When it comes to startups, workplace culture truly defines and differentiates one company from another. More often than not, this culture is set by the founders of the startup, which trickles down to the employees.
A Forbes study has shown that highly-engaged teams in startups and established corporations increase the company’s overall profitability by up to 21%. And if you’re a startup owner who wants to hit that magical figure for your company, you’re going to need to build a workplace culture that is result-oriented and performance-focused.
Why should I build a result-driven company culture?
I think the real question here is: why not? Startups are a great way for founders, with brilliant ideas that could one day change the world, to establish themselves and gain a foothold in their respective industries. No matter how relaxed or quirky the office culture is in a startup, performance metrics are ultimately what defines failure from success.
Startups need cash to fund their projects, pay their employees, and to keep the lights on. And in this scenario (in lieu of an extremely wealthy founder who has billions in his bank account), results are what brings in the cash. Many people believe that by emphasizing performance in your startup, founders might scare their employees off or cause a huge drop in employee motivation. On the contrary, this isn’t likely to be true.
Leading HR specialist Samantha Nicole says that placing an emphasis on your business’ performance leads to meaningful professional development and opportunities, allowing your employees to network with peers in the industry. This alone accounts for a drastic improvement in productivity and an increase in employee motivation across the board. Your employees joined your startup to grow. What could be a better environment for growth than a role that is challenging and forces them to perform at their very best?
Now that we’ve established the importance of a result-driven culture, here are 5 simple steps you can use to promote them in your workplace.
Facilitate feedback from co-workers
A startup can be a lean operation of multi-tasking hustlers or an inter-departmental operation, with designated roles and responsibilities for each employee. No matter the setup of your organization, it is important for you to facilitate the sharing of any kind of feedback from your employees, and for co-workers among each other.
The more that valuable info is shared with each other, the less time your team will take to get things done. And getting things done means achieving results – pronto!
Invest in regular training and development seminars
Take this as an investment in your human capital. Your team members, co-workers and employees can make or break your startup in its early years. Find relevant development opportunities for teams or individuals in your startup and encourage them to go for seminars either as a group or alone. These team-building activities would help your employees fully realize their potential, grooming them into valuable assets, producing results for the company as your startup grows.
Publicly congratulate your highest performers
Employee-of-the-Month is no longer a piece of paper with a worker’s face on it pasted on the notice board. You need to dedicate a significant amount of effort to finding ways that can showcase high-performing individuals in your organization. It could through a mailing list, the company blog, social media channels, or even a lunchtime awards ceremony (be creative!). Publicly showing appreciation of the hard work of your employees or co-workers serves to strengthen a culture that is results- and performance-oriented.
Walk the ground often
When you’re CEO, it’s easy to just distance yourself from the junior employees in the company. After all, you’ve got much better things to do than to have idle chat with your interns or freshest employees, haven’t you?
Well, here’s the thing. A results-oriented culture starts when a founder or CEO isn’t afraid to enable a bottom-up approach in the workplace. Who’s to say that a junior employee fresh out of college couldn’t come up with a better idea than your original team? It is usually the new kids on the block who come up with a fresh pair of eyes and some radical new concepts that could elevate your startup to greater heights. All you need to do is take the time to listen to those ideas. Simple enough, hey?
Define your mission, vision and values clearly
What are the long-term goals for the business? What is the vision of your organization? Why did you create this startup in the first place, and where do you see it going in the next 5 or 10 years?
These are important concepts that should be ingrained into your employees, new or old. Your brand values and identity are, after all, what defines your startup in your respective industry. If these values don’t genuinely resonate with your co-workers and employees, you might end up with a team that lacks motivation and the drive to achieve results.
Ensure that you have a documented version of your mission, vision, and values clearly stated. Then disseminate them to everyone in your company, regardless of their position in the organization. By helping them understand what drives the company, you’ll find it easier to shift your workplace culture towards a more results-driven environment.
No man is an island – and no startup ever made it to the heights of success without the support of a motivated, efficient high-powered team of employees and co-workers. Therefore, it is important as a startup owner or CEO to understand what drives team performance in your organization. Do you have the right mix of people working in close proximity? Do they complement each other’s skill sets and talents? Are they simply getting along not just professionally, but personally as well?
Your people are what propels your organization forward in its crucial years of growth. And by implementing a result-driven culture in your startup, you’re effectively letting your team experience the satisfaction and professional growth that comes with getting consistent results, every single time, either as a team or as an individual.
What would you about a company that encourages result-driven employees? Let us know in the comments!
This article originally publisehd on GREY Journal.