A startup culture refers to the values and general way of life of a group of people working to achieve a business goal.
Over the years, many people have come up with different variations of what makes up a great startup culture. To some, it has to do with communicating regularly, and for others, it is simply putting people first.
Regardless of how you define startup culture, the goal of nurturing it should be to create a productive work environment where everyone is working at their best.
What Exactly Does Startup Culture Mean?
Every society has its different cultures, and that is what differentiates one from the other. In simple terms, a startup’s culture refers to the core values that guide creative decisions and actions taken within the company; these are the deciding factors of how fast a startup will grow.
Every good startup’s culture must be composed of passion, agility, personality, and authenticity. These factors are what make startup culture different from corporate culture.
As a business owner, it is your responsibility to define and nurture a strong startup culture. You cannot fake these qualities, and even if you try, the reality will always surface in the long run.
With a well-defined startup culture, it becomes easy to attract passionate professionals and develop excellent business strategies.
If business owners must nurture a strong startup culture, how should they go about it?
Outline your work values
Every individual has some sort of value that drives their actions. To ensure everyone incorporates their values into the startup’s, outlining the work values of your business is necessary. These values should be spelled out in clear terms without leaving room for any ambiguity.
It is difficult for people to work by values and guidelines that have not been stated. The first step to building a strong startup culture is to outline your work values.
If possible, you can have these values written down and placed in strategic locations in the workplace. When employees can see these values daily, it becomes easy for them to live by them.
You can also create a segment during your work meetings to reiterate these values and how they are important to driving the business’s goals.
Values, over time, make up a startup’s culture, and that is why outlining the right work values is essential.
Select the right people to fill the right positions
One of the many challenges startups face is placing the wrong people in the wrong positions. This can have a long-term effect on the startup’s culture.
To nurture a strong startup culture, you need to work with the right set of people. When these employees occupy the right positions it creates an effective work environment, allowing everyone to work at their best.
For example, when hiring employees to the marketing department of your startup, pay attention to the recruitment process. Ensure everyone who is selected is qualified to work in the department. By doing so, you will be strengthening the startup’s culture.
Be honest in your dealings
Honesty is a vital value that should make up your startup’s culture, and it starts with you as the founder or business owner. When you are honest in your dealings, you can set the standard for accountability and transparency in the workplace.
In every setting, loyalty is the reward for honesty, and when you have loyal employees, everyone can always be on the same page, which promotes effectiveness.
Motivate your employees to do better
Sometimes, a little motivation is all employees need to step up their game in the startup. Don’t be the founder who is always criticizing your employees because it will affect their morale. When you notice something that is off with an action of your team members, correct them in the best way possible. Should you criticize, let your criticism motivate others instead of tearing apart.
Motivation in the workplace can also take the form of providing incentives to employees. You can outline a reward system for high-performing employees. Promotion, public recognition, and exposure are other ways to motivate employees to do better.
Create a healthy work environment
Creating a healthy work environment, as a prerequisite for nurturing a strong startup culture, cannot be overemphasized. The happiness and productivity levels of employees in a startup are decided based on the work environment.
It is better to have employees who are always eager to come to work than those who drag their feet. It is also good to have a happy atmosphere where everyone is interacting with a smiling face.
A healthy work environment allows the startup’s culture to find full expression and attracts high-value clients to the business.
Hop on every opportunity you get to celebrate your employees
Excellent startup culture is the foundation for long-term success, and the founder has to build and sustain it. One of the proven ways to do that is to hop on every opportunity you get to celebrate your employees.
Usually, some businesses create a system where a day is chosen to celebrate everyone. Some companies choose to do it around a holiday while others will celebrate with their employees on a date that is special to the startup, such as the date it was incorporated.
Teach your team to always celebrate and support each other. A startup where everyone appreciates themselves will always attract more professionals and clients.
A startup culture refers to the accepted way of life of everyone who works in such a company. The quality of your startup’s culture determines the innovation that will flow from it. To nurture a strong startup culture, have your business core values outlined and documented so everyone can always see them.
You will also want to work with the right people, communicate honesty in all your dealings, and create a business atmosphere where everyone motivates and celebrates themselves.
- Wired: How Do You Define Startup Culture?
- Tulane University: 6 Core Social Work Values and Ethics
- Intellect: Creating total accountability and transparency in the workplace
- Perkbox: Why employee motivation is important and how to improve, measure and maintain it
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