Ideas to Engage Your Employees When You’re Running a Startup Business

Employee engagement is an essential part of every flourishing organization. Large companies have a pre-determined budget and the HR tools to drive up motivation and involvement. But what if you don’t have all those resources? What if you happen to be an entrepreneur managing a startup business with only a few people on your team?

Well, it’s true that most small business owners face the dilemma of keeping their employees satisfied when they also need to exert more effort to get things up and running on a daily basis. Because entrepreneurs rely on each team member’s efforts to achieve their small business goals, they should be more proactive when it comes to implementing employee engagement efforts.

We will take a closer look at some great, actionable ideas you can implement on your own to create more involvement among your employees.

Assign Roles Based on Passion and Interest

Unlike large, well-established organizations, small business owners in startup companies need to be extra careful not to overburden or overwhelm their employees with work. Everything is still in the early growth process. One unmotivated and unengaged employee has the power to undermine your efforts.

Make sure that you give extra love and care to your new team members by assigning roles that truly interest them. It’s important that you get to know the passions and talents of every single member of your business. Not only will this motivate the person to do their best work, you’ll also achieve the maximum results of that person’s hard work.

Set the Bar High but Don’t Be Afraid of Mistakes

People want to accomplish great things, and this desire pushes them hard to succeed. As a small business owner, you can boost your employees’ level of engagement by setting positive expectations. Even though you run a startup, you still can (and should) aim high

Having high expectations challenges your workers to give the best of themselves. Low expectations make people relaxed and indifferent. At the same time, do remember that mistakes are part of the journey to success. Do not be too harsh when a member makes an honest mistake despite his or her hard work. The fear of failure kills people’s motivation.

Never Forget to Give Praise – Verbally and Through Treats

Salary raises aren’t always the effective strategies to engage people at work. There are non-monetary ways to keep dedicated teams happy. Remember that we’ve mentioned earlier about setting high expectations? If your small team accomplishes something important, never let it go unnoticed. Magnify it!

Praise can create a lot of impact on your workers’ happiness and it doesn’t have to be lavish. Verbally express your gratitude in a very sincere way. That is more than enough. You can also take it further by giving out a jar of cookies with a “thank you” note, treating everyone out for special pizza, or allowing your team to have a well-deserved day off in the middle of the week.


Regardless of the method you use to keep your employees engaged, what really counts at the end of the day is that you make them feel that they are important. Reaching out to your team members in meaningful ways increases their motivation to deliver. Put in mind that how you treat people in your small business impacts your bottom line.

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