Every startup has their own cultural value and it makes perfect sense if you want your startup’s positive values to show. What appears and the public sees outside, is practically the reflection of the values inside. Public impression about an organization depends on how its employees believe and implement the company’s cultural values on a daily basis. If the inside culture is toxic, then it will reflect negatively on how the public perceives it. Meanwhile, if a startup upholds strong cultural values inside, then the public will see it as such, too.
Here is what you need to know about a startup’s cultural value and how you can strengthen it.
Identifying Your Startup Cultural Value
Prior to strengthening the cultural value of your startup, it is essential to know how to identify it. First, all department managers need to understand and clearly discuss the power of cultural value. Employees behave along with the one who manages them, so it is important that top level management takes the importance of cultural value into account. Ensure that leaders are committed to fostering a value-based workplace positively.
You can set up a formal meeting discussing this matter and provide managers with a written summary for them to share with their staff. During the meeting, allow them to share their thoughts and insights regarding positive cultural value. As a leader, be ready to answer inquiries and comments to managers or cross-functional committees in charge. Open communication needs to be demonstrated whenever possible, including in this type of formal meeting.
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From Individual to Collective
Begin by determining each employee’s individual value. These can include a number of significant principles that they hold as individuals and bring to work every day. They may specify each value by projecting what they will notice once these values are implemented into the system. Here are some examples of what kinds of cultural value may be desired by startup employees.
- Integrity: maintaining credibility can be done by ensuring to put words into action
- Respect: as all opinions matter, everyone equally gets the right to speak and be listened
- Accountability: recognizing personal responsibility for using startup resources efficiently, improving systems and helping to increase efficiency
All department managers are expected to be in charge of gathering responses from their employees. For large startups with numerous employees, responses can be tallied in terms of frequency and meaning. However, for small-scale startups, in which employees can participate simultaneously, prioritize and reach an agreement on the most important values. What is the significance of this? Your current startup cultural value will be united and created by those of your employees.
The approach in strengthening your startup value needs to be top down instead of bottom up, but with some side note. For large-scale startups, ensuring all employees to live by the same cultural values may be a tough challenge. This is where top level managers play a crucial part in being in charge of their employees, to later represent them along with their shared values to the board. Following the identification of values among employees, managers and their employees have to establish a big picture of shared value. Managers need to actively talk to their workers about the purpose and value in order to reach a collective growth for the overall startup. Managers must also convert shared values into expectations, priorities and actions with employees. Appreciate and reward employees whose behaviors and performance represent the startup’s cultural values in action.
Technicalities and operational matters may have fixated formulas and even shortcuts to run well, but values do not. Fostering a positive startup workplace is not a job done overnight and it surely takes all parties to be involved. Recognizing the importance of startup cultural values can be the first step towards reaching an overall positive culture in your startup. Employees need to be heard in order for them to help your startup in thriving faster. Rather than directly commanding your employees to follow established values, it is wiser to first listen to them. Gather what everyone has in mind, find ways to resolve when issues arise, and communicate the result on how you want to establish cultural values for your startup. The next thing you know, your startup will just thrive more and more. As the cherry on top, the public will get to see it growing positively as well.
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