Mobe Review: Running a business is never easy, but, at least when you’re a solopreneur, you get to call the shots yourself and you understand why every decision was made. There’s never any question regarding productivity because you know if you’ve been productive or not.
But as your business grows and you begin adding staff, decision-making gets delegated to team members and questions concerning organizational productivity become more complicated.
To help ensure your startup stays agile and strong as it grows into a full-blown business, here are seven tips for fostering a productive and happy workplace:
Give a voice to the voiceless.
One of the greatest attributes of a startup is that sense of what’s possible when a small, dedicated group of individuals come together to advance a common goal. A major component of this dynamic resides in the fact that early-stage employees feel directly involved and connected with the company’s innovation and success.
To keep this spirit alive and fueling your business’ competitive edge as it grows, you’ll need to foster a culture where every staff member feels able and willing to contribute big ideas, regardless of their rank in the company.
Stay social—and fun.
If you find yourself standing in a funky office setting that’s fully equipped with gaming consoles, Foosball, ping pong tables, and lots of snacks, it’s probably safe to say you’re visiting a startup.
It’s no coincidence that some of the most successful companies, including Google and Facebook, have taken this approach to making the workplace fun. By nurturing the work environment, businesses—especially smaller companies—are connecting staff members in ways that make them feel like part of the team.
Mobile technologies have severed the cord to the workplace, enabling staff to work anytime from any location. But lingering biases have a way of downplaying this breakthrough, especially at larger companies.
That’s unfortunate because productivity is largely a mental state. In an age where work files can reside and be accessed securely in the cloud, the emphasis should be on liberating your staff to work in whatever setting their minds work best.
Favor consumer tech.
Although a recent CompTIA survey found that larger U.S. companies are shifting away from the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend that took root five years ago and had workers using their personal smartphones and tablets for work duties, smaller businesses can still benefit from implementing flexible policies that spell out what technologies staff may use.
Leverage customer feedback.
Velocity matters in businesses of all sizes. Being able to rapidly respond to changing market conditions, or shifting consumer preferences, can mean the difference between success and failure.
One of the best ways to quickly spot trends and respond accordingly is to keep a close eye on customer feedback. Doing so will help you to quickly reposition your product or service offering as needed, which is both more profitable and a more productive use of company resources.
Eliminate internal-external barriers.
If your business draws on a geographically diverse talent pool—with staff working remotely across a large or international footprint—the need for instant collaboration tools and information sharing is essential for keeping everyone involved and productive.
As Matt Thorne, head of IT at Pinterest recently told ITProPortal: “One of our core company values is ‘knitting,’ which translates to working across disciplines for the best possible outcome. We knit and maintain important parts of our company culture by helping people in remote offices feel connected to us in San Francisco. We erase the distance between offices (and desks) and empower people to make an impact when they come to meetings.”
In entrepreneurial circles, it’s become very fashionable to embrace failure as part of the overarching process of meeting with success. The idea, of course, is to fail fast and, in doing so, quickly get back on track to success.
But to build a successful business, you’ll need more than fashionable soundbites. You’ll need to be truthful when it comes to sharing stories about your business’ successes and failures alike.