You can’t touch, smell, or see a “company’s culture”, but if you’ve been in great or terrible cultures, you can definitely feel it. The best companies know that a great culture does not appear out of thin air, but is the result of hours of planning, events, and investment. Here…
16 August 2016 0
Discover the Perfect Startup Culture
When starting a new company it is easy to make the mistake of focusing solely on the practical matters. However, it is equally important to think about the startup culture that you are building and fostering in your team. There is clearly a psychological aspect to building a great culture that is very important, but that isn’t all that there is to it either. The truth is that there are a number of factors to take into account to try and discover the ideal startup culture that will drive you to success. The following are the main points to bear in mind when you are thinking of the best company cultures to try and introduce to your business in the early days.
Provide a Great Place to Work
You may be surprised at how much the setup of your workplace can affect the quality of your ideas and, ultimately, your levels of success. Typically, companies that have great cultures best flourish in a location that lets people work flexibly and creatively.
Many entrepreneurs have been won over by the power of plants, natural light and sofas in their quest for a suitably creative and relaxed environment. Even the colours that you use should be taken into account, with blue helping to boost creativity and red being useful for some types of mental processing tasks.
There is also a trend for allowing workers to enjoy some quality recreation time at work, to let them recharge their batteries and feel good. You might also want to think about company culture ideas like offering yoga classes or sessions of mindful meditation, especially if you are going to be operating in a stressful industry.
You will want your people to love coming in to work and to feel fantastic once they are there. Many workers also feel that the ability to sometimes work from home is a big factor in helping them to enjoy their job.
Build the Right Relationships
The human relationships side of things is vital in any startup culture. When you are just starting up you need to be able to build strong relationships with suppliers, clients and everyone else that you come into contact with.
As well as this, there are also the relationships in your team to think about as well. You will want everyone in the team to believe in each other and to work well together right from the very beginning.
Of course, the leaders of the company need to lead by example in this case and show how committed they are to building a company that is filled with powerful relationships based on trust and mutual respect. This is a tremendous base for any new company and will make you feel extremely confident about going forward with your team.
Perhaps you will arrange team building exercises or strengthen your team’s bonds through workshops and training sessions. If you can inspire everyone to aim for the same goals and to respect one another then you will be well on the path towards having a strong, united team that grows together.
Focus on the Company Values
Every new company wants to establish a powerful set of core values that shows what they are all about. This is an easy way to show the world what matters to you and that you are trying to achieve one of the best company cultures around.
In order to focus on these values, you will want new members of the team to be people who share them or can at least work to them. If you make everyone in the company aware of the core values this means that you can expect them all to be working towards the same goal.
It also shows your customers how highly you value them and that you always strive to provide the very best. Establishing your new company’s core values isn’t easy but it is something that it is well worth spending some time on.
Perhaps you could ask your team to give you some of their ideas in this respect, to get you started. Otherwise, there is no harm in checking out the stated values of your rivals and other companies, to see if there are any trends or concepts that you could amend for your own use.
Encourage New Ideas
Ideally, your startup will be a hotbed of ideas where everyone is able to contribute effectively to your progress. The more people you have contributing with great ideas the greater your chances of getting the fresh approach that you need.
Not everyone is used to being able to pitch in with their own thoughts at work, though, so it may take you some time to get new team members into this habit. This means that it is important that you show them how much you value and respect their ideas.
There are many different ways to get more new ideas into your business and it is well worth giving them all a try. Doing this can also help your team members to feel as though they are playing an important role in the development and growth of the company.
Even if the ideas that you generate aren’t of any great use to you right now, they could still come in very useful at some point in the future. Therefore, it is a good idea to keep a record of all the ideas that you might want to return to later on.
Choose the Right Startup Tools
It is also vital that you choose the right tools to enhance your startup culture and boost your time effectiveness. These will reflect to some degree what you are trying to do overall and make it a lot easier for you to do things professionally and without losing too much time.
For example, high tech startups are likely to work with cutting edge technology while others may go for a back to basics approach. The startup tools that you choose make an immediate statement about your way of working as well as laying out your vision for your future.
