to recognize and reward excellent performance in front of your whole workforce. Consider Employee of the Week or Month programs as an easy way to recognize individuals who excel and to point them out as examples for the rest of your team. You can include financial rewards or incentives in such programs if you'd like, but it isn’t necessary.

5. Push for personal growth

The best way to get employees invested in business success? Tie it to personal growth. It’s hard to be motivated when you’re stuck in a dead-end job with no promotions in sight. Give your employees opportunities to grow within your company, and provide the resources they need to do it.Performance reviews are a great time to do this. Instead of just providing feedback to employees, have a meaningful conversation about their personal growth goals. Help them tie these goals to your company's wider aspirations, so that they have a tangible understanding of how they're contributing. You can also offer performance-based pay raises and other tangible incentives.Getting things done is hard enough in a large company with a lot of employees. It's even harder when you're a small business with minimal resources. However, even the smallest teams can have a big impact –and see big results – when they use their resources smartly. Use these tips to keep employees productive and happy, and keep them around longer.What are your tips for maximizing productivity without burning out?This guest post is written by Abby Perkins, Managing Editor at Talent Tribune, a blog dedicated to all things HR.

September 18, 2014
Karen Houghton