The startup environment can be incredibly harsh. Money and space to work are tight. And as the owner of a new business, you are likely to be ready to give it your all; spending 23 hours a day at work, and forgetting about holidays and days off for the next couple of years.
And while you might expect your employees to be as enthusiastic as you are, it’s unlikely - and perhaps unfair - for you to do so. This is just one of the conflicts that occur in startups between owners and employees - and there are many others.
Today, we’re going to take a look at some of the most common conflicts that can occur, and consider some of the things you might need to do to resolve them. Read on to find out more.
First of all, many startups suffer because there is no clear direction. Founders might disagree with how they see the final product or its place in the market. But without a clear vision for the company, problems will arise - employees will have no concept of the common goal, communication gets incredibly difficult, and people will start to feel like they have no idea what is going on. It is essential that startup founders decide on a clear vision, and can articulate it to every member of the team.
The power plays
Startups attract the type of employees that like to think they can make things happen and want to take charge. On the face of things, these outlooks are the perfect match for a new business - you want the go-getters involved. However, given the nature of small businesses, things can go awry pretty quickly. Hard-headed employees can clash, tensions can develop when one person’s work starts to encroach on another’s, and people can start focusing more on power grabbing rather than their jobs. It’s important to lay out the ground rules and ensure everyone knows their individual responsibilities. You also need to be quick to deal with conflicts that arise from these issues.
Adapting to change
Successful startups are built for change - but the employees that work for them may not be so adaptable. Concerns about their jobs will cause massive issues, whether you are seeking investment for growth or introducing new technology into your business. During any period of change, a company will require skills, knowledge, and expertise that may not exist within the firm, so it might be worth looking at hiring an HR interim to see you through the rough patches that can occur so often in a startup.
It is vital to have some measurement of achievement in your startup. Without it, you will find that your employees lack direction, will be confused about what they are doing, and eventually end up demotivated. Clarify responsibilities, set up achievable goals with project management tools, and ensure everyone understands what success looks like.
Lack of culture
Finally, ensure you instill a sense of company culture for your new business. It can be the one thing that has the biggest impact on your startup and sets a precedence for everything that will occur in the future, from your marketing to hiring processes. Also, it will ensure that when you do start employing people, they are more likely to be a better fit for your business. Good luck!
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