In a bid to attract talent, companies are offering an ever-increasing list of work perks; paw-ternity leave and unlimited holiday to name a few. But as companies keep increasing their benefits to beat out their competitors, it leaves a key question. Shouldn’t they be focusing on creating, retaining and utilising their own talent?

Create a collaborative environment

As a founder, hiring people who understand and share the same infectious vision you have comes with feeling of immense satisfaction. They bring with them new ideas, a can-do attitude and help build a strong community within your company. One that allows it to grow. But even when these new hires join your company, the battle for talent isn’t over. Having recruited your prefect team, the next step is to make sure they feel connected. 

Giving team members the flexibility to explore their own ideas is vital to this. It gives your team a voice in the company’s direction and leaves them deeply vested in the startup's path and outcome. It also puts forward a range of new ideas that can build the business better.

Having regular one-to-one sessions, and giving the opportunity to talk openly about issues and ideas and discuss progression is key. It ensures everyone feels part of the team, and allows their ideas to be heard.

Build a culture of learning and skill-sharing

Building a culture of learning and skill sharing is equally important. Everyone on your team is bound to have core strengths or skills that they’ve mastered. It might be someone on your development team who’s fixed a coding issue after the team spent days trying to solve it, or someone who knows how to bring the team together in stressful times, or a person from the marketing team who’s passionate about translating outcomes into tangible business results.

Whatever the person and whatever their strength might be, allowing them the chance to share these skills with others helps nurture the talent already within your team. Equally, it builds and develops a team with a broader skillset. One that both benefits the business they’re a part of, and opens up more opportunities for them later on.

Give employees flexibility and freedom in their roles

As founders, it’s important to see that flexibility is key. Encouraging your team to experiment with new workflows and business arrangements builds a culture that is both productive and nurturing. It shows that your startup is one that’s open to ideas and new ways of doing things. 

Flexibility is not only vital for developing a strong community within your startup, but it also builds a culture that attracts the talent you’re looking for. One that gives you an edge over the larger incumbents.

Stop seeing failure as a bad thing

All founders want to create the best teams so that their company can be a success. But many companies try to mitigate and frown upon failure. Alongside creating a culture that hinders idea-sharing, this attitude can knock a team’s confidence and ambition. No job, role or journey will ever be smooth sailing, and failure is as important as succeeding.

When someone or a team misses their aim, it’s important to use it as a learning opportunity. It allows you to understand how to better shape the vision, and builds your start-up stronger. Just be sure to never blame, shame or guilt. After all, the most talented employees don’t just need support when they’re doing their best, but when things aren’t going so good.

Santiago Schmitt is the co-founder of FoodLama.