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Monday, October 29, 2018

Solidifying Your Startup - Encouraging Team Collaboration

Many friends of mine work in start ups, and I hear what wonderful environments they can be to work in. I've been envious of their working conditions because many do wonderful things to encourage team collaboration. While I don't work at a startup, I've worked with many start ups, making fun foraging and cooking events, that are fun days to help promote team cohesiveness. Here's some other ideas from a reader that are great ones to implement in your workplace, even if it isn't a start up.


Startups move quicker than your average business. In fact, sometimes a whole strategy can be created, implemented and then changed in one business day. This sort of environment is fueled by creativity and innovation, but success is dependent on how the machine works together. Don’t let a lack of collaboration cost you the goal of the business, and work to build a team that will act as a unit. Here’s how you solidify your startup by encouraging team collaboration.


Team building

This is critical to team collaboration. Your team building activities are where the team will connect on a deeper level; developing an empathy for each other and learning how they like to be communicated with. It’s important to remember that the team are varied, so your team building activities will have to range from lunch to dinner, active to creative, and just about everything in between. After your first event, gauge their feedback and see what they thought. Keeping these activities a flowing and regular occurrence will bond your team.

Playful environment

Your team are there to work. You know that, they know that. But there is no reason you can’t have fun while you are at it. Before you rip out the stairs and install a slide, remember that these fun office changes don’t need to be too drastic. It could be as simple as turning an unused office into a makeshift office, or replacing some chairs with communal benches. You want to encourage your team to collaborate together and this might need to happen in an out of work context before a work one.

Social experiences at work

This may not be conducive with all workplaces, but consider whether you can afford having an early finish on Fridays for some social drinks and nibbles. It can be a casual arrangement, and doesn’t need to be every Friday, but those moments will break office tensions and make light of a busy week. It also fosters an attitude of trust and autonomy in your team, that you respect they work hard and in turn they are encouraged to reward themselves.

Hot desking

Hot desking is sweeping the office landscape, and it’s no surprise that it was birthed in the startup scene. It’s the practice of sitting in a new desk every day, allowing you to sit with new people and collaborate outside of your already forged cliques. It’s a good idea to get roll-away drawers so that you can stow your belongings and then roll them to the new desk for the day. Research suggests that hot desking promotes innovation, reducing the option of staying stale and rigid in your routine. Trial it within your office for a week and see what the reception is like.

Who has the floor?

Is the same person presenting at every single meeting? Maybe they are senior, maybe they are good at it, maybe it’s you. There is nothing wrong with having a chief, although it does set only one tone for the startup office and doesn’t afford much in the way of collaboration. Choose different team members to chair the meetings and lead the lead through the vision and results. Not only is this a great development opportunity for them, but it gets more people engaged in the business and each other.

Leading a startup can be pretty powerful. And with great power comes great responsibility. Responsibility for the success of the business, but also for how the team interacts and collaborates. Uniting a team in an authentic way will never stop paying dividends, and will give your startup the longevity you are after.

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