Startups are on the rise. Around 305 million of them are created every year, and it doesn’t look like this number is decreasing any time soon.
With this growth, the startup ecosystem is evolving as well. New technologies, processes, and demands are entering the market, constantly changing how it works.
But while the rapid growth is necessary, and in most cases, good, startups need to have a set of anchor points that keep them grounded. These ensure that a startup is able to achieve new milestones and succeed even as the business world keeps evolving.
In this article, we’ll look at five of these anchors (or principles) and exactly how they boost performance.
The Top 5 Principles and Conditions that Keep High-Performing Startup Teams on Top of Their Game
The following principles will help your startup to succeed — from increasing productivity and efficiency to helping your entire team to excel.
Communication is one of the core requirements of any effective team.
To achieve growth and sustainable success, your team must close deals, complete tasks, and meet deadlines. Pulling this off requires communication. Without it, it’s difficult, or even impossible, to stay on top of what everyone on the team is doing. Projects will simply not come together.
That said, it’s not enough to communicate in any way. Your team needs clear and effective communication.
Consider this. For small companies with around 100 employees, poor communication costs an average of $420,000 per year. On the other hand:
- Teams that communicate effectively increase their productivity by as much as 25%.
- Companies with effective communication are 3.5 times more likely to outperform the competition.
- Well-informed employees outperform their peers by close to 80%.
Companies can achieve these results because clear communication allows several things to happen:
- Through proper communication, teams enhance their feedback process, cooperation, as well as their information and knowledge sharing.
- Clear communication builds respect and good working relationships in the workplace, and it also fosters accountability — all elements that help improve productivity and morale.
- Communicating well allows work to proceed more efficiently with less friction.
Achieving this kind of communication in a startup requires having channels for team members to stay connected. For example, this may involve the use of instant messaging software such as Slack, or video conferencing tools like Zoom and Google Meet to keep everyone on track.
Even more fundamental than communication, trust is the glue that holds effective, high-performing startup teams together.
Team members need to rely on each other for specific tasks, be comfortable with taking risks, and get on board with solving conflicts as they arise.
Also, when members trust you, their leader, and each other, they will likely have more confidence in their decisions. With trust, you’ll be able to delegate tasks (leaving room for you to work on other crucial business areas), plus you’ll be able to consider other team members’ opinions and suggestions.
An important first step in ensuring trust is making the context of your work accessible to everyone as much as possible. For example, when a team member gets to a particular task, they must have access to all the resources that feed into it. This fosters understanding between team members and ensures that they are all on the same page.
In addition to context-driven work, you can also build trust and improve performance by:
- Respecting employees’ time, ideas, and opinions
- Creating opportunities to build relationships (for example, having team building activities)
- Building a work culture that encourages transparency
- Celebrating successes and always lending a listening ear when problems come up
Clear communication and trust build the third anchor — collaboration.
When your team is able to communicate well and they trust each other, they can collaborate effectively.
Very few startups succeed through one person’s efforts, and therein lies the power of collaboration. It allows team members to exchange ideas, experiences, and viewpoints, essentially improving teamwork and creating the perfect breeding ground for innovation. In fact, 77% of the most innovative companies in the world have collaboration as one of their most success-boosting factors.
So, collaboration breeds innovation. This brings us to the fourth principle.
The Drive to Innovate
Innovation and creativity are what will give your team a sense of purpose and the need to constantly move the larger goals of the team forward.
However, while driving innovation will help improve performance, it’s not always easy to implement.
You will have to:
- Counter the default apathy of a corporate environment. This means making more effort to listen to team members’ inputs, actively working on effective suggestions, and encouraging the team to feel a sense of ownership in the company’s larger goals.
- Adopt team-focused solutions (as opposed to personal agendas) when conflicts arise. Reflecting on conflict resolution from a team perspective allows each member to move away from just thinking about themselves and their role to thinking about everyone. This puts them out of their comfort zone toward new ways of thinking that promote innovation.
- Include team members in decision-making. The more included team members feel in the overall movement of the company, the more motivated they are to bring their unique input to grow the company.
Adequate and Empathetic Support
Finally, members of high-functioning teams feel supported.
There’s kindness and genuinely trying to set each other up for success; no jealousy, distrust, or hostility involved. It’s up to you as the leader to make sure that your entire team feels supported.
To put this principle into practice and bolster a sense of support, consider doing the following:
- Be able to identify things that are going wrong. From poor communication to the lack of clear goals and accountability, you have to identify your team’s pain points and work through them together.
- Build your emotional intelligence. For example, it’s worthwhile to ask yourself how you handle stressful situations, how you react to a team member making a mistake, how you take (or don’t take) responsibility when you make a mistake, or how you switch from diagnosing the problem to devising and implementing solutions. You have to reflect on this while also encouraging everyone on your team to do the same.
- Help team members master interpersonal conflict resolution. They must learn to communicate through conflict to resolve problems.
There you have them; the five principles. But while they will help your startup team to perform well and thrive, they are abstract and difficult to fully implement. Thankfully, you can work on them using smaller steps, and more importantly, using tools that make them more achievable.
Using a platform or digital tool that serves and embodies the values your team wants to have goes a long way in helping them maintain those values. Typed is one such tool.
How a Knowledge Management Tool Can Help You Implement High-Performance Values
Typed is a knowledge management and team collaboration tool that’s created for teams to improve performance and succeed together. That’s why the product offers several features that exemplify important startup team values.
Typed ensures that team members can access the correct context of resources, files, and links for every task that they encounter.
The tool’s sophisticated reference feature allows team members to add files to a document as references. These can be accessed whenever the document is opened, thus keeping everyone on the same page about that file, and fostering a spirit of trust and collaboration.
Furthermore, Typed’s ‘Network View’ mode ensures that team members can always visualize the bigger picture and see how all the documents, assets, and other files connect to form the body of work that the company’s currently involved in. Seeing how their work fits into the bigger picture gives team members a sense of belonging, motivating them to bring their most innovative selves to the table.
Effective Communication and Collaboration
The ‘Task’ feature in Typed allows you to schedule, organize, and manage your team’s upcoming tasks, as well as their deadlines. You can list out all your to-dos and automatically sync up specific deadlines with your Google calendar. This is crucial for strengthening the feedback and input mechanism within the team, ensuring that everyone knows what they have to do at any given time.
A well-organized task assignment and review mechanism not only improves communication within teams, but it also drives a culture of transparent and productive feedback in the workplace.
More Typing, More Productivity
Sharing the right values is key to staying anchored in the ever-evolving startup landscape. Granted, technology may change processes and tasks, but the guiding principles remain, and you have to get them right.
By using a tool like Typed, you’re able to maintain effective performance by staying true to the core principles. With this one tool, you can improve communication and collaboration, foster an environment that promotes innovation, and make your team feel supported. Talk about a tool that allows you to work smarter, not harder!
Want your team to enjoy all these benefits and more? Sign up today and start Typing.