June 7, 2017
Startups make the headlines not only for their innovative ideas but also for their culture. They receive awards on top of having achieved key performance indicators: happy and productive employees, a collaborative environment, and fluid communication. On the flip side, companies can get a lot of flak from the public for their misbehavior and lack of conscious culture
There are no stone-carved ways to achieve a healthy company culture without trial and error, but it is important to define your company culture from the outset. And no, it isn’t just about game and rec rooms, color-blocked couches, and free-flowing artisanal coffee. (Though we’re not saying you shouldn’t try any of those.) It comes down to cultivating healthy habits and holding on to beliefs that will make your startup better at adapting to changes and removing obstacles. Here are four ways to get started.
Build It From Day 1
Some people refer to the establishing force of a startup culture as the spirit of the founder. They are correct. There is a curious mixture of audacity, naïveté, passion, and motivation to uncover from a founder. After all, it takes vitality to turn an idea into an enterprise. Whatever energy the builder puts into the project takes shape and becomes contagious.
If you are in that leadership position, you need enough self-awareness to build on that spirit, even as your time is drawn to more management and operational tasks. As you add members to your crew, pay attention to the habits and beliefs that are forming within your startup.
To begin developing trust with your team, leaders need to make a conscious effort to not come off as overbearing or controlling. Instead, allow your employees to commit mistakes, learn, change, and debate creative ideas. A flexible organization does not rely on one person to come up with the answer. In the end, the greatest responsibility to shape the company’s culture is in your hands. It is easier said than done. But that does not mean you should not try.
Value Personal Autonomy
In light of the previous point, you should give your people a free rein to explore the limits of their creativity. Your company culture should be able to hold the variety of skills and talents that have come its way and recognize the different ways individuals view, pursue growth and express their thoughts.
Leave the Ego at the Door
The “I don’t need you, but you need me” thinking never has a place in work culture. The battle of egos should be held elsewhere. Let the office be a battleground for ideas and collaboration, and reward employees when they do something for the team. Recognize their efforts especially when you’re talking about the company in public.
Engage A Mobile Workforce
Mobile employees are increasingly becoming the norm. If you don’t expect subordinates to report to you in the office everyday , then you’re not alone in advocating such flexibility. Still, it is important for your startup to have a unifying identity among its members. Let your culture center around establishing a sense of community among employees. So think of how you can bring them together in and outside the office. Create programs that encourage face-to-face interactions. Just because your company is rooted in digital technology doesn’t mean you can forgo human encounters and relationships. Allow yourself to watch your people flourish with your very eyes.
Read more about building a remote team at Tech.Co
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