Every business owner knows that we are only as strong as our team of employees. Employees are arguably the most fundamental resource in an SaaS company, but something I’ve noticed after working with different SaaS companies is that just because you created a great product doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a natural at managing a team.
Managing a team is a difficult skillset that requires a set vision and a lot of patience. Below are a few tips I have gathered, both from the experience of running my business and from working with SaaS thought leaders who have mastered the whole ‘managing” thing.
Be your best self when you walk in the door – As i referenced in last week’s newsletter, I recently have been listening to the work of Dandapani (check out his talk here about leading a deliberate life if you haven’t yet) and one of the main things he talks about is the importance of a leader being mentally ready to lead. You can’t lead and motivate your team if interactions are clouded by your own self doubt, personal issues, and defense mechanisms. Clear your head before you walk into the office everyday; it’s the best thing you can do for both yourself and your employees.
Set high but consistent standards – Another thing I’ve noticed as a team leader is the importance of setting high but consistent standards for each team member. People respond well to being challenged as long as the challenge is something they are given the tools to achieve. If your expectations are too low, they will get lazy; if they fluctuate or are unclear, you are setting your employees up for failure and confusion. Promote hard work, but make sure that goals are attainable and that your employees have the resources they need to succeed.
Don’t copy other companies- This one is really important to me. In a time where every company is marketing their brand identity and blogging about their strategies and practices, it’s really important not to be overly influenced by how other people are doing things. Of course it’s great to share information and glean ideas from your competitors and affiliates, but trying too hard to model yourself after another company leads you to ignoring your company’s unique challenges and attributes. Take the time to understand the marketplace, but then come up with your own strategies and procedures organically so that they fit your unique business model and your unique company culture. Your employees will be happy to be working in a place that caters to them and their specific needs.
Let your employees do what they do best – If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a boss, it’s that micromanaging will destroy you and your employees. There is no need to waste energy trying to do your employees’ jobs for them or overly directing how they execute tasks. You hired your employees for a reason- give them free reign to make decisions, and even to make mistakes. Trust me, the added accountability and responsibility will make any good employee step up to the plate and shine far brighter than if they are living in your shadow. (And if you have to be babysitting your team member, they probably aren’t the best fit for your company anyway.)
So what do you think? Do any of these tips speak to you as a leader? What about as an employee? Let us know by clicking Contact Us at the top of the page.