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How to be Successful in Retaining Top-Performing Talent in Startup Ecosystem?

by Jody Ordioni

The development of the business landscape, improvement in infrastructure, outreach of digital medium, and the world’s consumer market are a few factors contributing to rise of startups. The startup culturehas evolved over time. Many startups have become global successes and many more are on the verge of transcending into the global market.

The biggest crisis that is faced by startups today is retaining their talent. Any entrepreneur knows the perils of retaining the top talent and making their organization a successful one.

Be Straightforward with Employees

All startups run a high risk of going downhill if things do not pan out accordingly. High-potential employees would prefer to not be associated with business models that can go sour in some time. Still, many startups err when they paint a rosy picture for employees during recruitment and do not get realistic to let employees consider the pitfalls of the downside.

When the business ultimately runs into trouble, the top talent is the first to jump ships. It is necessary to discuss the negative aspects of business with prospective employees beforehand. This allows them to mentally prepare for the possibility that their investment into the company can yield negative results too.

Cross-Function Prospects

Unless employees develop loyalty and a sense of belonging for the organization they are with, it is evident that talent would be lost due to various reasons. This sense of belonging can be fostered by allowing them to work on special projects or providing cross-functional prospects for them to expend their creativity in. Even ESOPs can kindle the sense of belonging in your employees. Opportunities as such allow the employees to align their career objectives with their sense of belonging to the company.

Innovation in Engagement

The secret to retention lies in the art of engaging the employees in the startups. The more innovative methods utilized to engage the team, the better are the chances of retaining your top talent. One ingenious method of innovation and retention can be a ‘workcation’- a mix of work and vacation. Measures like these not only boost employee loyalty and productivity, they also retain employees by engaging them in the organizational framework.

Many startups try to provide wholesome development to their employees and therefore, help them to accomplish their fitness goal by providing in-house activities or gym-memberships. In the modern workplace, this not only ensures engagement of employees, it can also be used as an exercise in bonding for 360-degree involvement of the team.

Culture of Work in Startups

A significant influence in the art of retention is the work culture of the organization. From a nascent stage of the organization, the culture of the workplace must be built so that it can attract and retain the required type of employees. It is important to develop your company in such a manner that aligns it with the dominant ideologies of the team and vice-versa. Assess every application you receive keeping in mind the dominant culture of your workplace.

Even potentially top-performing employees can be culturally misfit for your company and this trait will not go away with time, which might lead to them negatively affecting operations. Therefore, there needs to be a well-established hierarchal structure within the startup that allows every employee to access the best of their capabilities in their roles.

Customizing the Work Experience

Personalization of work experience for employees is equally important as personalizing the experience of customers. Each professional handles things their own way or has a particular style of functioning. Expecting optimal quantities of performance from all employees using an umbrella approach would lead to a degradation in the quality of the labor produced.

All employees, especially high-potential employees, require their creative distance to achieve their predetermined objectives by working through their own objectives and methods. To space could require conditions such as flexible working shifts and working from remote positions. However, for the betterment of the company it is also necessary to establish safeguards to prevent misuse of this creative space.

The Bottom Line

Talent is the gamechanger in the competitive world of startups. Many startups have flourished, despite of a lack of capital, due to the loyalty and resilience of their top-tier employees. If you wish to navigate the turbulent waters of the professional sector, it is important to keep your employees aboard.

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