What motivates startup early employees?

May 06, 2020 | Posted by Bobby in Articles

Once you find a cofounder, you will probably try to find some employees. And you need to find ways to motivate the early employees. Truth is, it’s quite easy to motivate them, but you need to be careful with what you promise because it’s also really easy to overpromise things.

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What motivates startup early employess

What motivates an early employee to work in a start-up?

No Hierarchical Rules

A lot of people want to work in a decentralized environment, in a place where there are no hierarchical rules. This way they can move around, do a lot of things that they want to do without the micromanagement of some manager. Also, a lot of people want to work in smaller team because it helps developing deeper connections between the members of the team and they actually enjoy that.

Share Options

Of course, a lot of the early employees are also motivated by the share options that they get in the startup. My experience is that, especially outside of Silicon Valley, the share options are not as important as other things that can be generated from the way the startups are grown.

So if you want to hire people early in a start-up, you should look for people that are motivated by not having a micromanaging boss, by having a decentralized environment where they can establish their own priorities up to a point that want to work in smaller teams and be part of the smaller entities instead of a big corporation.

Hire for Startup Survival

Just bear in mind one thing: these first hires in a start-up are really, really important. If you’re not careful about them, they can actually kill your company, so look for people that have the qualities I just mentioned. Look for people that are looking for things that you offer and be very clear when you hire someone on what you’re offering.

You don’t want any kind of fuzzy and unclear promises, you don’t want people not to be sure what they’re going to get. Don’t promise what you can deliver on, don’t promise people that they’ll be with your company five years from now because you can’t be sure that you’re going to deliver on that.

The startup might not work, that specific employee might not want to work there anymore, so keep it clear, keep it simple and look for those qualities in the people you hire early in the startup.

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