HomeKnow-HowStartup Guide: Building employee-centric, high-performing teams

Startup Guide: Building employee-centric, high-performing teams

Editor’s note: This article has been contributed by guest poster Ali Hamriti. 

Building a high-performing team is a key priority in the early days of a startup. Finding and retaining the top talents that choose to join the adventure is essential to maintaining sustainable growth and staying competitive in the long term.

The “New Work” wave has had the expectations of employees grow and evolve: how to keep them engaged and satisfied has changed dramatically in the last decade. There are many ways to implement a great employee experience strategy, but ultimately it needs to fit with the company’s philosophy and engage in fitting initiatives that achieve strong results.

A flexible work organisation can work wonders

A good work-life balance is now top of mind for many employees. Their personal lives and responsibilities need to fit into their work schedule and one should not override the other. Implementing flexible hours from the start enables employees to start and end their work time on their own schedule, as well as take breaks throughout their days, whenever they need them. It also fosters a culture of trust between the teams. Employees are enabled to manage personal and family obligations, while also being efficient in performing their work tasks. A flexible work policy allows employees to organize their days, whether it’s taking care of their family, or going to a personal appointment.

In addition to flexible hours, implementing a flexible time-off-policy can increase employee satisfaction and lead to a more productive workforce. Enabling employees to take time off whenever they need it without administrative obstructions is another step that company leaders can take. Unlimited paid time off is an example, that, when done right, is giving employees the freedom they need without impacting the company’s results.

How can it be done right?

It’s important to establish your own guidelines that frame the policy. For example, you could implement a minimal number of vacation days to be taken, to avoid workaholic behaviour. You could also ask for notice on longer vacation periods to avoid having the entire team off at the same time and ensure your company’s viability. The most important aspect: this initiative should always be related to the company’s global productivity level. 

Foster a culture of Feedback and Ownership

Creating an environment where employees feel comfortable giving and receiving constructive feedback is a powerful tool for creating a good work experience and enhancing global productivity. Employees want to grow and develop their skills and are more likely to stay in a company when they feel understood and valued.

One key aspect of a great feedback culture is its continuity: feedback needs to be given regularly to be effective. Implementing regular feedback sessions on a monthly or quarterly basis can be a great start. Feedback should be actionable, specific and delivered in a transparent way. This helps managers and employees alike to understand their strengths and areas of improvement, which can encourage further their degree of ownership and accountability.

When employees feel that they have ownership of their work, they are more likely to feel invested in their job and motivated to perform at their best. It’s also important for managers to provide regular recognition and rewards for good performance, as they are a key component of retaining employees long-term.

Create engaging people policies

People policies can be implemented for a diversified range of topics such as recruitment, onboarding/offboarding, professional development, compensation, work organisation, expenses, parental leave and much more. Well-designed people policies that ensure both the company’s success and employee satisfaction are effective tools to build a positive employee experience.

Employees can be reassured through engaging people policies: a well-written document explaining the expectations and requirements for each initiative is the first step of good communication between employees and employers.

Sharing the policies regularly and making them accessible for spontaneous needs is another catalyst for transparent communications and therefore the work experience of your team.

Taking special care of improving and updating internal policies is also an effective way to show employees that their well-being matters and is taken care of in a framed and well-thought way.

Setting the example

A great employee experience can only be a success if the leadership is committed to setting an example. Your employees’ behaviour will most likely depend on your leaders’ ability to commit to the policies themselves. So setting an example is a strong way to communicate our company’s values and philosophy and therefore create a safe and transparent work environment.

Lastly, let’s not forget that employee benefits’ main goal is to increase employee performance and productivity. Being a results-oriented company also means that all initiatives set up to improve an employee’s experience should have a positive impact on the employee’s output. As long as your employee experience initiatives set your team up for success, they are a priority to building a well-working business.

Ali Hamriti
Ali Hamriti
Guest Contributor, Ali Hamriti is the CEO and co-founder of Rollee, a gateway to provide businesses with secure and consented access to their customers’ income data. As a former Data Scientist, Ali has experienced first-hand the pain and inequality of credit scoring. To provide independent workers with fair access to lending products, Ali founded Rollee with the ambition to help the Fintech landscape make better decisions through a single API.

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