Launching a startup company can be thrilling, exhausting, stressful and rewarding in equal parts. Every entrepreneur begins their adventure with goals in mind – a revenue total they'd like to hit the next year, creative goals, financial milestones – and once those goals have been met, there's always another achievement to reach for.
Whether you started in your basement or had funding from the outset, when it comes time for expansion, many entrepreneurs may not be familiar with the particularities of running a team and carrying out HR best practices. As a team expands, it's easy for the goals of the entrepreneur to get lost in the fray of daily tasks, marketing, finding an office space and many other business necessities that can derail team objectives.
That's why goal setting on the individual level is so important for businesses of all sizes, including startups. Companies with five employees can benefit from goal setting and objectives and key results planning just as much as a company with 500 employees. Here are a few ways you can incorporate this strategy into your startup business:
Set ambitious goals
Think big. Even though you may have to start small, keep the bigger picture in mind for yourself and your staff. The big picture may feature financial goals for the next few years, a wider audience for your product or service or team expansion.
The same rules apply for your team. Invite them to sit down with you to discuss their overarching goals and how they align with the company. These goals should be ambitious, but attainable. Depending on your company, these employee objectives can include higher sales, improved client relations or more creative and innovative design work.
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Use OKR software
Keep staff goals present in your mind – their success is your success.
Once you have goals in place to expand your entrepreneurial endeavor, it's time to track these objectives and key results. Use OKR software to follow progress on your employees' achievements. OKR software is easy to use and offers transparency into what your team is up to throughout the day. In addition to being able to support staff activity, you can also use the software to congratulate team members who are on their way to achieving their goals.
You may have started this company alone or with just a business partner, but a thriving team is crucial to sustaining your organization's forward trajectory. Keep staff goals present in your mind – their success is your success.
Keep communication open
Running a startup can be hectic and stressful, but that doesn't mean you should ignore the needs of your employees or let months go by without having meaningful conversations with staff. Communication is crucial to goal setting – it's how you track both successes and struggles, and how you can keep company goals front and center in your employees' minds.
Yearly employee reviews are not enough. In addition to using OKR software to keep your finger on the pulse of staff activity and achievements, hold in-person meetings regularly to keep the lines of communication open.
Try holding staff-wide gatherings regularly, as well as one-on-one check-ins where team members feel free to voice their opinions, share thoughts and ideas, and express concerns over their own performance or other issues that may have arisen in your company. Entrepreneurs are sometimes so busy running the business that small things can slip past them. It's better to take note and deal with them sooner rather than later, when a little issue has become a consistent problem now rooted in the company culture.
By keeping the lines of communication clear, startups can ensure that employees are doing their best work and operating in a free and open environment that helps them thrive.