Primary blog image

The Ultimate Startup Team Building Guide

Lilianna Glenn  •  Updated Dec 31, 2021

Team building for a startup may not seem like a necessary task, but without a strong team, your business may not be a success. Read on to learn how to master team building for your startup.

Table of Contents

Team building for a startup may not seem like a necessary task, but without a strong team, your business may not be a success.

You may struggle with drama or a lack of productivity, which means you may not be able to achieve the growth that you want.

Read on to learn how to master team building for your startup.

Why Is Team-Building Important for a Startup?

Blog image

Team building for a startup is essential to the growth and success of the team. It may seem like a waste of time, but working on team-building can help significantly. The more you know your employees, the better you can work with each other.

You may also be able to assign projects to the right employees. That way, you can make the most of everyone's time. And you won't have to worry about wasting time because someone has a ton of questions.

Learn More About Each Other

One of the benefits of having a startup is that you most likely have a small team. That gives you the chance to learn more about each person who works for you. Even if you have a remote team, you want to have a good company culture.

When you get to know your people, you can make sure you can all work together. You'll get to learn new things about your employees. In some cases, those things may make a huge difference in how you run your team.

For example, you might learn someone is a new parent. So you decide to offer them a bit of flexibility. Or maybe you learn someone has graphic design skills, so you stop hiring contractors and have that person do the design.

Improve Team Relationships

Blog image

With a small team, it can be easy for drama to develop and circulate. As you do team building exercises, you can help everyone improve their relationships with coworkers and learn who works well together.

The next time you have a project that requires multiple people, you can ask the people who work well together to take on that assignment. Of course, that may not always be possible, and you may still have tension in the office.

The more you and your team can spend time together, though, the more everyone can learn about each other. For example, this may help employees be more understanding of someone when they are quiet.

Offer the Chance to Communicate

Blog image

Ideally, you and your employees would be able to communicate throughout the day or week. But things come up, and you may not have enough time to go in-depth about issues. Team-building gives you the chance to talk openly about things.

You don't have to tie the conversation to a specific meeting or project. Employees may be able to share their questions or concerns about the company. Getting to communicate with the people you work with can make work less stressful.

And you may help employees feel more comfortable talking about various topics. Then, you might be able to solve problems much more quickly in the future.

Encourage Employees to Help

At some point, an employee may need help with a project. Someone else may finish their work much sooner and will have time to help. When you have a strong team, employees may feel more inclined to help each other or ask for help.

This is particularly helpful if you have a new team or some new employees. You can give people the chance to introduce themselves to each other. After a few team-building activities, they might feel comfortable asking for help from a colleague.

When that happens, you can make sure everyone finishes their work on time. You don't have to worry about losing productivity because someone is new or has a lot of questions.

Show You Value Your Team

Blog image

You can offer the best pay and benefits out there, but many people like it when their boss values them as a person. If you want to have a good company culture, you should focus on valuing your team and showing them you care.

Team building activities can help you show your people that you care about them. The activities may help everyone feel like part of a team. When that happens, employees may want to do their best so that they can continue to work for you.

If you never make time to strengthen your team, employees may feel like they have to hustle all day. That can be hard, and it's unrealistic in the long term. Taking an hour or two for team building may help people see that you want them on your team.

Foster Acceptance

Blog image

Whether you want to do in-person or remote team building, it can help provide a more accepting environment. As you learn more about your employees, everyone can sympathize with each other and their backgrounds.

This is essential if you have a diverse team because they may not understand what others have gone through. Depending on the team-building activities you do, you may be able to help employees understand each other more.

When someone has a bad day, for example, you might know why. That can help you be a better leader because you may know to encourage that employee to take a break.

Teach New Skills

Team building also gives you the chance to teach employees new things. If you want to foster a company culture that includes learning, this is a great way to do that. You can do some sort of educational activity.

Employees can either work together or alone to learn the new skill. If you choose skills that can help grow your startup, your business will benefit as well. But your employees will come out of the activity feeling good.

Even if they don't use the skill right away, they may know more. When they do need to use the skill, they can think back to the activity.

