It’s easy: Walk down the street to the next startup, find someone awesome, and offer them something better than they already have. Read more...
If you’ve ever worked in a startup, you know how close the bond can be between the members of a small team. So when someone quits, it’s easy to get bent out of shape. But lately, I’ve seen situations like this get a little too personal. Here’s the bottom line: business is business. And if you lose an employee, it’s nobody’s fault but your own.
Let me just say that employees are people too, and they should be able to work wherever they want to without justifying it to anyone but themselves (and perhaps their loved ones). They also deserve the best job they can find. In my opinion, job one for any business owner should be hiring the best people around. Job two should be making sure they laugh recruiters out of the room.
Eight ways we make recruiters hate their jobs:
Daily Feedback: We’ve written in detail about daily feedback and our day-planning methodology. It keeps the team engaged, and promotes a horizontal management structure. When everyone holds everyone else accountable, we help each other learn.
No Overtime: Zero, zip, zilch. We’ve also written about that.
Developer Development: Our unique skills workshop isn’t just for developers. We benchmark everyone’s skills, set goals, and structure experiments to help our team get better at their craft.
Full Benefits: A great benefits package, 100% covered by us. Our team has bigger things to worry about than dentists and eye-glasses. If you’re a startup employee and you don’t have them, we’ve even written a series of blog posts to help your bosses get started.
An Awesome Office: We’ve designed an office space that no one wants to leave. Then we force them to go home at five. Pretty awesome, eh?
Continuing Education: We have a dedicated education budget (still underutilized, tsk tsk) that our team can use to buy books, attend events, and enroll in classes.
A Healthful Atmosphere: We encourage everyone at Big Bang to lead a healthy lifestyle. That’s why we provide unlimited free yoga at Downward Dog, and stock the kitchen with tons of free healthy snacks.
Team Lunch: We take our whole team out for lunch once a week. The team loves it, and we’ll keep doing it until the only available option is getting caterers to come into the office. We also make a point of eating together at the same time whenever possible.
Retrospectives: Our weekly retrospectives deserve their own blog post. We take an hour every week to discuss what went well, and what didn’t. Then we structure experiments to fix what went poorly and augment what worked nicely. So far, we’ve implemented about 15 experiments. I’d say about five of them have been successful.
Here’s the Deal
As business owners, we shouldn’t wait till a team-member quits then burn valuable bridges. Instead, we should always strive to design a work experience that delights whoever is brave enough to work with us.
So yes, it hurts when someone leaves your team. But business owners need to get over it, step up their game, and take away every reason to leave.