The 2 most important factors that keeps startup team going are a strong belief in the vision and people that enjoy working with each other, both a professional and personal level. On the professional side, there are no shortcuts – hire great people, make sure you set high standards, and have a great vision that the team agrees with. On the personal side, there are 2 rules that you can set which will guarantee you an increased level of teamwork just by virtue of people liking each other more:
1. No political talk in the office. Ever. It never leads to anything good. I’ve yet to see anyone convince someone else, and all it leads to is people disliking each other. And the funny thing is, people like arguing politics even though their views are irrelevant. Your opinion will not make a single iota of difference in the office. Keep your company politics free
2. No religion talk in the office. See #1? same thing except even more important. Respect those that want to worship, respect those that don’t. Don’t try to convince each other because there is no point in this, and it should go without saying that no discrimination should ever take place.
Politics and Religion are big heavy issues anywhere in the world, but in Israel (where Clear Sky Apps is from), its even more so. Everyone has a strong opinion on these, and the best way of avoiding friction is simply not letting these issues come into the office at all.
Some might argue that this is unfair – people should be free to talk about whatever they want. I disagree. Any item that offends people in a major way and causes friction is simply not constructive, and should be flagged as NSFW (Not Safe For Work). If you meet someone who has an opinion that offends you, you can walk away from them and not talk to them again. In fact, I personally know people that don’t speak to some of their relatives because of a dumb reason. You should not allow this to happen at work.
The team will be much more united and happy if this unnecessary friction is non-existent in the first place. And people will respect you more as a founder if they feel that they are being treated and judged based on their performance and nothing else (and that is topic for a whole blog post on its own)
I speak from experience. Across my career I worked in several places where politics or religion where big issues of discussion. It never lead to anything good at all.
Disclaimer: no politicians were physically harmed during the creation of this post.