As your startup grows and you start hiring on employees, your leadership skills become even more important.
You want your new and growing team to:
share your vision and passion for your business.
feel empowered to think outside the box and bring innovative ideas to the table.
truly feel like part of a team, rally behind a common cause and know that they’ll be rewarded for their performance.
To achieve this, you want to create strong relationships with your employees by having open lines of communication, being clear about your expectations and creating a strong corporate culture that promotes teamwork and meshes different strengths.
So, how do you keep your employees motivated and help them succeed? Here are some suggestions.
1. Communicate your vision.
It’s imperative to communicate a clear, aspirational, stretch vision that everyone can rally behind. People want to shoot for the stars and know they have a chance to get there. As a leader, you must ensure that team members understand the role they play in helping achieve your common goal.
2. Set well-defined expectations.
In any business, it’s critical to clearly communicate to all employees their respective roles and responsibilities and how those tie to the overall vision of the company. Employees need to know where they stand and what the expectations are. Nevertheless, communication alone is not enough.
It is also important that your expectations are based on measurable objectives and definable plans. This keeps your team on track. Once the responsibilities are set, develop a tracking system to measure performance that focuses on quantifiable factors.
3. Create a little competition.
It’s always good to rank people and foment a competitive environment. Like in sports and in school, there are always students and athletes who are outliers in performance.
There are always the starters and the bench, but keep in mind that you need both in every winning team. After all, a whole team working together will always trump great players working alone. A strong team with good relationships can be the difference between success and failure.
4. Hold people accountable.
People want to be held accountable for performance. No one wants anything for free or to get to the finish line without deserving it. All of us want to achieve greatness by dreaming big and working hard! For this reason it’s crucial to hold people accountable.
Let them know where they stand in relationship to everyone else. However, managers should not be the only sources of accountability. Employees should also be able to hold their team members accountable. This is the type of corporate culture that leads to increased performance.
5. Offer performance based rewards.
Rewarding performance based on results is an important practice at successful organizations. Leaders should never be satisfied with where they are. We all need to wake up every single day dreaming to reach bigger goals and outworking everyone so we can get there before the competition does.
As a business owner, it is key to evaluate all of you team members on a continuous basis, promote the “A” players and develop improvement plans for the average performers. This allows people to see the results of their work and offers them an opportunity to improve where they need to.
Adopting a meritocratic approach will help you retain top talent, ignite new ideas and ultimately achieve results.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Jose R. Costa is Group President for Driven Brands where he leads MAACO®, CARSTAR and Drive N Style®. Collectively, these brands operate more than 1,000 body shops across North America, generate more than $1.2 billion in annual system sales and further establish Driven Brands as a leader in the automotive aftermarket space. Connect with @joserenecosta on Twitter.