The core values of a startup culture include the use of open communication, and creative problem solving through the use of a level organizational structure. By creating flexible and inclusive spaces that help people resonate a confident attitude, employees have been shown to experience an increase in productivity in capitalistic ventures. This new work ethic is viewed by many employees in startups as more of a community, compared to the typical large business approach. Nowadays, a successful business is distinguished by its flexibility, resulting in new organizations aiming and emphasizing a more adaptable approach.
It is essential to focus on the culture of an organization which is an output of the people who work there. Individuals essentially need to be on the same page when it comes to their motivating factors and dedication to the company. This joint driving force of everyone on the same level is what leads to more of a community feeling within the organization. Rather than individuals seeking to benefit only themselves, the collective work towards benefitting everyone. There are certainly important questions to be asked to ensure that the core values of a startup culture are upheld, such as; what motivates the team, what are people's work habits, is there diversity within the group, how does the team collaborate? The startup culture stands out because it solely reflects the personalities of its team members. And since the individuals are given importance, there tends to be a more stable work-life balance.
It is essential to define the culture early on, the culture forms the ethos for the company. The following step ensures a successful startup culture:
- The company mission needs to be established. It needs to be more than a place people come to make money. It needs to answer why and how the organization is going to uphold its mission statement.
- Core values need to be defined early on
- The values and mission need to be communicated to the employees.
A challenge that appears in setting up the startup culture is the actual mission, the goal of a budding organization. Without the clear goal, without the careful consideration as to how they want to move forward, how they want to arrange a company, whom they want to work with, the exciting culture can be lost. Losing that culture could result in what more resembles a large organization rather than the tight-knit community.
Various studies and surveys have shown that nearly four in five employees and job seekers alike consider a company's mission and culture as a crucial aspect of their reason to work. This point will only become more important as younger people move into the workforce. Roughly 65% of 18-to-34-year-olds are likely to place culture above salary; that's higher than any other age demographic surveyed.
With the significant rise in startups, it is easy to see how more and more people are attempting to shift away from the typical 9-5 large office occupation and work with a smaller group, where any of the actions they have will make large impacts on the organization as a whole.
To win in the marketplace, you must first win in the workplace.— Doug Conant.
The quote above truly emphasizes as to why more and more startups are appearing. The culture created is more enjoyable, more rewarding, easier to create a life around, resulting in small companies breaking into fields more normally dominated by the larger offices.
One of the most crucial points when it comes to startup culture is the organizational hierarchy or lack of. Where large companies focus on a tiered approach where one person is beneath another, who in turn is beneath another, an approach adopted by many startup cultures is the flat organization. The sense of not really having bosses has proven to increase employee's satisfaction. The individuals can choose their projects; they can gain the recognition from their efforts and their work; they will not constantly attempt to one-up colleagues, or potentially sabotage anyone's work. The employees will understand that as the company is small, any project being worked on will be important, resulting in people working towards their individual goals, alongside working hard to accomplish more as a company. The attempts of trying to gain seniority above a colleague in a startup are unheard of due to the culture pushing more towards a level field for all the employees, creating the community that so many people are drawn to.
The flat organization adopted by many startup cultures also creates more trust between the employees of the company. As everyone will know that every project will reflect on themselves, the employees will be more willing to help and aid other employees to succeed, resulting in the levels of trust between co-workers being higher than in the regular company, where the culture has not been maintained.
In terms of the individuals, a company will want to bring in; many factors need to be considered in regard to the culture being aimed for. The most technically ideal candidate can walk through the doors be hired, but if the individual has factors clashing against what a small company is aiming for, the culture that was strived towards at the start can come crumbling down. The company will need like-minded individuals, not a gathering of people who can regurgitate the same things, but a collective of people who are able to each bring many valuable aspects to the table. This could include the wealth of experience from a seasoned worker, to the brand-new skills and adaptability of the younger generation.