Are you listening to your tech start-up employees? Sometimes the inertia of a new tech idea and a solid business plan can distract you from the value that your new employees can offer.
The more discussions they take part in, the more you may hear valuable thoughts and reap such benefits as the six items below.
The more you listen to your employees, the more they’ll feel like an integral part of the company. In some tech startups, the owners actually make employees official co-founders to give them greater investment and a clearer idea of how much they mean.
Paying closer attention to employee opinions can have a positive impact. More listening will equal greater buy-in among employees, which tends to lead to harder, better work performances.
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Learn your employee types
What kind of employees do you have? You can’t judge their attitudes and personality types without listening to them.
Tech workers tend to have strengths in specific areas like people, software, logistics, or marketing. But you have to start conversations and listen carefully to their replies to understand those strengths. One good bout of listening can serve better than a slew of personality tests.
Who do your employees know? Chances are they have some valuable contacts in the industry that you can take advantage of. Listen actively to your employees to see if they know any other professionals or potential clients you can leverage.
They may not recognize a valuable lead themselves, unless you ask them to think about it and show you’re willing to listen to the answers.
Vendors can help tech startups with everything from bookkeeping to virtualization strategies, but making the choice can be difficult. Your employees may be wells of experience regarding which platforms work, which vendors have good software, and who the other companies are using.
The right kind of flat
New ventures tend to embrace the flat organizational model, but sometimes the company can be a little too flat for your employees. Listen to their opinions on workflow and decision-making.
It could be that your employees would appreciate a little more direction and structure. On the other hand, they may prefer to make some more of their own choices. You need to talk to them to find out.
Marketers aren’t the only ones with good advertising schemes. With small startups it’s often a good idea to make brainstorming a whole-company effort. Employees may have plenty of valuable input in terms of social media, blog, ad, and viral marketing ideas.