Successfully leading a team at any startup involves challenges. Although the experience can of course be rewarding, team leaders need to take steps to ensure they’re managing their employees effectively. This is true in all industries. However, it’s particularly true in fintech.
Managing a fintech team involves overcoming unique challenges that aren’t necessarily as common in other fields. That’s not meant to be discouraging. On the contrary, when you take the time to understand what those challenges are, you can more effectively prepare to guard against them.
This guide will help. The following are just a few key ways a fintech team leader can guide their employees (and their startup) to success:
Lead Two Different Types of Teams
You already know that making the right hiring choices is essential. Your business can’t thrive if its workers aren’t qualified for their positions. However, you might also know that making smart hiring choices in fintech can be difficult. Fintech employees need a range of skills. Finding the right person for a given position isn’t easy.
Luckily, there is a solution to this: you can hire two teams. One can consist of local employees from your area, while one can consist of remote workers.
You’ll need employees from your part of the world because you’ll need some employees to be familiar with the applicable regulations. Someone from another state or country isn’t likely to have that knowledge. That said, when you need employees with more technical skills, hiring remotely gives you a chance to cast a wider net, finding the ideal candidates.
You will of course have to adjust your management style. Ensuring that both your local and remote teams work together seamless may be challenging at first, but it’s still an achievable goal.
Solicit Feedback and Ideas
All team leaders need to make sure their employees feel their voices are heard. Research consistently shows that employee engagement tends to be much greater when team leaders give their workers regular opportunities to share their own ideas.
This general leadership tip is arguably even more applicable in fintech than it may be in some other industries. This is because fintech is constantly changing and developing. This is a relatively new sector. Thus, businesses can only grow if they leverage innovative thinking and ideas.
If you make the right hiring decisions, odds are good your employees have innovative perspectives. Listening to their ideas (and acting on them when it makes sense to do so) will boost employee engagement. It will also give you more opportunities to take advantage of ideas that may not have occurred to you.
Prepare for Employee Departures
It’s important that you take steps to boost retention. The loss of an employee can be very expensive. By prioritizing engagement, you’ll be able to guard against this. That said, if you stay in business for a long enough time, it’s inevitable employees will leave. During the company’s early stages, you might be employing freelancers or contractors who will only work with you on a temporary basis, for example.
You need to make sure you’ve protected your intellectual property accordingly. A fintech’s success relies on its software and products being unique when compared to other fintechs. You don’t want a former employee or freelancer, whether intentionally or unintentionally, revealing proprietary information to one of your competitors.
That’s why you need to seek legal counsel early on to make sure you have strong contracts that protect your intellectual property. You also need to make sure that employees understand these contracts. The fact is, sometimes new hires simply sign the documents they’re given without fully comprehending the nature of them. You don’t want an employee leaving the company and accidentally sharing information they weren’t supposed to share because they misunderstood their contract.
Connect with Other Teams
Managing your own team is a very important responsibility. That said, it’s also important to connect with other departments and teams on a regular basis. For instance, maybe your team is responsible for creating the actual product. However, if you don’t coordinate properly with the marketing team, it may develop a campaign that doesn’t accurately represent the nature of the product.
Thus, you need to schedule regular meetings that give you and other leaders a chance to connect. You may even want to include lower-level team members in these meetings from time to time. This shows them you value their input. Additionally, holding all-team meetings to communicate from time to time will foster the kind of organization-wide unity that will help you succeed.
Remember, effective leadership is crucial, particularly in a unique industry like fintech. These tips will help you develop the leadership skills you need to thrive.