Essays/linkedin/23-12-08 onboarding early employees

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Early employees are crucial for every startup. Onboarding them has always been challenging to me. It took me a while to understand how to build alignment and leverage individual skillsets🧑🏽‍💼

Not all employees who join an early startup are entrepreneurial. Some bring technical knowledge, or a professional network, or insights into processes. Founders must carefully balance how they get the team to the same page considering individual idiosyncrasies. In the end, the goal is to get everyone to focus on the same challenges.

Before becoming a founder, I participated in an incubation process. I discussed the business model canvas, the value proposition canvas, and so many other tools that helped me shape the business proposal.

However, I didn't value those tools as exercises to align the team as it grew organically.

I didn't think about the canvas again, until one of my colleagues saw it in a workshop and brought it to my attention.

In retrospect, I gave too many things for granted. I let too many discussions happen spontaneously instead of dedicating few hours a month to having a mindful chat.

I gave internal presentations on the progress, challenges, and opportunities. But they were not enough to empower the team to think creatively outside their immediate responsibilities.

Team alignment is critical for young startups. And the founders are the one responsible of creating an environment that nurtures it.


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Aquiles Carattino
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