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4 min read

Creating a Strong Team: 10 Tips for Startup CEOs

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What is one tip that startup CEOs should know about creating a strong team?

To help start-up CEOs with creating a super team, we asked experienced founders and CEOs their top tips for assembling the best group of workers. From aligning cultures and putting people first, there are several strategies that may help you create the strongest possible team to reach your targets. 

Here are 10 of the best strategies used to create a strong team: 

  • Align Cultures
  • Establish Expectations
  • Encourage More Communication and Collaborate
  • Create a Strong Mission Statement First
  • Drive Innovation With A Team of Diverse Thinkers 
  • Decrease Burnout by Prioritizing Mental Health
  • Reward and Recognize Good Work
  • Put Your People First
  • Develop Strong Systems
  • Share the Same Vision

Align Cultures

Everybody on your team needs to be on the same page, but there's more to it than just keeping employees updated on what's going on. From the top-down, you need a team whose goals align with your own. Moreover, their values and the company's values should be a good match. Use your start-up’s values as a guide when hiring your team members. A team that is aligned with your company's culture is a team that can succeed beyond your wildest dreams.

Jon Schneider, Recruiterie

Establish Expectations

Everyone on your team should know what they are working towards. After all, your team can't exceed expectations if they don't know what those expectations are, to begin with, right? Strengthen your team by keeping them in the loop at all times. From the get-go, establish expectations that leave no doubt in their minds about what the team’s goals are and how each role plays a part.

Ryan Nouis, TruPath

Encourage More Communication and Collaborate

Strong communication is the backbone of any successful team and is also essential to any collaborative effort. But the question remains, how can you increase communication effectively? Encourage your team to use whatever channels and platforms are available to communicate with each other, on any issue. Daily check-ins and updates will ensure that your collaborative endeavors meet with the best chance of success.

Debra Hildebrand, Hildebrand Solutions, LLC

Create a Strong Mission Statement First

One of the best ways to build the right team as a start-up is to develop a strong mission statement first to compare applicants against. You should include in it the kind of business culture you are trying to cultivate and where your goals and aims are. This way you can see how each person you interview can help contribute to your goals and if they fit well within what your mission statement is looking to accomplish.

Brandon Brown, Grin

Drive Innovation With A Team of Diverse Thinkers 

While most people think of bias in terms of age, gender, and ethnicity, bias is also in play when companies look to recruit employees who "think like us". This mindset is not only biased. It also creates a lack of diversity and inclusion in their team. Hiring people who process and analyze information differently, have differing perspectives, and excel at various skills, builds a strong team that can attack challenges from multiple angles and comes up with numerous solutions that fit varying situations. Being disruptive in the marketplace takes an organization of diverse thinkers because diversity and inclusion spark innovation. And because you're not trying to get employees to "think like us", you're letting them be themselves, which fosters their personal and professional growth and creates one epic team.

Chris Gadek, AdQuick

Decrease Burnout by Prioritizing Mental Health

Creating a strong team requires strong individuals that perform at their best. Stress and burnout have been shown to decrease efficiency, creativity, and problem-solving skills.

In fact, according to NCBI, burnout was associated with sickness absence days with results indicating that burnout predicts sickness absence. Therefore, reducing burnout is likely to reduce sickness absence. By offering your team tools to better manage stress and burnout, you're that much more likely to create a strong team.

Such tools include meditation and yoga private classes, wellness events, and a company culture that understands that burnout and pushing employees to their limits are simply not viable long-term strategies that lead to success.

Shayna Hasson, Yoga Beyond The Studio

Reward and Recognize Good Work

What incentives are you providing to your team to encourage them to be in top form? Your team members will work harder if they know that the good work they're doing is being recognized by their colleagues and rewarded by you. So, do your best to foster real relationships between your team members and encourage them to cheer each other on. Additionally, when your team members reach their goals, reward them appropriately.

Ed Stevens, Preciate

Put Your People First

As a start-up owner, you'll need to take steps to retain your team from the very beginning. Even before you gather a number of dependable and talented professionals by your side, it's essential to know how to value them. From my experience, offering fair compensation, recognizing hard work, and staying compassionate and empathetic help you succeed as an employer. I've seen many new entrepreneurs make the mistake of solely focusing on customer experience and ignoring their workers in the process. When you keep your employees first, customer experience is bound to improve due to an engaged workforce inspired by your effective leadership.

Anjela Mangrum, Mangrum Career Solutions

Develop Strong Systems

One thing start-up CEOs need to take care of is building the right systems. Here, the system includes both monetary and non-monetary resources. Developing an effective system begins with hiring the right people capable of making the best use of your material resources. Along with that, it is also essential to lay down clear and visionary processes. Try to rule out any possibility of hurdles in the smooth functioning of the organization. 

Meera Watts, Siddhi Yoga International Pte. Ltd.

Share the Same Vision

Start-up CEOs should ensure that the team members of their first lean team all share the same vision for the company. Start-ups are, more often than not, a gamble. This is why it’s essential to have people who believe in your goals. This shared belief is a necessary source of motivation and will ensure that the team works like a well-oiled machine.

Eric Ang, One Search Pro


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