When envisioning the culture of your startup, the first thing you think of might be a casual vibe. Or maybe funky interior design. Or perhaps a place where fun is key. Whatever your idea of a dream work environment may be, it shouldn’t be only about aesthetics or ambiance – it needs to also be about inspiring and rallying your team to achieve business results. Unfortunately to do that, ‘cool’ isn’t the answer.
In order for your business to scale and grow, you’ll need to have in place a realistic business plan with ambitious yet realistic benchmarks. But more than that, you’ll need to inspire your team to work toward that common goal. Here’s how to get it done.
Have a clear, overarching business objective
Call it a motto, a mission statement, a corporate vision – the term isn’t as important as the message. Work to create a concise business objective that communicates what you want your company to achieve. If it sounds stodgy or ‘corporate’, that’s okay – after all, your goal isn’t ultimately to be cool; it’s to grow and be profitable, and the only way to do that is by setting a goal, being able to communicate it clearly, and working toward it.
Insist on mentorship
As a company leader, make it a point to get to know your people – and not just on a surface level. Make time to talk to them, get to know who they are beyond their desks, but also ensure that you’re listening to their feedback about their jobs and the company.
Make mentorship within your startup a priority – speak with your senior team members about how they can become great mentors and encourage them to actively mentor the younger staff; you could even set up a formal mentorship programme. By investing in your people, you’ll not only help them in their careers, but make sure that your team knows they’re valued – which will help not only with retention but will encourage your workforce to continue striving toward your business objective.
Instil a culture of purpose
More than mentorship and ensuring everyone understands the business goal they’re working toward, each person on your company’s team should understand that their role serves a purpose. That no matter their title, they’re an important part of the ecosystem that helps push the company forward. If your team knows exactly how they contribute to the overarching business plan, they’ll take pride in their work and the impact it has on the company.
When your team feels valued, understands the common company goal, and can see the direct impact their job has on the business, it will help them to become a high-performing workforce that propels your company forward in order for it to scale and grow. And though there’s nothing wrong with casual attire, office happy hours or ping pong tables, it’s this type of corporate culture you should truly aspire to – not just one that is ‘cool’.