Scarcely has a group of persons be considered so enigmatic as founders of startups. Indeed, startup founders are an interesting lot. The term “startup founder” itself conjures up a vision of an individual exhibiting passion, brilliance, charisma, tons of energy and boundless passion. As a matter of fact, most startup employees find that their founder exemplifies at one or more of these traits inherent to founders of startups.
As you start to attend business conferences related to startups you find that the startup culture is a particular achievement of such companies. They serve as one of the instrumental drivers of success for startups. If you are a startup it is expected that your company will breed a culture where initiative and innovation other than hard work is what the boss likes and does not hesitate to appreciate the efforts of employees who exemplify such characteristics in their work. Startups are justifiably proud of their culture and the level of commitment showed by employees during times of stress.
The startup world is in a state of almost incessant change. People change, ideas change even business model changes and the culture present in the startup is the only thing which holds the whole thing together. Whether it be Facebook or Google, the people running startups are aware of this fact and spare no means to make their company culture a celebrated one.
Culture is a complex matter and is the result of a large number of factors. But for the purposes of this written piece, it may be thought how the beliefs of people determine the way they do things. It is rarely as simple as the attractive decor or looks of workspaces. It has much much more depth and may be seen as an organization’s commitment to the people working in it and shared values which all align with the objectives of the business.
As might be expected, not every part of the culture is desirable or positive which led to the Good vs. Bad culture debate. It is widely held that showing real commitment towards people along with bolstering the following:
A sense of purpose shared by all the members of the organization.
Teams feeling as if the organization really wants them and treasures their contribution.
Teams meeting with challenges is also an important aspect of startup culture.
People also greatly value an opportunity to shine and excel in their respective fields.
All this sounds deceptively simple and is something that is notoriously difficult to achieve. This difficulty lies in the fact that it is not about what you are doing but rather who you are. The work culture of a company is determined by the strategy it pursues in its business, the process through which it hires and the work environment. All these reflect the work culture of a company. Good companies place great emphasis on the positives of their work culture and strive to strengthen them even further. They accomplish the same through the means of:
Influential Symbols- The subconscious is a great power in day to day human activities and a constant reminder presented brightly and simply of the work culture the startup intends to achieve.
Share and Care- It might just be a shared table tennis game or lunches for the employees or birthday bashes, all these are critical to the company culture. Not only do you need to care about your employees you need to show that you care. In case of small startups, these events are organic but big companies need them more to know that their culture persists.
Repeat What Matters- First of all figure out what really matters to your company. Then repeat the same time and again. Communicating it, again and again, helps to ensure that the message is embedded as a part of the culture of the company. Often with the growth of a business, this knowledge gets lost and consistent communication of the business identity and its significance should not be forgotten.
Model Behaviour- Lastly I would like to stress that the cultural leaders of startups should live their cultures in their day to day lives. They should not lose it to the business pressure that is not likely to persist.
Building organizational culture is a herculean task which is never complete. It needs to be nurtured. Even you have a culture that is like your business you know that the venture has been a runaway success. You get to be the leader of leaders in the startup world.