Motivating Employees in Startups & Small Businesses: HR Management


Though most startups recruit individuals who would fit that culture, more often than not most people end up being demotivated at work. Reasons are aplenty, right from peer pressure to the individuals’ expectations of the job. Employee motivation is a key issue, and affects all kinds of companies, right from startups, small businesses to the industry biggies who have thousands and thousands of employees. However, large companies usually have processes in place to keep their workforce motivated in some way or the other.

Happy Employees

Importance of Employee Motivation

For startups and small businesses, the HR department is small in size but at the same time has a larger number of responsibilities. In some cases, the HR department is non-existent. Though many discard it as a trivial challenge, employee motivation is far greater than that. It’s an open secret that an employee who feels motivated at work can be retained easily and is more productive than the one who is less motivated to work. Numerous studies and surveys by management researchers have shown that motivated individuals tend to go beyond their call of duty when performing their regular duties. In an age, when talent shortage is leading to individuals quickly jumping jobs, it has become quite imperative to retain good talent, and also ensure that they are motivated in doing what they do every day.

Keeping Employees Motivated

One advantage that startups and small businesses have over large companies is that the senior management works in tandem with the employees and is always interacting with them. There are various ways to ensure that individuals are motivated. One of the most basic ones is to have small talks. As a CEO or a founder, you are the captain of the ship, and when you talk individually with an employee on a regular basis, it surely makes a difference. These talks shouldn’t necessarily be restricted to encouragement and appreciation of the employee’s work. You can also share your vision and give employees an idea as to where the company is headed. When they are aligned with your vision, most employees are motivated to work. In addition to this, you can also use the company HR management system to broadcast messages. One of the reasons why we built Streams in sumHR HRMS was that the senior management could communicate with the staff. You can use the in-house social network to post motivational messages.

Startups and small businesses have environments that usually promote closeness amongst the teams. Employee motivation though is easy should be one of the top agendas for the HR management or the CEOs of startups and small businesses.

What employee motivation strategies do you use? Feel free to use the comments section below.

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