How to Establish and Sustain a Culture in a Startup
What Startup Founders should do and don’t
In my previous article I talked about how startups should focus on culture, how it can make or break a startup and how it can be established.
Here are some things that I have learned in the past few years of my career as a startup entrepreneur and founder at my startups.
Startup founders should think about the following when establishing and sustaining a culture in their company:
1. Culture should be established at the core of the company:
Culture is like a religion to your company. It should be established at the core of your company and not something that you just add as an afterthought.
It will affect everything else in your company, from hiring, hiring, hiring to work environment, work life balance and so on.
Your culture should guide everything that you do in your startup and every employee should know what it is about. The culture of your startup should also have a name so that everyone knows what it is about.
2. You should not change your culture later:
Culture is not something that you can change overnight. It is something that should be constantly monitored and kept alive.
If you want to change your culture, it should be a slow process that is carefully considered.
It should not be changed based on a single event or incident, and instead it should be done gradually over time as people grow and learn together.
Changing your culture later in the company’s life will hurt your company in the long run because employees who have worked for you for years may feel like they have been lied to by you when they join your company in the first place.
3. Do not focus on perks:
Some startups focus on the perks of the company when establishing their culture.
They think that by giving employees all kinds of perks and freebies, they will be able to attract talent to their company.
However, this is not true because people want to work in a company that they can be proud of and feel proud of being a part of.
If you want to establish a great culture in your startup, you should focus on creating an environment where people can learn and grow together as one team.
This is because perks are not something that can last forever. Once your startup grows, it may not be able to offer such great perks as it did before.
You need to build a culture where people feel proud of working for your company no matter what they get in return.
4. Do not hire for culture fit:
Hiring for culture fit is one of the biggest mistakes that startups make. This is because culture fit does not really exist and if you hire people who are not a good fit for your company, they will not last long in your company.
Instead, you should hire people who are smart and hardworking and let them learn your culture by example.
You should then allow them to grow into a culture that fits with your company.
5. Your company’s mission should be written down:
Every startup founder should write down their mission as well as their core values in their company somewhere so that everyone knows what it is about.
You should also be able to explain these things clearly when you talk about them to employees or investors.
You can do this by having a regular meeting where you tell employees about the mission of the company and why it exists in the first place.
6. Your employees should be encouraged to make suggestions:
As an entrepreneur or founder of a startup, you may not know everything about your own business or industry or even your own product or service.
Therefore, it is important that you encourage employees to suggest improvements or ideas on how things can be done better at work.
As an entrepreneur, I have learned so much from my employees over time by listening to their ideas instead of thinking I already know everything.
Your employees will love working for you if they feel like they have an impact on how things are done in the company.
And don’t forget that one person’s opinion matters just as much as yours.
About the Author
I am the Founder of Cudy Technologies (www.cudy.co), a full-stack EdTech startup helping teachers and students teach and learn better. I am also a mentor and angel investor in other Startups of my other interests (Proptech, Fintech, HRtech, Ride-hailing, C2C marketplaces and SaaS). You can also find me on Cudy for early-stage Startup Founder mentorship and advice.
You can connect with me on Linkedin (https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexanderlhk) and let me know that you are a reader of my Medium posts in your invitation message.