How to retain employees in a startup

6 min read

Discovering terrific staff members is not enough. You also need to keep and keep them. It is currently hard to find fantastic and dedicated team players, however, keeping them can be even more challenging, specifically as a young startup. If you are just beginning, you typically can not complete on income or benefits with the big corporates out there. At the same time, it is an amazing and committed group that accounts for the most significant part of a startup’s success. Hence, for startups, the subject of keeping the top and determined workers is a lot more important than for any other type of company. As a young startup, you merely can not afford to lose the most valuable possession: your winning team players that make up your business. In this article, we will talk about 7 reliable strategies you can utilize to increase every year’s attention in your starter.

Why Startups Struggle With Retaining Employees

Why do startups have a more difficult time keeping employees than other companies? Some factors are obvious, others more minor. It is clear that startups generally do not have the upper hand when it pertains to money and salaries. Resources are limited, organization models in some cases not even proven yet, and stable incomes, not insight. Under these circumstances, it is not reasonable to pay salaries at a level similar to giant corporations that make consistent incomes and have pockets full of money. Additionally, start-ups can’t manage to have appealing benefits and bonus offer packages. Other reasons can include an absence of work-life balance due to long working hours and unbalanced workloads or dealing with weekends, or a distinction in mindset between enthusiastic entrepreneurs and paycheck-interested employees (though employing them was the issue in that case).

The Real Cost of Worker Turnover

For beginners, any business ought to appreciate employee retention because it saves a considerable amount of money. If retention is lacking, worker turnover ensues, and an individual quitting their task can cost up to 2.5 regular monthly wages up until a beginner has been hired. The expenses are most likely even more significant when you consider other elements: each worker leaving your company suggests a loss of essential know-how and information.

This is specifically real about implicit knowledge that your worker has discovered on the job and isn’t recorded anywhere in your files or CRM. Another crucial factor is, naturally, the time and resources invested into training an employee that is no longer in your group. And the time it takes for a new team member to come up to speed and contribute considerably. Even the most extraordinary talent isn’t usually a great entertainer from the first day. No surprise there, how should they be? They do not know the company’s custom-made regimens, procedures, and organizational culture yet.

Then there are the costs related to finding a brand-new employee to replace the old staff member with. After all, these working with costs are caused by the old one leaving. Hiring expenses encompass such aspects as a plus chance cost for the time it takes until a brand-new worker has been discovered and signs up with the team. Bear in mind that discovering staff typically needed in tech startups, like DevOps, software application engineers, etc., can be especially difficult.

Retention starts with recruiting

It might sound odd, however, if you wish to boost employee retention in your start-up, your efforts must currently start in the recruiting phase. Put differently, many times, the reasons for resignation can be traced back to flaws and errors made in the recruiting process. For example, a significant factor for disappointment and subsequent resignation might be big pledges and statements made in job advertisements that end up being far from true. Yes, put your best foot forward and highlight what makes your business terrific. But don’t promise what you can’t keep– it is just going to backfire. It has been stated that “every addition to the reality subtracts from it.” Likewise, be sure to screen for the right prospects. This might be less about their official certifications or previous experience but about their flexibility and determination to find out.

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Offer Involvement and Involve Your Workers in Choice Making

As a start-up, you have to deal with what you’ve got. One method in which startups have a benefit compared to corporations is that they have flat hierarchies and can use staff members to participate and be involved in decision-making. That does not mean that you entrust important decisions to your team members. Nevertheless, it does mean that you listen to them and inquire for their input on important company decisions. Especially if the team member has been with you from the early stages, they probably understand more about the field than you do (yes, that can be hard to confess!). Feeling that they are being listened to and that their viewpoint matters to the business’s leadership can make your employees feel appreciated and appreciated.

However, staff members who sign up with startups are typically not those searching for the most significant income but delighted by and passionate about the company’s mission and vision. They are driven by the desire and the opportunity to have an impact. So having them take part and being associated with decision-making gives them a sense of significance and enables them to feel that they contribute to the distinction your business is making.

Invest ongoingly into group building and strengthening

Read more: How To Built Or Choose Your Technical Dream 

As crucial as startup founders are, developing a fantastic startup business is a group sport. In your role as founder, there are simply many jobs and duties you require to manage that having an excellent and self-coordinating group is a prerequisite for success. The stronger the team spirit in your workforce, the more powerful its ability to accomplish and be successful. Hence, you ought to invest in group structure ongoingly. Take care, though, about how you set about it. Too often team-building exercises have been dull, dull, or lame. Everyone is tired of the “Trust Fall” and rope pulling (just to prove the point “we are more powerful together”). Keep it enjoyable and light. Or taking into consideration your organizational culture – you may wish to be imaginative and spice it up a bit. Also, as a basic guideline, team-building workouts should take place outside of your office and may preferably have an entire day dedicated to them. Suppose your team remains in a different context for a specific time frame. In that case, the experience will be more extensive and lasting instead of getting lost in the everyday office hypnotic trance.

