While there’s no magical formula for transforming a startup into a unicorn, successful companies that have accomplished it share a common factor: they had a winning team. Initial funding is crucial for securing subsequent rounds, but it’s the people who drive the business to expand its network of contacts and distribution, reaching more customers, while also enhancing infrastructure and sustaining its upward trajectory.
Given the distinctive dynamics of a startup at this stage, finding the right talent becomes a particular challenge. At MBI Talent Group, we have been assisting the growth of startups worldwide for over 15 years. Today, we would like to share some of our key learnings on how to build and strengthen high-performing teams for startups.
Understanding your team strengths:
To begin with, it’s essential to have a clear grasp of your team’s capabilities, and the most effective way to achieve this is through a competency assessment. While there are numerous options available, it’s vital to select one that not only provides an accurate snapshot of your team members’ current skills but also helps identify their untapped potential.
After securing initial funds, a moment of change and expansion awaits your startup. You must understand how each of your team members can support you on this journey. A competency assessment will enable you to grasp the professional status of each team member, the soft skills they have developed, and which ones may need reinforcement to excel in their roles. This way, you can create a professional development plan for each individual that aligns with your organization’s objectives.
At MBI Talent Group, we use and recommend Hirint, an intelligent high-precision platform with a single pricing model. It effectively identifies the soft skills of your employees, facilitating the creation and implementation of personalized development plans for each individual.
Find the right team for your startup
Knowing your current team’s situation will also help you identify any remaining roles that need to be filled, and there may come a time when you need to recruit new members.
Depending on the size of your startup, your people team may not be fully established yet.
At this stage, some companies believe that hiring a headhunting firm to assist with recruitment is an extravagant and unnecessary expense. However, the reality is quite the opposite. Thanks to their experience and in-depth knowledge of both the market and your startup’s circumstances, they can efficiently identify ideal candidates in a significantly shorter time. This not only saves you time and money but also allows you to maintain your focus on the core aspects of your business.
If you already have a people team in place, it’s essential to equip them with the tools used by headhunting firms. Programs like Headhunting University can not only streamline their candidate attraction process but also provide invaluable insights into the industry and business landscape, enhancing their ability to navigate the market effectively.
Empower your startup through training:
With your teams in place and your objectives clear, it’s time to develop a comprehensive training plan to achieve the desired outcomes.
As your startup grows, managers will be required to take on guiding and leadership roles, and tasks that previously relied on just one or two individuals will need to be decentralized. Additionally, meeting financing goals will require a boost in sales efforts. To effectively tackle these challenges, providing targeted training for your teams is essential.
Offering training such as “From Manager to Leader” or “Sales Skills Development” will be invaluable at this stage. Other beneficial training sessions may include “Enhancing Team Effectiveness,” “Effective Collaboration Strategies,” and “Change Management.” By investing in the development of your team members, you’ll equip them with the necessary skills to drive your startup toward success.
Keep your teams motivated:
According to a 2022 Gallup research, motivated employees achieve superior business outcomes compared to their counterparts, regardless of industry, company size, nationality, or economic conditions. However, the same study shows that only 21% of employees are motivated.
While there’s no one-size-fits-all formula for maintaining motivated teams, here are some tips that can contribute to that goal:
- Effective Communication: Foster open and transparent communication with team members. Share relevant information about the company’s progress, achieved goals, and challenges. Actively listen to team members and provide constructive feedback.
- Set Clear Goals: Define clear and achievable goals for the team. Establish both short-term and long-term objectives and celebrate achievements along the way. This helps keep team members focused and motivated.
- Recognition and Rewards: Value the team’s work and efforts. Publicly recognize individual and collective achievements. Consider offering performance-based rewards or incentives to keep motivation high.
- Encourage Professional Development: Provide growth and professional development opportunities to team members. Offer training, courses, or mentorship programs that allow them to acquire new skills and advance in their careers.
- Positive Work Culture and Environment: Create a positive and collaborative work environment. Foster creativity, teamwork, and enjoyment in the workplace. Organize social activities or events to strengthen team cohesion.
We can help you:
At MBI Talent Group, we have over 15 years of experience supporting the growth of startups worldwide. If you want to inquire about how we can enhance your business, reach out to us here or leave a comment. We look forward to hearing from you!