How do you do keep an employee motivated and happy while delegating tasks to him/her that don’t fit his/her line of goals?

This was my response to a question on Quora.


In a startup, when you hire, hire people who are willing to go beyond their call of duty. You need people who are likely to do a bit of heavy lifting, and lend a hand in areas that are outside of their scope of defined responsibilities.

It is up to the management to also encourage people, motivate them and make them feel part of the larger goal. This means that the more transparency there is, the more opinion seeking there is, the more sharing of good and tough news, is the more likely that an employee will be willing to take on tasks that are not in the line of goals.

That said, the incentive structure, assessments,rewards and recognition should also be for -apart from performance on the core area –  contribution to things that helped the company. For e.g. if by the founder delegating some tasks to a person frees up his or her time to focus on other things or priority for the organisation, the person should be publicly recognised for that and rewarded for being a contributor to building the foundation as well as the culture of the company.

It is often early employees who lead by example in creating and reinforcing the culture of a company. The more that initial employees are willing able to take on, the more it reflects on the good leadership skills of the entrepreneur. And the public recognitions and rewards that accrue from that help reinforce that attitude in the DNA of the organisation.

Author: Prajakt Raut

Prajakt Raut is the founder of, and author of the book for startups - ‘Starting Up & Fund Raising’ Prajakt personal goal in life is to encourage and assist a 100,000 people to become entrepreneurs. _____________ Prajakt is the founder of Applyifi - an online platform that provides startups a 36-point scorecard and assessment report on the venture's investment readiness [], and helps them improve their odds of getting funded. Prajakt is also the founding partner of The Growth Labs, a platform where growth-stage companies get sharp, incisive advice from senior professionals and experienced entrepreneurs. [] Before starting Applyifi, Prajakt was the head of operations at IAN, founding member of a leading incubator, and the Asia-Director for TiE (2004 - 2007). Previously Prajakt had co-founded Orange Cross, a healthcare services company, and was part of the founding team member of Idealake Technologies. While in college Prajakt had founded a printing business and has spent over 10 years working in leading advertising agencies. Prajakt’s book, ‘Starting Up & Fund Raising’, helps startups understand an investor’s perspective, and helps them improve their odds of getting funded. The book also helps entrepreneurs understand the building blocks of a business.

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