Your team is your life as an entrepreneur. No entrepreneur in the history of the world has ever done anything lasting alone. If you want to make it, you’ll need to collaborate and delegate. The problem is making sure you don’t do anything to prevent a powerful team from coming together. There are a number of things you must never do if you want a strong employee base on which to build a profitable company.
Letting Problems Escalate
Doing nothing is often the worst thing you can do when problems are there. Left alone, things will just get worse. Take bad blood between two team members. You think you’re too busy to handle it yourself, so you just bet on them being able to work it out. That bad blood can easily escalate to a physical confrontation, or even the office being divided between the two individuals if you’re really unlucky – and it could’ve been solved by sitting them down the moment you find out about the problem.
Stay efficient. Handle problems quickly and decisively.
Making Things Uncomfortable
Discomfort is a productivity and team killer. If your employees aren’t comfortable at the office, they’ll have trouble bonding with each other. They’ll be too focused on try to fight the bad vibes and making sure they don’t do anything that gets them fired.
Do what you can to make company culture as fun as possible. Don’t take yourself too seriously – at the end of the day, you’re only human, just like everybody else. That isn’t to say that your company culture should revolve around jokes and laughter. Fun can take on a lot of forms. Your infectious passion and constant encouragement can easily make the office a fun place to be.
Playing the Blame Game
There’s always someone to blame when things go wrong, and can be very tempting to leap onto a desk and start pointing fingers. Not only will that make for an embarrassing and career-ending story, it’ll also damage whatever team you have left. The fact is as the entrepreneur, founder, and boss, you’re actually responsible. You have control over the entire company. You have final say on what people do and how they do it. Who works at your company is also under your watch. You’re always responsible, no matter who else is involved.
Take responsibility for any failures that occur. Don’t waste time blaming people for their mistakes. Put your energy towards something productive, such as finding solutions for the current crisis and figuring out how to make sure it never happens again.
Reminding People That You’re the Boss
Entrepreneurs are the boss, but there’s something fundamentally unappealing about someone who constantly reminds people of that fact. It makes them come off as overly demanding and insecure, two things employees must never think of their superiors.
Don’t revel in your power. Focus on being a good leader and yes, there is a difference between being a leader and a boss. Bosses bark orders and expect to be followed. Leaders organise, give goals, and inspire their employees to do better.
Shutting Down Employee Suggestions
You may be the entrepreneur, but you’re not the only smart person in the room. Pride may push you towards shutting down any good ideas from your employees simply because it didn’t come from your mind, but resist the temptation. Listen to your employees. Encourage them to talk to you about improvements that could made to the start-up.
There may come a time when they have a good idea for a product, but your company can’t sell that product for one reason or another. What you can do here is help them make their own start-up, if they’re willing. If you believe in the idea, you could even hop on as an investor or partner.
The fact is your employees are going to follow your lead. If you shut down every idea they put up, they’ll stop offering suggestions. This restricts their creative freedom and can stifle their productivity. Don’t be afraid of your employees and their ingenuity. Embrace it.
Think about how you’re planning to or how you’ve been treating your employees. Have you been stifling their creativity? Have you spent hours blaming people whenever things go wrong? It’s not too late. You can still change the way you treat your employees and be on your way to becoming a successful entrepreneur.