5 Strategies for Building a Great Startup Team

Latest posts by Gaurav Belani (see all)

The way you treat your employees, their time, skills and abilities in the early phases of your union as a team influences the rest of your company’s course of action.

Mark Zuckerberg once said, “The most important thing for you as an entrepreneur trying to build something is, you need to build a really good team. And that’s what I spend all my time on.”

Neil Patel also conducted some intriguing studies on how a startup’s performance is influenced by its team. He stated that hiring mistakes and improper guidance are leading causes of a startup’s failure.

Thus, a startup founder’s primary responsibility is to connect with employees who have similar passions and ambitions. They should concentrate on assembling a quality staff, providing a pleasant working atmosphere and, most importantly, not lowering their hiring standard.

Wondering how you can go about building your winning startup team? These strategies can help you do just that.

How to Build Great Teams Within Your Startup

1. Set SMART Goals

The most common mistake that a startup team makes is generalizing the objectives and failing to make them measurable. Especially throughout the idea and validation stages, you must be extra careful about the goals you establish as you start depleting your resources from Day 1. Unfortunately, many early-stage business entrepreneurs fail because they don’t focus on the right thing in the right way rather than because their ideas lack sustainability. In no time, founders lose their interest, too.

It is where the value of SMART goals comes into play. With SMART goals, a business not only guides improvement in employee performance by setting quantifiable and attainable goals but also actively helps improve its reputation as an employer of choice.

2. Embrace a culture of flexibility

To recruit new talent, flexible workplace culture is highly effective, particularly for startups. Providing employees some flexibility and independence can significantly enhance morale.

You can designate certain days each week for workers to work from home to balance it out of your team’s needs. If the nature of the job permits, you can allow flexible mornings, as long as employees accomplish their tasks.

Allowing employees some freedom for work-life balance also provides them with a greater sense of control over their professional lives, making them happier and more productive.

How to Hold on to High-Performing Employees

3. L&D and R&R

The opportunity for learning and development and exposure to the latest technology and business strategies for drawing young people to startups.

However, most startups generally procure small teams with individuals who take on multiple job roles, leading to extra work. Recognizing and rewarding the efforts of these employees in your cocoon-like startup can go a long way toward developing an emotional connection and sense of belonging with the organization.

Great rewards and recognition programs can boost the employee life cycle by pushing first-year employees to behave like the company’s most valuable 10th-year employees. However, such a program can only succeed only if it’s part of a bigger employee engagement strategy.

Startup leaders should keep the whole process innovative and interesting, and rewards should be valuable and relatable to the ones who receive them. These are the things to keep in mind before forming your R&R program:

  1. Have a well-defined criteria that form the foundation of your employee recognition program.
  2. Maintain timeliness of recognition.
  3. Ensure fairness and transparency at all levels.
  4. Always keep adding a little variety to your rewards catalog.

4. Manage the silos well

An organizational silo is a division of people, such as departments or working teams, limiting information sharing by creating hurdles to interdepartmental communication. It is one of the most unpleasant situations that organizations confront and many blame it on departmental politics, divisional competition or other internal conflicts. Data silos are especially common among startups.

You know it is present when data reported across departments are inconsistent, teams cannot locate or access essential data and complain about a lack of data on certain business processes, and end users realize that data sets are incomplete or outdated.

Reduced productivity, ineffective business management, missed business opportunities, lower-quality customer service, and higher IT and data management expenses are all costs with data silos.

To avoid them in your startup, look for data illiteracy, identify the potential roadblocks in teamwork and strengthen your workplace culture. Go over your obsolete, isolated data and cut out anything unneeded. Bring in an all-in-one software solution to integrate your data management, making your work easier to handle. It eliminates the need for haphazard Excel spreadsheets and random software by your employees.

5. Bring in your head HR

While there are many reasons for a startup to fail, disregarding the necessity of a strong human resource department is one of the most common. However, I suggest that to develop a healthy growth path, all startups need to structure their HR management processes better as soon as they reach 15-20 employees.

In today’s complex job market, finding talented employees is tough. But it is even more difficult to find a qualified head of HR who will be responsible for all HR activities and work closely with your team members. The goal should be to choose a dynamic person who can operate comfortably in all elements of their role, from hiring to staff management, from training to remuneration and welfare policies. Using their extensive experience, they will be able to implement new procedures, HR software and other initiatives that have shown to be successful.

Alternatively, you could consider outsourcing these services to HR consulting businesses, especially in the beginning few months.


Because no two startups are alike, their strategies should differ as well. However, consider the five crucial aspects listed above, which could be deal breakers for your newly formed team. Lastly, whenever you reach a key milestone, make it a point to celebrate with your team.

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