Managing a team is an important part of making sure your startup is successful. After all, no one gets to where they are going alone. And seldom, if ever, are businesses one-man shows.
The reality is startups of all kinds likely need to hire people to expand. This means its imperative that startup founders learn the rules for managing a team. Because the reality is that managing people is not always easy, but it’s a necessary skill for success.
Track attendance, hours worked and other basic measures of productivity
If you are paying based on hours worked, then it makes a lot of sense to track how many hours each person works.Some people are extremely disciplined and can get to work on time, stay on task, and avoid all distractions. However, most of us, including me, need some accountability. We need to “clock in” and make sure we avoid distractions like Facebook or YouTube.
Do a quarterly review to see how your virtual team members are coping
One of the issues with working from home is that people can feel lonely and isolated. Not everyone copes well with this style of working. Most people do not have this issue and love the freedom that comes with working from home, but it’s important to check in from time to time and make sure everything is working for them.
Hire a business or project manager.
As the startup founder and entrepreneur, you are a visionary. This means that – to a certain extent- managing a team isn’t really a good use of your time. Instead, you may need to hire someone who has this unique skillset and can take it off your hands.
Of course, this depends on the scope and size of your startup. In some cases, you don’t have enough team members to need a middleman. But, as you grow, you will need to consider hiring one just so that you stay sane.
Respect your team.
Respecting people isn’t hard. You need to treat your team with the same amount of respect you would treat anyone else. The problem is business owners make the mistake of assuming that because they are paying someone that they own them.
Is this all business owners? No, of course not. It’s just the ones who aren’t doing very well because they don’t know how to release control.
Have a chat room open constantly
In our business we have a chat room open for each team in the business. Team members leave messages for the team that they are a part of. It’s essential to keep these chats alive but not distracting.
We also have a fun company wide chat room open for non business related chat. This creates a bit of a water cooler effect where employees can chat about anything they like. It can be a lonely existence working by yourself at home and this company wide chat helps keep a feeling of social connection.