July 9, 2021 | 3-minute read (528 words)
It is common for entrepreneurs to ignore their startup’s culture during its early stages. What they don't realize yet is that culture will inevitably emerge in some form or another to fill the gap. It’s the founder’s prerogative to choose whether they want their startup’s culture to be one that they created or one that occurs naturally.
The reason culture is so important is that it reflects the personality of your business. Staff morale grows in a good work environment, which in turn increases productivity and decreases employee churn. Culture can also enhance your startup’s external connections, leading to happier consumers and more successful relationships with vendors.
In contrast, a bad culture hurts internal and external relationships and fosters a toxic work environment. Employee turnover and difficulty in recruiting new talents are likely by-products.
Here are the top recommendations for improving your company’s culture.
Define your core values
In order to identify your startup’s values, first ascertain what kind of company you want it to become by posing the following questions:
After evaluating your answers, the atmosphere you want for your startup will begin to emerge. Then you can begin to design a culture that corresponds to that vision.
- What is the purpose of your business?
- What are your personal values?
- What is your company's mission statement?
Share your vision
After you've decided what type of culture your firm requires, share that vision with your employees. It's wonderful if you already have a goal statement in place. But you still must communicate to employees which values and behaviors will help your business thrive and why they are essential now and in the future.
Train employees to convey those principles in the workplace to strengthen the business’ culture, which will benefit recruiting efforts as well as individual and team tasks. Continually expressing the company’s values helps preserve your desired culture.
Ensure that every member of your team is aware of your vision and that it is reflected in everything they do, from corporate correspondence to vendor contacts.
Employee feedback should be encouraged
Nobody desires to work in a business where their problems and views are ignored. Negativity is likely to rapidly spread in such an environment.
Establish open lines of communication with each employee before even bringing them on board. They should feel free to express their opinions and to provide feedback to their bosses, which is conducive to productive working environment.
Hire people who share your company’s values
When bringing on new employees, consider the talents and values they will bring to the company. Hire individuals who are comfortable working in groups rather than doing everything independently, for example, to foster an open and collaborative atmosphere.
Perks should not be confused with culture
While free snacks, Ping-Pong tables and pizza parties are excellent perks, at the end of the day, all workers want to know where their company is going and why they're doing what they're doing. Employees become disillusioned and leave in the absence of a transparent culture. In other words, most employees would prefer an open and honest work culture to a closed one with lavish perks.