When it comes to start-ups expectations always are high from the company. The freshness of the company, the team work and making through the first few hiccups create a kind of a friendly atmosphere rather than a corporate. The small size of a start-up make relations among the employer and employees strong. In every start-up conversations about work are held at a personal level and achievements and problems are discussed openly. This brings about a transparency in the work culture and expectations are raised to a level that is not healthy for a growing company. An entrepreneur is after all not answerable to the various make believe rumours that might float in the company. But the initial days and the first employees always develop a deep bond with a start-up entrepreneur simply because of the fact that they are the stones that laid the foundation of what would be a big corporate in the future. It is important for an entrepreneur to keep a corporate distance and also maintain the right rapport with his/her employees.
It is natural for employees who worked together with you to build your brand to want to know about where the funding that the company has made would go. With a healthy funding comes the expectation of a raise and bonuses. The wrong move can really sour an entrepreneur’s relation with his/her trusted employees.
Here is a list of what an entrepreneur can say when employees ask about where the funding of a company would be invested in and if the investment involves them.
1. Bonuses and Raises:
A secret does not remain a secret for long in a start-up. A start-up is always so close knit that any change in the company reaches everyone’s ears in the blink of an eye. A good funding that a company might have received would therefore never go unnoticed. This sets the clear expectations for a salary raise or a bonus.
It is important that entrepreneurs let employees know if they are receiving any bonus or raise before a rumour starts. It is important that entrepreneurs also define a budget for allocating budget money. It is wise to determine rewards for the top performers. Communicate as clearly as possible to employees about the bonus that they might receive as a thanks for the success of a business.
2. Company Structure:
It is possible that a business has raised a high amount of funding but maybe that money is needed for larger investments in the business. In times like these it is wise for an entrepreneur to create a new title or promotion to the deserving old employees. Research shows that a title and a feeling of involvement always works wonder with employees.
3. Office Changes:
It is natural for start-ups to have small spaces before they can move on to a more decent office space. Spend some money from the funding in moving to a larger space. It might seem unnecessary at the moment but, with new employees coming in as the company grows it is possible that there will be a lack of space. It is important that entrepreneurs keep this in mind and create a great workspace for the employees. It is a great idea also to ask employees to look for a space that they think would help them to work. Get them involved in a way that would make them feel that they are reaping the benefits of the hard work that they had put in.
4. Technology Upgrade:
It is possible that your business has made money but the money is not enough to support a new workspace, give a raise or hire someone new. Entrepreneurs can do a minimal tech upgrade that involves the employees work directly.
An entrepreneur can give out office laptops to those who were working from their personal laptops. You can also give out fun gadgets that can help employees to work. One can also update current office equipment and add new programs that will streamline the business’ processes.
5. Food Coupons:
Everyone loves a good meal. Mainly your employees who work hard to keep your business running. As a gesture to celebrate success you can also associate with a nearby local food joint that gives out good food and work with them to give out a month’s food coupon to employees. It is a gesture that will definitely keep your employees’ tummy and heart warm.
6. Health Care Kiosk:
It is natural for every employee to be under the weather sometimes. The work pressure of a start-up can also make employees suffer from mild discomforts. It is a great idea to invest some of the funding money to set up an in-house health care kiosk that has the basic medicines to soothe minor discomforts. Start-ups do not necessarily have a dedicated clinic like the big corporations have. A health care kiosk would really help the employees and help the entrepreneur to show that he/she care.
The relation between an entrepreneur and employee is very complex. It is important that entrepreneurs always give out the correct message. The fact that there is no clarity of emotions on either side make it difficult to have a transparent relationship. Being too distant is not good nor is being warm good either. An entrepreneur should have the correct amount of a mix of both distance and warmth to keep the business running. It is important for an entrepreneur to maintain the right balance all the time. The good and the old employees naturally expect more from an entrepreneur. Keep these people happy. It is important to have loyal employees who work with you for a long term. The above mentioned points show what you can do when you are asked to answer questions that arise from employees when running a small business. Communicate, involve and show respect towards your employee and their work. It will surely hep you retain the best talent and help you to have a great relation.