Disorganization in Startups: The Biggest Productivity Killers


Startups aren’t immune to common productivity killers that plague businesses across America. In some instances, small businesses won’t have the cash flow, experience, or ability to get organized, but that doesn’t make a lack of work-life balance acceptable or profitable. Disorganization in startups: the biggest productivity killers .



How to Solve Common Startup Productivity Killers



Startup productivity killers don’t just take up your business's time; they also suck up your money too. If there’s room for improvement in your workplace, here’s what you can do.



Zero Collaboration and Trust


Newly formed startups are mostly made up of independent contractors and a few in-house employees. That isn’t a problem in itself, especially if you use collaboration and video conferencing software to stay on top of your remote workers. But what happens if you don’t?


If your employees aren’t speaking to each other, it’ll be impossible to reach deadlines, even when everyone is operating on different projects. This is a major problem for teams that have a workflow. The minute someone drops the ball, the less time you’ll have to complete the project.


Trust is another factor that makes communication difficult. If an employee doesn’t know what to do and no one is collaborating, the team will start to point fingers and resent each other.


What To Do:

Employers should use project management software to help their employees understand what they’re responsible for and when a project is due. Then, encourage communication by setting the bar yourself. Don’t punish others for speaking out.



No Direction or Goal Setting



Every startup has the goal to make more money, but you need to separate your tasks into smaller parts if you want to reach the finish line in one piece. At the same time, you can’t pull the rug from under your employees and expect them to shift priorities at your say so.


Without a North Star metric or a singular goal, your employees won’t know what they’re working towards. A lack of communication also plays into this problem, but if you don’t know where you’re going or what you’re doing, you won’t be able to communicate your needs at all.


What To Do:

Employer review websites like JobSage consider purpose and growth as one of the main reasons employees stick around. To reduce turnover, employers should create a goal the whole team should reach and keep it static. Call regular meetings to keep the team on track.



Complete Lack of Planning



Workplace management can quickly get out of hand, and usually, the employees have to pick up the pieces. Startups may grab any means of employment they can without considering if they have the resources to accomplish it. If their employees can’t keep up, they’re punished.


The problem may even exacerbate if there isn’t a “priority schedule.” It’s normal for businesses to switch around projects for high-profile clients, but if it's at the expense of other clients or your employees, it’ll lead to burnout and lost wages. A more straightforward schedule is needed.


What To Do:

Disorganization is easy to solve if employers set their expectations. If your employees know what you want from them, they’ll be able to consistently check off tasks on your to-do list. Discourage emergency projects from your clients by charging an extra fee.



High-Levels of Micromanagement



Startup owners often have a hard time trusting their employees, and that’s understandable. You worked hard to grow your company, and you’re scared that giving up control will tank what you made. However, micromanaging your employees will actually make that fear a reality.


If you use control as a management style, your employees push back by quitting or becoming dependent. Employees who stay in this environment aren’t going to step outside the box, come up with innovative ideas, or trust their employers. They’ll head right for the door when they can.


What To Do:

Employers should recognize that micromanagement hurts their entire company. You’ll either lose money or become stagnant. It's better that you coach your employees and let them come into their own. If they make a mistake, retrain and encourage their improvements.



Little to No Work-Life Balance



When we think of remote work or startup culture, our minds go towards flexibility. However, there’s nothing flexible about receiving a text message on the weekends about an urgent meeting on Sunday. Your employees shouldn’t expect they’ll be bothered on their off-time.


Just because startup owners expect themselves to work at all hours, it doesn’t mean they should push that burden towards their employees. What’s more, they shouldn’t ask their employees to be at their beck and call. It isn’t fair to them, and it isn’t fair for you.


Both you and your employees should be able to recharge after a job well-done. If you don’t, the organization will experience higher rates of absenteeism, illness, and disengagement.


What To Do:


In your employee contracts, make it clear that you can’t contact your employees after a specific time (evenings and weekends). Establish deadlines as the important metric, not being at work specifically. If your team finishes their work on time, they’re productive.