In this three part series, we catch up with the CEO of Zomato UK, Kimberly Hurd, to grill her on what key skills the new generation of tech entrepreneurs need to survive in the post-recession world.
Finding good people is one of the hardest tasks for a business owner. Talented people are always in demand and can be difficult tie down. One of the largest costs of running a business is hiring new staff so retaining talented team members will reduce overheads and provide additional income.
Following her talk at Startup Grind London (opens in new tab), we interviewed Kimberly Hurd, CEO of Zomato UK, about why Zomato is such a great place to work. In the final part of our three part series, we examine what attracts high-performing people and what keeps them interested.
Create an attractive work environment
One key to keeping and retaining great team members is providing an attractive work environment. By "attractive", we mean one where your team wants to work and almost feel compelled to improve. By "environment" we don't mean fancy Google-like offices (although if you have the budget, why not?). What we're talking about is atmosphere, vibe and mise-en-scene.
To create a good environment, you have to allow your team freedom to share ideas and give feedback, even to the "higher" level team members. Through feedback and creative freedom you give your staff an "intellectual stake" in the business.
The more we contribute to something the more attached we get and as a result develop a level of care and commitment. Kimberly highlighted that one major reason, Zomato was able to retain such talented staff was the flat power-structure used within the business. In addition, staff are encouraged to provide feedback to all levels which helps to build and encourage each team member and emphasise the value of each employee.
Kimberly also highlighted the role of informal socials in giving Zomato a good environment. She shared that the informal socials solidified the company's "work hard/ play hard" philosophy and gave the company a sense of community.
In our previous article on resumeCV insights that attract CEOs (opens in new tab) , Kimberly revealed her top three qualities that she looks for when hiring, "entrepreneurial" being one of them. Entrepreneurial people thrive on getting better, they thrive on building things, and ultimately they thrive on building themselves. A major attraction that Zomato has for talented people is their "continual learning" philosophy.
Through formal or informal training you enhance your company's environment to one that your team feels compelled to work for, because your team know that you are investing in them as much as the business. Training courses can be expensive but are a great incentive for your team.
An example of informal training is an in-house mentorship program which pairs more senior team members with newer additions to the team. A mentorship scheme allows your team to share knowledge, build relationships and develop team work.
Talented people love to push themselves because they understand the rewards of completing a challenge. From the feeling of accomplishment to learning a new skill, it's essential that you provide an environment that encourages your team to try new challenges and take them out of their comfort zone.(opens in new tab)
Kimberly suggested allowing team members to try out different departments to find what they really enjoy doing and develop a good foundational knowledge of the overall business operation.
Another opportunity to challenge your team is to give them responsibility and make them accountable for that responsibility. Responsibility shows team members that they are valued and trusted and by making them accountable you ensure that they are thoughtful about their work.
The key to attracting and retaining talented people is to focus on improving them. Through encouraging growth in you staff and allowing them to flourish you not only reduce stress for yourself but your staff turnover will decrease and (hopefully) your profits will soar.
Check out part one of our insights from Zomato where we learn exactly what CEOs look for on CVs (opens in new tab) or part two in which we guide you through exactly how to get funding for your start up (opens in new tab).
Image credit: Startup Grind (opens in new tab)