start-ups remobilize employees in this somber return to school, the community

War in Ukraine, inflation, rising energy prices… The news is demoralizing. Added to this is a cold wind in French technology: falling valuations, difficulties in raising funds, layoffs… A very dark return to school, which contrasts with the previous year, the period of “splendor” of the ecosystem .

In this context, troop mobilization is more than ever a matter for businessmen. “My main role is to maintain the energy and cohesion of the group to converge towards a common goal”, explains Thierry Vignal of Masteos, which delegates operations to its partner.

For the beginning of the school year, the businessman sent his traditional letter to his more than 430 employees. On several pages, he details the future goals for the start-up and goes back to some tension points, in particular recent layoffs (5% of the workforce, or about twenty people). The master word? To communicate.

be on the bridge

“The risk when you are a leader isbe offline. Personally, I’m in great shape, but I know that’s not necessarily the case for everyone. You really have to go back to the countryside so you don’t lose contact,” said the businessman, whose lunches are usually occupied with company employees. This is combined with team building operations to motivate troops, in particular a trip to Greece this summer and another to come to Portugal.

The sector in which the nugget evolves, real estate, also starts under high tension. “We read that we are close to the apocalypse in the real estate market. Added to this is great resignation and war”, observes Clemente Delpirouthe president of IAD, the unicorn of the sector.

He also organized his traditional back-to-school speech, face-to-face and virtual. “We need to take a clear direction and explain: yes, it’s less rosy than last year, but here are the five factual indicators that show that we’re doing well,” he explains. And to clarify: “The idea is not to deny the difficulties, but to communicate explicitly: why things are going well and why things are not going well. »

Gather the teams

The unicorn is also considering, in the medium term, the full-time teleworking regime chosen by certain employees with the health crisis. Should it be kept? Should employees adopt a hybrid model for teams to be united? “We feel very strongly the desire of the employees to get together”, assures the president.

For its part, GreenGot, a company born during Covid, maintains the option of keeping its thirty employees at a distance. “We have to get back on track, that’s why we’re bringing everyone back for a team night in a few days,” he says. Maud Caillaudthe co-founder of neobanco verde, who, after a few years of difficulties, launched his offer this summer.

In the face of difficulties at the time, the founders did “a lot of protection against bad news. We take a lot of stress on ourselves and try to avoid infusing it into teams as much as possible,” she recalls.

Reorient around a project

Today, his start-up’s very mission is to help mobilize troops. “The news is sad in France, especially in global warming with this summer’s droughts. The purpose of the company allows employees to find meaning”, adds the entrepreneur.

Whatever the situation, focusing teams on a new project is “a great opportunity to re-mobilize everyone,” notes Granja Aymérica, the co-founder of 900.Care. This hygiene brand launches a new product this week, the shampoo. The opportunity for the start-up, before embarking its employees “on the green” in early October for a three-day seminar, to bring employees together around a common cause.

And for those who, like Paul Le de La Belle Vie (grocery delivery), are not necessarily followers of organized seminars, there are small “on-the-spot” nights and small daily goals. “Recently, for example, we had a record day of storage in our warehouse. These small challenges generate collective victories and motivate teams”, says the co-founder.

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