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  • Writer's pictureDr. Ricarda Engelmeier

Retaining talent: a triple-whopper for scale-ups



Munich is a melting pot of startups right now because it'sย Bits & Pretzelsย time, and one of the hottest topics for the 5,000 founders, investors and industry leaders is the lack of skilled labour - and how we can attract enough talents to grow when talent is in such short supply.


Startups - and especially scale-ups - face something of a triple-whopper challenge:


๐Ÿ‘‰ ๐œ๐š๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐ค๐š๐ก๐จ๐ฅ๐ข๐œ ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐ค-๐œ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ญ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ž ๐š๐ฌ๐ฌ๐จ๐œ๐ข๐š๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ฌ๐ญ๐š๐ซ๐ญ๐ฎ๐ฉ๐ฌ ๐ฅ๐š๐ฌ๐ญ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฌ๐œ๐š๐ฅ๐ž?


Anyone whoโ€™s been part of a startup knows that the first few years are all-hands-on-deck, working crazy hours, doing what it takes to make the dream happen. But once youโ€™ve been doing that for a few years, what happens? Will the core team still have the energy to keep going at that pace, and is it possible to transmit the excitement of those early days to a bigger team of people who joined later?


I would say no. The only way to become sustainable is to move towards a more flexible and empathetic work culture. That way your core team has a chance to recharge their batteries once in a while, or maybe even get a life. As you grow, youโ€™re able to attract a much bigger pool of talent, including people with kids who simply wouldnโ€™t be able to consider a rigid workaholic job culture because of family commitments.


๐Ÿ‘‰ ๐š ๐œ๐จ๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ž๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐š๐ ๐ž: ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐ก๐š๐ฌ ๐ค๐ข๐๐ฌ ๐š๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฌ๐š๐ฆ๐ž ๐ญ๐ข๐ฆ๐ž


Most startups are birthed by people who havenโ€™t had their own families yet - not always (as I know first-hand!), but typically. As the company grows up, so do their founders, and that initial startup team will reach a point in their lives where they start having kids at around the same time. If you build a family-friendly culture into your business from the start, that neednโ€™t be a problem. It means that you have a workforce who are likely parents themselves and understand the need for more flexibility first-hand. And founders / leadership teams who have families and take parental leave are also excellent role models for the rest of the team.


๐Ÿ‘‰ ๐ฐ๐ก๐š๐ญโ€™๐ฌ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐๐ข๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ซ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐š๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐Ÿ๐š๐œ๐ญ๐จ๐ซ?


If you want to scale up by 20-40%, you want to be kind of company that people want to work for, and one way to set yourself apart is to be both diverse and family-friendly. In todayโ€™s startup scene, diverse teams do better. And if youโ€™re not just diverse but also family-friendly, youโ€™re able to attract parents looking for flexible work solutions - and bringing the kind of invaluable leadership skills to the table that you only learn as a parent. So you wonโ€™t just have access to more talent, theyโ€™ll also be really good at problem-solving, compromise, time-management, empathetic leadership and strength-based delegating!


Check out our start-up package on how to become a parent positive start-up on our website,ย mycollective.ioย 

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