In order to survive and succeed in the industry, it is essential to define and sustain the startup culture. As Fred Wilson says, “If you want to be in business forever, you need to build a culture that sustains the business”. Let’s look into the importance of startup culture, and the mistakes you should avoid making that could harm the company now or in the future.
You do not want your startup to die before it even takes off. Therefore, startup culture holds great value for a myriad of reasons. Firstly, when you are out seeking new talent to hire, most of them are going to evaluate the culture at the company. In fact, research suggests nearly four in five employees and job seekers consider a company’s mission and culture.
Secondly, a good culture is correlated with better performance. This is because even if you have the best workforce at your disposal, a negative culture will lead to decreased motivation, employees quitting, and lower levels of productivity.
Lastly, if you are an early-stage startup, you are unlikely to attract talent through great salary packages and incentives. However, you can still attract and hire these people through an amazing culture at your company that they are eager to be a part of.
Startup Culture Mistakes
1. Assuming culture is natural
This is one of the most basic mistakes startups make. They think off culture is not that important, ignore it and assume it will be defined on its own. However, that is never the case. An automatically defined culture is always a poor one and in places. Ultimately, the company suffers because of this. As entrepreneurs and founders, it is imperative that you treat startup culture as a priority. Define, establish, and shape it in the very beginning.
2. Recklessly spending on perks
What quite a lot of startups do, is that they think pampering the employees leads to better performance. No, that is not true. Excessively spending money to keep them motivated and productive will never work. You will only deplete the company’s funds, and be left with employees that are used to being pampered. Instead of doing this, give your people meaningful work. Prove them their value in the organization by showing them the impact their work has on the company.
3. Not firing people with bad character because they are talented
This is one of the most common mistakes that startup founders make. They are so afraid of losing out on skilled employees, that they even keep bad people around. What they do need to realize is that negative energy from people like these ultimately spreads, or affects the majority. This will bring the company culture to the point where no one would want to work there anymore. The best way to deal with this issue is to identify such people during the interview only. Still if I few manage to make it past the interview, simply talk to them and ask them to change the way they are. Show them how their behavior is affecting the company. If they refuse to change, do not hesitate to fire them!
Startup founders and owners should make sure that they define the company culture at the very start. This way it is easier for everyone to adapt to it. They should also ensure that the startup culture is positive, healthy and that the concerns of everyone should be addressed. Ultimately, people want to feel comfortable in their workplace and enjoy work.
Also Read: Common Startup Mistakes