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6 Ways to Structure Your Company for Happy Employees

Happy teams deliver the best products. Here’s a little insight into some of the ways we structure Think Brilliant. Everyone on our team plays a major role, and everyone’s voice gets heard.

1. Talent comes first

The talent in your company is what sets you apart from the rest. It’s your competitive advantage. The level of your talent’s execution is what determines whether you’ll bust through that next hurdle. Before all else, make sure your core team’s needs are met. Always. Whether you’re a bakery, or a software startup, the people who literally bake the bread for you are who matter most. If they’re not happy, you’ll have nothing for anyone else to sell, pitch or distribute. The people who work on your product, are your company. It’s as simple as that.

2. Listen

If you hear one of your team-member’s complaining about a junky phone, that matters. It’s your job to make sure they can stay connected. Do your very best to lower their entry barriers. An old monitor that doesn’t display colors correctly, a malfunctioning oven, a worn out set of cookware. The chefs cook the food, the engineers write the code, their needs come first. It’s your job to listen and read through the lines. Don’t wait or make people ask you for things, it can play a major role in whether passion, or salary comes first. You never want to reach that point.

3. Team-members need to like each other

This can be the difference between a company with longevity and one without. Companies of all shapes and sizes need to get out together, break away from the normal work routine and bond around other activities. It’s shocking to think that most people overlook such a fundamental rule when building out a team… “Your team-members should like each other.” If you can’t get out and have fun together, what makes you think you can outdo your competition together? Take your software company fishing, and your restaurant staff to a vineyard. Break the monotony of ordinary life and do it with your team. Once you realize these people aren’t just your employees, you are creating beautiful things with them, everything will work out better. If you don’t think you’re creating anything beautiful, you should find another job.

4. Challenges

People need to be challenged, and team-members need to consistently challenge each other. They need to push one another to do the best work of their lives. Why should we use five servers when we can use four. What makes one case better than the other, one method more concrete than the other. Is there a middle ground? If there aren’t constant debates regarding best practices, it’s time to stir things up. Nobody cares about a neutral company making neutral decisions. When you’re making a difference, when you’re faced with challenges, it matters.

5. Everyone has winning ideas

Your team’s ideas are what drives your company forward. You need to create an environment where everyone has winning ideas. No matter what somebody’s “rank” is, what the job description explains, or how long they’ve been with your company. Good ideas come from everywhere. If someone who just joined your team can’t challenge a senior member with what they think is a better idea, something is wrong with the way your company is structured.

6. Be honest and transparent

Whether you’re a two man shop or a 100 person web company, everyone needs to constantly remain open and transparent. Being an open book is much easier than guarding certain chapters. It creates less overhead, brings everyone to the forefront and shines a light on your team’s communication skills.