By Alexandru Stan, serial entrepreneur, CEO of Tekpon, a one-stop platform for all software needs & SaaSfluencer.
How often have you heard managers or CEOs saying they know what their people need and what drives them to productivity? I bet thousands of times. But the truth is that they probably don’t. Instead, they think they know what’s best for them, but they never listen and manage to read between the lines. And it’s even harder when you’re building from the bottom.
That’s why, from what I’ve seen, most startups fail before their second year. Not because of their product, market or lack of money, but because the team is so tired that they can’t work anymore. But you can avoid these kinds of situations if you pay attention to some little details.
Let them choose their office.
Now, more than ever, working remotely is a fact, and we can’t deny that most people are delighted to embrace this kind of work. Thus, let them choose their office. If your team or team members are more productive in a bar, their own home, a garden or even a park, just let them be their time managers and trust them. This is such an important aspect.
Other team members may prefer being in an office and socializing while working. That’s fine, too. Simply being in an office may work better for them. People are different, and if you want to succeed, you should accept everyone’s way of being.
Unfortunately, remote work has divided companies and people. Hybrid, at the office, from home, nomads—just support each member of your team in their decision. Of course, if their results are not pleasing you, you should talk and find out where the problem is.
Don’t hesitate to use the right tools.
Software makes our lives easier. In the last few years, the software industry has helped us improve certain aspects of our work, businesses and even personal lives. Especially when you’re working as a remote team, the right tools can be lifesavers and money savers!
You’ll have plenty of ideas when going through the startup stage—sometimes so many that your team will go crazy. I recommend you use a project management tool where your team can have the big picture and also see ongoing projects, future ideas and daily tasks.
A tool like this can help each employee know their department better, analyze their work and be proud of what they’re achieving every day. And you, as a CEO, can write every crazy idea that comes to you as you’ll have the perfect playground.
Other than management, it would be best to use a tool that can automate work and keep minds fresh. Don’t let your people get lost in repetitive tasks when you can save their minds for more creative tasks or personal growth and be part of that 25% of teams that succeed.
Encourage them to follow their passions.
Let’s be honest. You don’t want a team of robots. For you as a CEO to succeed, you’ll need a team of people with their own personalities, hobbies and passions. You have to understand that their life is not the startup as is it for you. Moreover, work is not everything in life. Thus, if you want your team to succeed, you have to let them express their passions. This can help keep their mind healthy and their spirit more creative, and you won’t be in that 75% that fail.
And who wouldn’t want a team where people have different hobbies that can help them become a better version of themselves?
A balance between work and personal life is what most people wish for. It benefits all parties involved for you to make that possible. It is not always about numbers, businesses, money, sales and marketing. Failure doesn’t always come from business problems or product-market fit. You’ll find a solution for those. Failure comes from the top, not from the bottom. Failure comes when you’re not listening to your team or their needs, or they are not working together as you wish. Most of these startups are just some ideas because they want it fast, with low costs and too much work.
Always remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. And neither are top startups. First, think like a human, and then act like a CEO. People will follow the human, not the position.