Combine Personal Experiences

You can also have employees develop team-building activities. Have an employee create a game or activity based on their role in the company. For example, the social media manager may create a social scavenger hunt that requires people to go on to different networks.

An accountant or CFO might create a numbers game. People can even develop activities based on their experiences outside of work. For example, if someone likes video games, they may want to play a video game as a team-building activity.

Having employees initiate activities can help everyone learn more about each other. You also won't have to always be the one to create an activity for the group.

What Makes a Good Team at a Startup?

Blog image

When starting or growing a startup, you may not have a ton of employees. Because of that, you need to make sure the people you do hire are the right fit. Of course, this applies to specific roles, from you and any co-founders down to entry-level employees.

But your team should fill other roles outside of their job titles, so you can make sure your startup will be a success.

One person may fill multiple roles, or you may have multiple people that fill the same role.

A Good Leader

The leader should be the one who initiates projects and fosters the company culture. They're the one that other people will look to for guidance and advice. Odds are, you will fill this role as the CEO, but you might share the role with a co-founder.

Either way, you need to be able to lead your team. You should make decisions that will help your startup succeed. When employees have questions, you need to be able to answer them, so you should be easy to approach.

You should have time off from work, but you may need to be available more. This will allow you to communicate with your team and any clients you have.

The Expert

Blog image

You can also benefit from having an expert on your team. The expert may be knowledgeable about the startup world in general. But it also helps to have someone who is an expert in your industry, such as the finance industry if you're a fintech startup.

Employees can go to the expert with any questions about the industry. You and your co-founders can also consult with the expert on startups. That way, you'll be able to ask someone who has experience trying to grow a company like yours.

The expert can also ask you how you want to grow your startup. They can then give you advice on how to do that and how to build your team accordingly.

A Good Worker

A successful startup team should also have a good worker. Ideally, everyone on your team would be good workers because they may all have a lot of tasks to complete. But at least a few people should be able to work efficiently.

Good workers know how to get things done. While they may occasionally ask questions, they should be able to get to work on their own. You shouldn't need to motivate them to clock in and start their first task of the day.

If you have to do that with too many people, you won't have time to work on your own tasks, and you may end up wasting a lot of time.

The Problem Solver

At some point, you will probably encounter a problem. You might run low on cash, or your technology may need updates. Having a problem solver or engineer on your team can make a huge difference.

They may not know how to solve every problem. They should know, though, how to diagnose problems and how to find the right solution.

Engineers do this in their careers, so that's an excellent type of person for this role. But anyone who has experience solving problems can be the problem solver. Either way, it needs to be someone you trust to focus on the best interest of your startup.

Financial Person

Blog image

Your startup team also needs someone who can focus on the numbers. They should know how much money your startup has, what your expenses are, and other important data. This can be the CFO, accountant, or someone else.

The person should be good with numbers and data. They also need to be able to communicate the data to you and the rest of your team easily. Your financial person can answer questions and help with money problems.

They should also be able to work with everyone else on the team. That way, you can make sure you focus on revenue-generating activities.

Soft Skills

Blog image

Soft skills are things that anyone can use no matter their role. Examples include teamwork, communication, and leadership. These are great skills to focus on when doing team building for your business.

Everyone should have some soft skills in any job, but it's especially important for members of your startup team. If you can't communicate with someone, you'll have a hard time working with them on anything.

Hard Skills

Your team should also have certain hard skills that prepare them for their roles. For example, the developer will need to be able to work on software or other programs. The social media manager should know how social networks work and how to use them for business.

As the CEO, you may need to know about your industry. You might have a degree in the field, and you may have experience working for a similar company. Consider someone's hard skills to decide if they will be able to do the job well.

How Will You Incorporate Team Building?

Blog image

Team building is vital for any business, but especially for a startup. You need to make sure that your employees can do their work and that they can be part of a team, so you won't have to spend all of your time resolving unnecessary conflicts.

Instead, you can focus on running a successful company and may be able to see your team building startup dreams come true.