The Best Types of Employees Every Startup Needs

Feb 5, 2018

Canada is one of the world’s fastest growing countries for startup companies. But for a new entrepreneur, choosing the right types of employees has more to do with their success than having a good idea.

It’s crucial as an entrepreneur that you surround yourself with employees who will help you accomplish your goals and grow your business. You are only as strong as your team.

But how do you know if you’re hiring the right people?

As you’re building your staff, be on the lookout for the 4 types of employees listed below. They’ll make your business better and your life easier.

The Motivated Employee

There is no replacing passion. Employees can be trained to learn the necessary skills to do their job, but if they’re not highly motivated they will be a drag on your efforts.

Research shows that motivated employees are more productive. They don’t see work as something to dread, but eagerly show up ready to take on any challenge.

They ask good questions and seek advice. They regularly look for opportunities to improve and they aren’t satisfied with anything less than their best work.

The motivated employee is an achiever. They look for new projects to start or responsibilities to tackle without being prompted.

These are not the types of employees that leave early, or even on time if there’s still work to do. They recognize the importance of doing great work and take pride in helping your business succeed.

Motivated workers promote your brand as if it were their own. They are one of your best methods of advertisement. People will come to identify your company with quality, professionalism, and dedication when they interact with these types of employees.

The motivated employee’s positive attitude keeps others motivated too. Their energy is infectious, making everyone around them better.

Stock your team with as many of these types of employees as you can.

The Good Teammate

Every work environment should feel like a team working toward the same goal. Make sure you have good teammates on your roster to improve your chance of success.

A good teammate knows his or her role and fills it well. They don’t try to do other people’s jobs or take control when not called for. But they recognize the importance of sacrificing for the greater good of the company and can be counted on faithfully to meet their obligations.

These types of employees aren’t complainers. If you assign them a task, it will get done.

And they recognize that no one is above any job. In a small business, even executives have to be willing to take out the garbage.

Good teammates measure their success by the company’s success. They aren’t self-serving or egotistical.

They don’t gossip or damage morale with a bad attitude. And they understand the importance of respect in the workplace.

Not everyone can be the boss. Your startup must include hardworking people who value being good teammates. Without them, your productivity suffers and your vision as an entrepreneur can get muddied.

When you’re going through your hiring process, carefully screen potential employees to make sure they have the characteristics of a good team member. In no time, you’ll have the team behind you that you need to succeed.

The Problem Solver

Startups often face a steep learning curve. In the beginning stages of your business, you’ll have to adapt to unexpected problems and new situations.

Having problem solvers on your team will help you deal with these issues as they arise and, in many cases, before they even happen. These types of employees are able to think outside the box.

A problem solver doesn’t require a lot of instruction or supervision. They are motivated by finding the best solution and will work tirelessly until they’ve come up with it.

They aren’t afraid to be wrong because they understands that making mistakes is how you find the right answer. But they are tenacious, never quitting, and will ultimately accomplish their goals.

Employees with this trait work well under pressure and aren’t rattled by deadlines or unexpected events. They are planners, but able to adjust their plan on the fly as the circumstances around them change.

Having these types of employees around will also help you manage the rest of your team. They recognize that personality conflicts hurt your startup and, instead, work to foster a cohesive environment.

For your new business to reach its potential, you must employ people who specialize in solving problems and meeting their goals even when that requires them to try new ways of operating.

The Leader

Running a startup is hard work. You will have so much responsibility on your plate that you need support from other people with an entrepreneurial spirit.

These types of employees support your vision and can be trusted to lead others on your team. It’s important to be able to delegate responsibility so you can focus on the big picture of your business. Leaders allow you to do this with the confidence of knowing you don’t have to micromanage.

They are innovators by definition and can help you identify new areas of growth as well as potential pitfalls you may be overlooking. You can bounce ideas off of them and they’ll help you devise strategies for growth.

Leaders lead by example. They’re the type of employee who shows up early and stays late. Their attitude is always positive and they motivate the other members of their team to give their best effort at all times as well.

You are the central figure in your startup. However, surrounding yourself with other leaders will only make you and your company stronger.

Types of Employees to Avoid

Now you know the types of employees to seek out. But there are several types you should avoid at all costs.


Stay away from followers who only wait for instruction. A startup needs all hands on deck. People who are afraid to take initiative or need a lot of supervision will slow down your productivity.

Followers lack independent thought. Your startup’s needs may change quickly and you can’t afford to have to instruct someone at every turn.

Followers are not good teammates because they aren’t inclined to do anything until specifically told. And while it may be tempting to want the types of employees who do whatever you say without question, your ability to innovate suffers if your workers are more like robots than thinkers.


Avoid employees with negative attitudes at all costs. Morale is very important, especially for a new business.

There are many times when things will go wrong or require a quick change of course. Complainers and negative people will hinder your ability to make those important changes. The time they spend questioning what’s going on could be better spent solving problems.

Negative people are a drain on the collective energy of your startup. It’s hard to manifest new ideas in an environment filled with complaints.

Sometimes these types of employees will pretend like they’re “being real” or “telling it like it is.” In reality, though, they are sabotaging your momentum.

Even worse, complainers are likely to hurt your reputation within the community. They won’t keep their complaints at work; instead, they’ll air their grievances to anyone who listens. When you’re trying to get your business off the ground, you cannot afford to keep negative people around it.

The Unmotivated

These types of employees are more likely to do only the bare minimum required of them. They’ll leave on time, if not early and are slow to volunteer for a new project or anything that might add on to their job description.

They’e either finding reasons to miss work or to avoid it when they do show up. You can find these types of employees checking their social media more than doing actual work. The bare minimum is perfectly acceptable to them.

Avoid the unmotivated. Their energy is as infectious as the motivated, but with completely opposite results. Unmotivated workers are a drain on your resources and bring others down with them into a pattern of laziness.

The importance of motivation cannot be overstated. Fill your employee roster with people who will inspire those around them to do their best work and to take your vision as far as possible.

Who You Hire Matters

There’s an old saying that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. And a startup is no different.

Who you hire matters a lot in determining whether your vision will be a success or not. Surround yourself with people who share your passion, can solve problems without a roadmap, understand their role, and know how to lead others without complaining.

Avoid followers, complainers, and unmotivated people. They will hurt your company’s morale and, more importantly, your bottom line.

You’ll find a lot of helpful information like this on our website. We’re proud to be a trusted resource for entrepreneurs looking to start or grow their businesses in Canada.

Check out our blog, and contact us with any questions. We’d love to help you achieve all your business goals this year!



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