Startups have a lot they need to get right if they want to succeed in the long term. While creating a company around a killer concept for a service or a unique product is obviously a good place to begin, the foundations of a business need more than that to endure.
Company culture matters a lot in this context, and yet it is challenging to conjure up an ethos and approach to running your fledgling firm, let alone to implement it.
With that in mind, let’s look at some of the main hurdles you need to overcome when forging a positive startup culture, and the ways to make this work.
Inaction Is an Issue
The first mistake lots of businesses make is not taking the time to sit down and work out what values they want to uphold.
Plowing ahead without thinking about your culture could make the business feel cold, impersonal, or indecisive to prospective employees, partners, and customers.
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It is better to tackle this sooner rather than later and make sure that the values you decide upon are personally meaningful, not just catchy and on-trend.
Inclusivity Is Important
Your business will need to attract the right talent to thrive. If your culture is not inclusive, or it only purports to be without this being reflected in your hiring history, then it could earn a bad reputation.
On the other hand, if you embrace inclusion and aim to bring diversity to bear on your business, this will benefit you in a number of ways.
In fact, websites like JobSage are making it easier for workers to check up on factors like this so they can apply for positions in organizations that meet their expectations.
Complexity Can Confuse Things
The temptation to go all-in with the formulation and documentation of your startup culture can lead you to overcomplicate it, which makes it tricky to explain and even tougher to actually put into practice.
One solution is to stick to a small yet significant set of core tenets that can in turn define the other aspects of how you orchestrate your organization.
This might be something as simple as requiring that all communication between employees is conducted with respect. As you can see, a lot of other cultural elements will be inferred and grow from this, rather than you necessarily having to go into detail on every minor point.
Culture Flows From the Top
Startups that want a strong, positive, and practically beneficial culture have to recognize that the business leaders and managers need to be exemplars of the expectations that they place on their employees.
It cannot be the case that more junior team members are required to be polite, inclusive, caring and compassionate, while not seeing the same behaviors present in the conduct of those higher up the chain of command.
A startup’s values must apply equally to everyone involved in it, or else they will be nothing more than marketing waffles.
Vagueness Is Unhelpful
Last, of all, you need to choose values that are actionable, rather than those that sound good but are vague in terms of how they can be achieved.
This ties into the idea of keeping the core tenets of your culture concise. If you can neither explain a concept easily nor work out where it applies to the everyday operations you are responsible for, then it is better to cut it out altogether.