The concept of “startup culture” typically involves innovation, risk-taking, flexibility, and digging your way through the mud in order to reach success. It’s this kind of “bootstrapping” culture that attracts fresh, new talent. In fact, many companies try to emulate this sort of culture because it has proven to be very successful. This begins with defining a clear company culture based on the core values of its founders. The challenge lies in preserving this culture as you try to scale and grow your business. All too often companies fall away from their core values as they get larger. So, how can you see growth without diluting your core values? Learn to navigate business growth without sacrificing your workplace culture with these helpful tips.
1. Define Your Core Value
In order to preserve your core values as your business grows, you must first have a clear understanding of what those values are. Create a mission statement that summarizes your company’s values. Share this statement with your employees so everyone is on the same page. Decide which policies are most important, what traits are most valuable, and what the relationship will look like between manager and employee. Once you have identified these values and developed a company culture, you can stay true to your core values as you make decisions about growth.
2. Hire the Right People
Be sure to hire people who fit your company culture and believe in your core values. Each new candidate should meet the same hiring criteria and it’s important to make sure there is alignment between the company and the candidate.
3. Never Deviate From Your Mission
While your business may grow and evolve over the years, it’s critical that you stick to your core values and keep them at the forefront of your business. For example, if you value communication, transparency, curiosity, innovation, and passion, you need to circle back to these values in every aspect of your business decisions.
4. Foster Open Communication
When your business is growing and changing, it’s more important than ever to maintain open communication with your employees. Keep them well informed about the happenings within the company and make sure management is accessible for questions and concerns. This helps to foster a company culture that supports transparency.
5. Develop a Strong Onboarding Process
Businesses can scale successfully when the employees feel like they are part of the same culture. It becomes a family of sorts, where everyone believes in the same core values and mission. This should be established during the hiring process and expressed all throughout new employee orientation and onboarding. Talk about company values consistently throughout the first few weeks of employment, and encourage employees to stick to these values throughout their entire employment.
6. Set the Example
If you want your employees to believe in your company’s core values, then the upper management must show that they believe in these values. They need to be the example and show their team how to represent the company.
7. Identify Your Gaps
Brining in specialists as a business grows might be critical, but don’t sacrifice your core values in the process. As you identify gaps in your business model, fill them by hiring the right people. Remember the mission of your company and find people who align with that mission.
8. Seek Long-Term Retention
If you want your company’s values to remain present, you need to retain as many original employees as possible. If they have believed in your mission over the course of time, this will be a testament to your company’s strong commitment to their values. These experienced employees can then share their passion and enthusiasm for the company with all the new hires.
9. Keep Employees Enthusiastic and Engaged
As your company grows, it is bound to experience challenges along the way. During these times, it’s easy for employees to experience burnout. When employees feel burned out, they lose engagement and their morale and motivation can plummet. Therefore, take steps to keep employees enthusiastic about the company. Encourage a healthy work/life balance, offer flexible work schedules, and make time for team building. Employees who feel supported are more likely to remain engaged and enthusiastic about the future of their company.
10. Slow Down
As things go well for your business, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the moment and make decisions quickly in order to keep moving forward. However, you run the risk of looking back in a couple years and saying “How did we get here?” Sometimes it’s better to slow things down and take time to carefully analyze and discuss ideas. Seek multiple points of view and conduct case studies to thoroughly understand and research ideas before making decisions. With a little patience, you can make more informed decisions that will scale your business without sacrificing your values.