Startup Resources: When Engagement Outweighs Business Metrics

By Fernando Berrocal

There are different types of business interactions that are crucial to the typical startup landscape. In particular, "employee engagement" has always been a popular topic in boardroom discussions across the globe. However, there has always been a series of doubts that measurements count more, particularly those related to business performance and finances. Now is the ideal time for a significant change in this "metrics-first" mentality, with the high talent deficit in recent years.

Business Metrics

As leverage continues to move in favor of workers you will see (as a startup owner) that businesses are frantically trying to give new perks and implement a variety of pricey retention programs. However, most of them are ignoring the one thing they should be doing. It could be easier than many businesses assume to win the talent battle. It goes beyond simply charging an extra amount; it entails making involvement the focal point of everything.

There has been a tendency to boil down everything to metrics because of the recent growth in technology; and the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI). It is simple to understand how this occurred, given how valuable a tool technology is. However, placing too much emphasis on technology prevents us from developing genuine business connections. The workforce is fighting back in that case.  Common sentiments include the following: 

  • Platforms are implemented to manage employees, which creates a dependence on work performance metrics (as opposed to actual feedback)
  • Employers are quick to assume poor metrics reflect poor work performance
  • There is no followup between leadership and employees to resolve the matter, including a lack of genuine concern or pragmatism

So, what can you do to improve employee engagement in the face of this mounting dissatisfaction? Here are a few strategies:

  1. Stop Making Measurements the Main Point

Metrics are crucial; that is not to say they aren't. It is that measuring and evaluating employee productivity and performance is not as important as measuring and rating employee engagement. Additionally, you need to demonstrate through your actions that you respect, care about, and want to see them succeed. Consider this an "and" approach. Although you'll undoubtedly continue measuring, the more deliberate you can be about showing your staff your genuine concern for them, the better.

  1. Be Adaptable While Integrating Work-Life Balance

Millennial and Gen Z workers strongly value work-life balance and have become accustomed to it over the last several years. As an employer, you could discover that a specific profession isn't a great fit for entirely remote work, but that doesn't mean you can't come up with a hybrid solution or allow employees to choose their own start/end timings. Employers must understand that strict regulations are impossible. The hybrid workplace will remain. Common sense must be applied to balance this and ensure that it benefits the employee and business. However, engaging workers necessitates paying attention to their needs and making every effort to meet them.

  1. Get To Know Your People

Managers must be aware of the objectives, talents, and other aspects of workers' professional lives. But they should also be acquainted with them. You need to put processes in place to make regular human relationships happen since they are necessary for this–they won't "just happen". In today's business environment, you should be able to see a comeback of the outdated "management by walking around" strategy. Many things will change if you schedule time for this and also make it a point to have routine face-to-face meetings with staff that go beyond performance assessments.

  1. Focus on the Health of Your Employees

Issues with mental health are no longer hidden. In a time when so many people have crossed the line from stress to trauma, they cannot be. Businesses now understand that psychological health affects every aspect of business culture, including important measurements such as productivity, performance, and engagement.  Make every effort to encourage employee well-being. As you create benefits, career paths, and work arrangements, keep this problem in mind. Destigmatizing mental health problems as well to seek assistance must be acceptable.

Venture Capital

  1. Keep psychological protection in mind

Employees won't trust, cooperate, or develop if they don't feel comfortable at their workplace. Additionally, the ability of employees to be open and honest with leaders about their needs as well as the sources of any issues that could be causing them to leave is directly related to trust. How can one establish psychological safety? Permit individuals to share unpleasant news without being afraid. Don't put up with any behavior, whether it comes from you or someone else, that minimizes, or blames you. Establishing clear guidelines for how employees should behave as well as a zero-tolerance policy for bullying may be helpful.

  1. Use Generational Differences to Your Advantage

Multigenerational businesses perform and produce effectively, according to research. It seems obvious that having a mix of different ages would result in more varied viewpoints and a synergy that will provide you with a competitive advantage. You can increase participation by utilizing the strengths of various age groups. Reverse mentorship is also a popular trend right now: what better way to engage younger staff members than to include them in educating more senior staff members about technology or social media?

Business Metrics Are Important, but Engagement Is More Valuable

Some of these concepts might seem alien to your business if you are accustomed to thinking in terms of unit production, profit margins, mistake rates, and other metrics. Since involvement speaks a whole different language, pay special attention to these factors. Emotional ties are important to engagement. It may be time to take a close look at the culture you've established if business executives are unable to establish and maintain these ties. Whether you like it or not, you must make certain adjustments if you want to win the struggle for talent.

Ready to bring your startup to the next level? Apply to MassLight’s next batch. MassLight supplies capital and a dedicated tech team. We take equity in return. Have questions? Refer to our FAQ page.

Pre Seed Startup Investor

About Us

Started in 2000 in Washington DC, Masslight has served the DMV for 18+ years. We serve enterprises and startups with full-stack development and long-term project management services.

Contact Us

masslight logo
©2019 MassLight Inc.
Website by Oneness Co-Creative