Construct organizational culture from the first day

Organizational culture is not something that only worries mid- or large-sized corporations. It concerns startups at least as much, if not a lot more. Why is that? Well, here’s the truth: you may not have considered it so far. However, your startup currently has an organizational culture! Every organization has a culture. Unless it is consciously designed, kept, and guided, possibilities are it might not be a very positive or success-promoting one. As a founder, you and your style of work (un)purposely produce and figure out an organization’s culture. You will attract workers in tune with your work method; however, you will see the talent that prefers a different work method. A few of the most significant business success stories began with start-ups that had distinct and enticing company cultures filled with the popular startup spirit. Have you heard about the famous “Wear Your Pyjamas To Work Day” at Google? Believe it or not, this when non-traditional idea has caught on so well that every year, hundreds of companies and, thousands of staff members celebrate this yearly celebration on April 16th.                       

Provide Time Off & Work-Life-Balance

Work law, obviously, provides standards as to the number of days of leave per year your staff members are entitled to. But you need to go one action beyond that. In a start-up, days and weeks can get long, often dealing with weekends may be essential to meet turning points or pivot on the previous knowledge. If your workers have registered for a startup journey, the possibilities are they do not have the 9-5 mentality anyway. Nevertheless, they will appreciate it if they have adequate time off to relax psychologically and physically. This will, in turn, likewise benefit you like the company as they have fresh minds and enthusiasm to come back to work. Another essential part here is work-life balance. Specifically, suppose your staff members have household or other commitments. In that case, they might want to work from home in some scenarios as possible to much better coordinate with their loved ones and errands. E.g., you could consider providing 1-2 days of home office per week– consumable regarding the previous arrangement.

Offer Learning and Growth Opportunities

Suppose you are familiar with the classical hierarchy of needs formulated by 20th-century psychologist Abraham Maslow. In that case, you will likewise remember that the most significant market all human beings have is a requirement to grow and actualize themselves. While it is not necessarily possible that every human can actualize themselves in their task (nor should it be an objective), you must aim to allow your workers to end up being more and grow in their task. The best way to do this is by supplying appealing knowing and growth chances. How can you provide such? One obvious way is to use the training and academic courses. However, such activity can be pricey and break the minimal spending plans that most startups generally have. Yet, training does not require to be so costly. When you think about online and e-learning courses used by a few of the most distinguished universities on the planet, there may be one or the other relevant system for your worker.

You can motivate such training by integrating its completion with a future increase in earnings. However, there are likewise other great methods of supplying employees with growth chances for imaginative startup entrepreneurs. One, for instance, is to institutionalize a regular monthly or biweekly TED talk with inspirational content that you or one of your team members found practical. However, if you have seen an inspiring speech, why not share it with your workers? You might even want to institutionalize this treatment with and in between your team members. For instance, you could introduce that every second Friday, one of your workers ought to shortly provide a TED-Talk that they have come across, which has motivated them. This is not simply an opportunity for your and your team to find out, but it also promotes sharing and communication between your team members.

Conduct exit interviews to identify reasons for employee turnover

You are a startup, so opting for extensive exit interviews may feel like going overboard. Yet, there is a reason exit interviews have established themselves in the middle- and large-sized corporations: they use valuable insight into motives and intentions a staff member chose to quit. You do not wish to formalize it as much as in more significant business. But some structure helps to make sure you are not neglecting any of them actually vital questions. Some concerns you should certainly ask are:

  • What did you like about operating in our business?
  • What would make this company a better place to work?
  • To what extent is the reason for you leaving us the recruiting/job interview? For instance, through false guarantees, a wrong description of the job?

Some concerns you might wish to ask– given that you know the employee all right and can be optimistic of receiving an at least “honest-enough” answer are:

  • We want to learn from your resignation. What can we enhance, and how?
  • What good memories will you have of our business?
  • And which will be the most unfavorable and frustrating memory?

Also, take care, however, not to ask particular concerns that would cross personal or ethical borders. Such items consist of asking for specific reasons a worker chose to stop, asking a staff member to reevaluate their decision, or attempting to formulate conditions under which the staff member might reassess their choice. Keep in mind also, of course, that there may be legal guidelines that restrict you from asking specific concerns.


Employee retention is a massive difficulty for many startups. Yet, it is even more essential than for any other kind of business. Hence, it needs to be observed and managed from “hire one” (or “day one”). Implement these most acceptable practices and actions. Nevertheless, likewise constantly be tuned and see what works best for your company. Every startup and culture is remarkable, and a few of these methods may work even better for you than others.

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