With any new company it is essential that you can track ideas, projects and responsibilities clearly and rigorously. In this respect you almost certainly benefit from a Kanban board-based approach that Kanbanchi offers to keep you on track easily and professionally.
Other startup tools that could come in useful include ways of getting more traffic to your website, social media tools, graphic design sites and brand monitoring services. You won’t need all of them but by smartly choosing a few of the most appropriate tools you can use your time and energy more effectively.
Encourage Different Ways of Thinking
While you will be looking for team members who share your values and ambition, there is no need to assume that you all need to think in the same way. Indeed, having a team crammed full of people who all think in the same way is one of the surest ways of seriously limiting your future growth possibilities.
On the other hand, if you can bring in people who think in different ways then you can benefit from a vibrant and varied approach to your creative process. This means that you will want to look at more than just the skills and experience that people bring to the company.
In a perfect world you will find a way of building a varied team that can bring your ideas to life in new and unexpected ways. Above all, it is a question of not being afraid of new ideas even if they are different from your own.
One way of doing this is by looking at hiring people from different backgrounds and with varying levels of experience. It isn’t easy to find the perfect balance in your company but it is an area this you need to pay attention to in order to get the excellent startup culture that you need.
The Importance of Food
When looking at the question of “where does culture start?” it is easy to overlook the importance of food. Yet, this is one of those factors that can play a particularly big role in keeping workers happy and on top form.
Distributing free food to the team is a simple and hugely effective way of maintaining high spirits and a positive attitude in your startup. You can also this as an opportunity to give them brain foods that are associated with a host of interesting benefits.
This is an especially good tactic when you are working through a tough period and having to demand a lot of your workers. If they are working late one night then surprising them with a delivery of tasty food can instantly improve their mood and motivation levels.
Obviously this is just part of the secret of startup success but it is the kind of interesting point that it is easy to overlook when there are so many other issues that need your attention.
Living and working in an environmentally responsible way is something that we should all be striving for these days. No matter what type of industry you are in, creating a green, sustainable culture can give you all something to have pride in and to feel good about.
There are a number of easy yet effective ways of doing this. For instance, you could save on the energy that your lights, devices and computers use just by being more carefully about switching them off and using the energy saving settings at the right times.
Another good idea to help you foster a green work ethic is to get the staff cut down on their commuting time. This could mean allowing them to work from home at times or it could mean encouraging and incentivising them to travel to work together rather than each person in their own car.
You could also build a strong and environmentally friendly culture in the startup by using less paper or none at all. Becoming a paperless office by using only digital documents is a challenge that it is well worth rising to, as it will show your values and modern approach while helping out the planet at the same time.
Being frugal with your company’s funds is one of the characteristics that you will want everyone to display right from the very start. If there is a decent startup budget then the temptation may be there to spend more than is strictly necessary.
This might not cause a problem right away but at some point it is likely to cause some serious issues for the company. You can avoid this becoming a problem by leading by example right from the very start of the company and challenging yourself to save money whenever you can.
Even if the money that is saved on each expense is minimal, it is the idea of becoming more frugal that you will look to bed in. If you can make this an integral part of the company culture then you will eventually reap the rewards.
Try saving money with ideas such as buying used furniture, avoiding big overheads and shopping around for the best deals on everything that you need to get. You might be surprised at how easy most people fall into the habit of being frugal and saving money when they see everyone around them doing the same thing.
Make Everyone Feel a Part of the Success
Finally, a big part of a successful startup culture comes from making everyone feel like they are a major factor in any success that you gain. Your whole team should be emotionally invested in the process of building up this company as solidly as possible.
Maybe you will give them enticing challenges to get their competitive side engaged or perhaps you will find a way of rewarding them for playing their part. It is worth bearing in mind that we each respond to different challenges, motivations and types of company culture, so the exact same approach might not work for everyone in the team.
However, it is definitely worth taking some time to think about how you are going to make each member of the team feel as though this is their company and strive to do their very best at all times. Once you achieve this then you can look forward to the future with a lot more confidence.