Small is beautiful, so the saying goes. When you are running a startup, team dynamics are as important as your B-Plan. An uncooperative set of employees or badly managed ones can be detrimental to your company's growth and productivity.
Find a leader
Whether your team has five or 15 people, you won't be able to individually monitor and manage all of them. You need a leader or a set of leaders, depending on the number of employees, who you can delegate responsibilities to. Each leader, in turn, should manage one sphere of the business. They can report to you on a daily or weekly basis on the team's progress with work, business decisions etc. This is something you need to keep in mind when hiring people as well. Also, ability to multi-task is an important aspect for any employee working at a startup. For eg., an advertising agency in Bengaluru gets its creative team to liaison directly with clients, thereby doing away with account executives completely. This, they felt, prevents loss in translation.
Be a part of the action
Even if you have leaders, don't undermine your role or interaction with team members. You must ensure they know you are 'the first among equals'. Keep your one-on-one interactions with them going. It need not pertain to work each time, but let them know you are available and approachable for any kind of support you can possibly give. As a founder CEO, you will learn a lot from your team members, juniors, as long as you don't bring in too much hierarchy. Remember, a core team formed in the early days may have some hidden gems.
Get involved in new initiatives
Not only should you motivate your team to think of new initiatives but even those that are taken at the board level should be communicated to employees for their opinions and feedback. Complete involvement in all business matters will bring in a sense of accountability to everybody concerned with the business, including employees.
Monitor work progress
Make sure to conduct weekly or daily meetings. After all, you need to monitor your leaders too. Set internal schedules for projects so you are not wrapping and delivering hurriedly executed work closer to deadlines. Set milestones for projects and tasks. Throw in an incentive here or there to keep the momentum going with your staff. Too much discipline in terms of working hours and office etiquettes doesn't work, especially if you have a business with creative departments.
Resolve conflicts proactively
Not the prettiest part of the job, but there will be moments when you will have to play peacemaker, irrespective of the age bracket you are dealing with. Often, employees will bicker over minor things, though sometimes conflicts could be serious. If the situation doesn't sort itself out, it will affect the daily flow of work and leave a bad taste with other co-workers too. As the head, be sure to jump in and have the 'talk'. A great part of any manager's job is dealing with bruised egos, however large or small the organization. More importantly, it is important for your staff to know that they can speak out when required.