The startup culture of your organisation determines its journey from being a startup company towards becoming an established and successful business. As you must already know, starting a business has its pros and cons but it gives you the opportunity to take calculated risks while still being able to keep things simple.
Most definitions describe startups from the perspective of being innovative companies powered by technology but it’s much more than that. This is why we will take a broader look at startups from the direction of companies that are in their early stages of operation.
Your company’s workplace often goes as far as determining how fast tasks, projects and teams interact while striving to deliver on timelines. The question here then becomes, how can you implement or adopt some of the things that make a startup culture functional and effective and not just another buzzword?. We will take a look at several startup culture models to adopt for your business and your employees.
A startup culture model is usually informed by a flat hierarchy and an open-door policy because they help your employees get things done faster. This stands in sharp contrast to corporate organisations with rigid cultures that are known to have several lines of approvals to get tasks and projects done. The most important element here is the need to cut off organisational crap when it is not needed.
2. Remote Work
As an employer, your startup culture should be flexible enough to leave room for remote work. Allowing your employees to work remotely is a win-win situation for you and your employees. This becomes even more important in a situation where a sizeable number of your employees have their home far from the workplace. To make it effective, embrace tools that make remote work organised, measurable and realistic. For instance, the fact that your employees are working remotely does not mean you increase their workload and targets. Tools like Trello (a collaboration tool that organizes your projects into boards) and Slack (a cloud-based set of proprietary team collaboration tool) are easy to use and have proven to be very reliable.
What does your company’s decision-making process look like? If an employee encounters a disgruntled client, are they empowered to make decisions designed to placate the customer and win them back with a free product trial or cash back offers?
The length you go in empowering your employees to make certain decisions is critical to both their efficiency and productivity as well as the brand perception of your business. Studies have shown that empowered employees usually take more initiative and are more committed to your goals and vision.
4. Do More With Less
Being a big corporation with a huge budget and funds to run projects is great. However, it is important to adopt the startup culture of achieving more with little. What this does is that it helps you avoid a culture of wastefulness especially around budgeting. It helps you maximise your result without necessarily running a money-driven business model.
Nigeria has witnessed the birth and death of several businesses that were doomed to a short lifespan simply because their business models were not sustainable. It is never too late to rethink your strategy in a calculated bid to adopt a startup culture that is less reliant on heavy budgets.
Whether you are trying to hire the right candidate in 7 working days or aiming to develop a great staff retention and employee engagement strategy, your startup culture goes a long way in helping you achieve this. It is easier to sell your business to qualified candidates and talents through corporate branding when they consider your company a great place to work.
The Best 100 Companies to Work For in Nigeria in 2018 report has shown that qualified candidates do not pick companies they work for blindly. When they buy into your vision and goals and the bigger picture of how it impacts their career advancement, your organisation is in a better place especially in terms of its corporate branding. Recruitment experts have also advised employers to adopt a recruitment process that is not cumbersome, slow or known to waste time.
6. Encourage Partnerships
There have been several cases of friction in workplace relationships as well as internal issues stemming from team rivalry and employee conflicts. This is born when some employees or teams consider their revenue drive and tasks more important than those of others. If your startup culture does not address this, you might lose control of your workplace. Such situations inevitably lead to chaos. Instead, you should encourage internal and external partnerships that help the team become more productive.
Final Thoughts on Startup Culture
In conclusion, stay abreast of emerging trends that help your employees perform better. You should also invest in employer branding via new media and digital channels and you might just be on your way to having a great startup culture for your organisation and your employees.