Celebrating the people behind British small businesses

Start-up success: 5 tips for keeping your team motivated

By Rebecca Kelly, CEO and founder, Venuescanner

Launching and running a start-up is a complete rollercoaster, but it’s also the most rewarding of experiences. However, it’s only made possible by the team around you which it is why it is fundamental to get the right people on board from the get go.

In any business, your people are your greatest asset and you can achieve ten times more when you have a happy, motivated workforce. That’s why one of my biggest priorities as CEO is to ensure just that and it’s why our mantra at Venuescanner is “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

I’ve tried a range of techniques when it comes to motivating the team (all with a varying degree of success!) and here’s what I have learned so far:

Set clear targets

Ensure everyone in the team understands what your business objectives are, what it is you are trying to achieve and how their role supports you in meeting those objectives. This means you are always working to the same goal.

We give each employee a monthly target which feeds into the overall company goal. If we are missing any one of our targets, we get together as a team and do what we call a ‘data dive’. This helps us all understand why we’ve missed a certain target and identify a solution for reaching it.

Celebrate success

Regular celebrations of success and public praise for good performance are a must because recognition is imperative. We have introduced team member of the month, which involves a mystery prize and a certificate every month. It’s something to aim for and also enables the team to share in eachother’s success.

Get feedback

Once a month we hold a company-wide meeting to discuss how everyone is feeling about the business. It’s a great chance for me and my business partner to get feedback on the business, on how we are managing our customers, but also on how we are running the business. At the end of the meeting, we each identify three things that we will do differently to improve our team collaboration over the coming month. This process means that openness is ingrained in the business.

Ban permission

Be sure to celebrate success, but even more so make sure you make mistakes and learn from them (and there will be many!). We have a ban on asking for permission – if someone has an idea, run with it! It’s empowering. Yes, we’ll make mistakes and things won’t work, but the most important thing is to understand where we went wrong and learn from it as a team.

Running a business is never without its challenges, but having a motivated and engaged workforce behind you will be fundamental to your success. Ensure each team member understands how their role fits in to the wider business, provide and ask for regular and honest feedback, celebrate success and learn from your mistakes as a team and you’ll be on the road to success.