5 Startup Executives Talk About Maintaining Employee Motivation in the Office

Carly Syms - VIP + Marketing Manager

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A happy team makes for a productive team. When it comes to launching a startup, assembling the right team is essential. But hiring good people is only the first step.

What comes next is constantly putting in the effort to maintain the motivation of employees. We talked to five startup executives to uncover their secrets for keeping their employees happy and productive at work. These business leaders shared tips on how to make the workplace a welcoming environment, foster good morale in the office, and provide continual support for team members.

1. Create a safe space for employees to be themselves. 

“The best way to motivate your employees is to give them permission to really be themselves. At Plum, we have a saying called “BYOS” which stands for “Bring Your Own Self.” That means we encourage our employees to be their whole selves at work all the time and find purpose in their work, because that’s the basis for creative, innovative thinking. We’ve always lived by these core Plum truths – we all wear our hearts on our sleeves. At the end of the day, business is always personal and that starts with empowering your employees to come to work exactly as they are.” — Ben Mand, Senior Vice President of Brand Marketing & Innovation of Plum Organics

2. Allow employees to take on projects with real responsibility. 

“My number one tip is to make sure that, as much as possible, people have ownership and real responsibility over their work. A huge benefit of working at a startup is that each individual can make a huge contribution and having real responsibility is fun.” — Jake Heller, CEO & Founder of Casetext

3. Give employees the room to contribute ideas and opinions. 

“Startups are the best companies to work for, especially early on in your career. Nothing beats being in the same room as your CEO and having him/her actually listen to your input and perspective. I feel like that’s what we have here at 6 Pack Fitness. This is a company that values every single persons’ views and opinions. Giving every employee, regardless of how ‘small’ their role, a platform to contribute and learn is the ultimate motivation.” — Nallelie Vega, Community & Media Relations Manager of 6 Pack Fitness

4. Learn the motivations that propel each employee. 

Each person is different – their dreams, their aspirations, where they are in life. There is no one size fits all approach. Listening with empathy to understand what really drives a person is key. — Michelle Lam, Co-Founder and CEO of True&Co.

5. Help employees understand that their work is meaningful. 

“Always make sure people understand how their work is connected to the overall company goals. It is exciting and gives meaning to even the most grinding work. And as a bonus, the more people understand the big picture, the better judgement calls they will make on how to spend their time.” — Alyssa Ravasio, Founder and CEO of Hipcamp

Want to Skyrocket Your Employees’ Motivation?
We do team building tours at the world’s best museums. Companies like Google, Facebook, Etsy, Chipotle & KPMG all bring their team on our fun, unique tours to help employees relax, learn, and re-engage with each other and the business. Just send us an email at [email protected] or give us a ring at 1-800-210-9676 to learn more. 

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