Be a leader, not a boss.
From creating a distinct hiring process to having effective communication and leadership styles, there are many ways managers can build and motivate strong teams. — alvarez/Getty Images

Managing a team of employees can be challenging for even the most seasoned managers and doing so at a new startup means you will have your work cut out for you. Not only do you have to manage your employees, you often have to build your team from the ground up.

However, there are many ways to take control and lead your team to success. Follow these five tips for being the best leader — not just the best boss — of your new startup.

Hire the right people

As a manager, you’ll soon understand that the people you hire are crucial to the success of your business. Since you’re just taking off, you’ll want the right employees on your team. Not only should you hire based on experience and qualifications, but also on shared values, passions and missions.

To find the best candidates, step up your recruiting game. Rather than sharing your job opening on crowded career-posting sites, look to more niche platforms. Also, be sure to ask behavioral interview questions, or questions that tell you more about the applicant’s work habits rather than the work history on their resume. When you do find someone you’re interested in hiring, act quickly — you’re likely not the only one who sees their value.

[Read: Struggling to Hire? Good Recruiting Takes Creativity and Commitment]

Don’t be afraid to delegate

We get it: You have a vision, and you want to honor it as best as you can. As a result, you might be reluctant to give up some of your responsibilities. However, going at it alone is not practical. Your employees are there for a reason. Trust them.

According to Business News Daily, there are three types of tasks you should delegate: tedious tasks that don’t affect growth, tasks that drain you of passion and tasks that someone could do better than you. When in doubt, pass along smaller responsibilities (like administrative projects and day-to-day operations) that don’t require much experience or specific skills.

Delegating work will likely feel uncomfortable at first, but once you realize how much you can accomplish as a team, you’ll wish you did it sooner.

Great communication is the backbone of every successful business.

Communicate (and listen) well

Great communication is the backbone of every successful business. Leaders are responsible for relaying updates to mission statements, details for new projects and any news that might impact employees. Transparency and empathy should be your main priorities when communicating with your workers.

However, it’s also critical to remember that communication is a two-way street. Don’t just talk at your employees; have open discussions with them and really listen to what they share. If someone isn’t engaged or seems too hesitant to speak up, reach out to them individually and encourage them to talk in ways that feel comfortable to them. For instance, some employees prefer speaking one-on-one rather than during company-wide meetings like town halls. Accommodate your workers’ preferences as best as possible, so they’ll feel more willing to get involved.

[Read: How Can I Encourage My Employees to Share Their Ideas?]

Don’t lose sight of your vision

You started your business with a specific vision in mind. Every day, ask yourself whether you and your workers are making strides toward that vision. If you feel some employees are straying from your plan or you are personally disconnected from your original goals, revisit your mission statement with your team to bridge these gaps.

Sometimes, all it takes is realigning your intentions accordingly; other times, it’s adjusting your objectives entirely. Whatever the case, make sure each person is on the same page.

Be a leader, not a boss

At the end of the day, you and your team are in business together. Always value your employees as the hardworking individuals they are and credit them whenever necessary. Rather than berating them for any and every mistake they might make, support them in their endeavors and encourage their professional growth — both within your business and in their personal careers. By doing so, you’ll retain loyal, passionate workers.

[Read: Are You a Compassionate Boss? Here's Why You Should Be]

Managing a new startup is not a simple feat. But with the right attitude and team backing you, you’ll learn the ropes in no time. Trust the process, and never forget where you started and how far you’ve come.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published January 13, 2020