Ways to improve Organisation Culture in Startups

As per a study conducted by Deloitte,  80% of executives at different organisations believe that:  

Organisational culture is critical to building differentiated employee experience, increasing innovation and improving synergy across different teams. This is undeniable for an organisation of any size, be it small businesses or a corporate. With heightened employee engagement through employee self-service tools, pulse feedback tools and wellness apps, organisations can easily harness workplace dynamism in their business objectives. 

In this article, we will be discussing:

  • What does the organisation culture mean in startups?
  • Ways to form an organisational culture in startups
  • How can you then make your employees feel unique and engaged?
  • Types of Organizational Culture
  • Challenges and Solutions in Maintaining Small Business culture

What does the organisation culture mean in startups?

A set of company values, objectives, and practices of doing business is known as organisational culture. In layman language, it means how employees interact with each other, feedback tools available for transparency, employee journey and professional growth for their self-satisfaction. All of these traits bind people together to form the persona of an organisation.  

The right kind of organisational culture determines how well you connect with the right talent and retain them, establish long-term relationships with stakeholders, suppliers, clients, and the world, which bring you success. So, organisational culture is vital for small businesses to enable innovation and successful journeys. And that’s the reason why every small business must be keen to foster this culture and make the most of it. 

You must make all possible things to build an influential organisational culture. If you don’t still consider this critical factor, check the following statistics:

  • According to the Denison Organizational Culture Survey (DOCS), organizations that build strong employee culture are better at driving higher employee engagement.
  • Companies successful at managing cultural aspects at their organizations can enjoy a 40% higher rate of employee retention as per Deloitte Insights
  • Only 13% of employees find themselves engaged with their organizations. This is probably due to the negligence of the leaders in implementing a robust organizational culture (Source).
  • Company culture is directly related to employee engagement. As per a study,  Organizations that fail to comply with enhanced organizational culture lose to organizations that enjoy 72% higher employee engagement.

The above insights give you enough reasons to move with building a healthy organizational culture.

Ways to form an organisational culture in startups

Find different ways you can choose to take this way forward. 

  • Build core values 

Being customer-centric is a way to build core values. When you take this approach, it helps you yield the best product possible and gain customer attention at scale. 

Make sure to keep the principles and work ethics relevant at all times. Parting with different leadership at various stages may not impact your core value. 

  • Establish your company culture goals 

It is not about how you set your quarterly KPIs. It is about how you build goals that help you connect with your users at a deeper level. Organisational goals must align with your business goal and communicate the same with your customers, clients and your employee. When all of these align, you achieve height unimaginable before. 

  • Engage your team 

Do you care for your organisations’ workforce? Well, this is the first driving factor to employ company culture. But, having a positive attitude is not everything. Give your workforce a sense of purpose, a reason to be connected, and as a result, employee productivity always remains high.

How can you then make your employees feel unique and engaged?

  • Encourage your team by appreciating them for achieving some goal. Everyone is busy, and small things can easily get overlooked. But, don’t forget to pat the back of your team when they do something good. 
  • You can build a healthy atmosphere by creating a positive environment where your employees can be motivated to thrive. Make every single opportunity work for them. 
  • Adopting a wellness initiative is an excellent way to keep your employee engaged and have them by your side on a long journey. If you can support the physical/emotional well-being of your employees, it helps you encourage your employees to avoid frailties,  reduce absenteeism, and enhance productivity. As an organisational leader, you can provide excellent employee health benefits by offering vaccines or various health check-up packages; it is easier to ensure long-term employee happiness. 

Whatever strategies you take up, ensure they are in alignment with what your employees expect from you. As a leader, you must embody the best company culture because leaders are those who your employees follow. Additionally, there is a different organizational culture that small businesses can adopt.

Types of Organizational Culture

Organizational culture type: Competing Values matrix

Generally, there are as many as seven types of organisational culture. But, Robert E. Quinn and Kim S. Cameron identified four variations of company culture based on thirty-nine attributes.

Let’s dive into exploring what they are-

Clan Culture 

It involves a company that feels a big family. It represents a collaborative culture that primarily depends on each other, and direct communication plays a significant role here to keep everyone connected. 

Clan culture produces happy customers based on the factors of environment adaptability and employee engagement. Small businesses focus on clan culture. If you look forward to it,  establish effective communication and keep doors open for feedback. 

Adhocracy culture

The motto of this type of culture is- no risk, no gain. 

Yes, Adhocracy culture fits those companies who love innovative something unique that no one else has ever tried even knowing the fact the idea may sink. 

Again, it is most suited for small businesses. The value is ingrained in developing the next big thing relying upon creativity and hence looking towards yielding high profits and driving tremendous growth. 

It is hard to develop an idea that helps build adhocracy culture. But, organisational leaders can brainstorm with their employees and allow them to come out with big ideas. 

Market culture 

The sole objective of market culture is driving growth and profitability. So, the bottom line depends on how leadership and employee connectivity contributes to the overall goal of the business. In this type of culture, external success is considered a top priority rather than job satisfaction. 

Determining the company goal is the primary driver that can help you understand your objectives. To create this kind of culture, you can evaluate the role of each of your employees,  ROI, and reward those who drive excellence in the company’s growth. 

Hierarchy Culture 

Hierarchy culture probably passes through multiple management tiers, and its core organisational functionality depends on the internal team. 

Since this culture preferably appreciates legacy, it provides little scopes for creativity. However, many organisations can follow this culture only to stick to its key objectives and sustain in the long-run. To encourage this form of culture, you must ensure everyone in your team is aware of the organisational goal. 

Challenges and Solutions in Maintaining Small Business culture

When you follow a specific type of company culture or value, make sure it remains intact even though some challenges intervene with the current situation. This is so relevant in the times of COVID-19. The scenario has forced a large number of organisations to move to telecommute or work from home culture. In this challenging time, is it possible to keep with the principle of your company culture? 

Despite a certain level of challenges there, it may not defer the objectives of your organisational culture, i.e., AI tools can help organisations stick to the business objectives without having to move away from the core business values. On top of it, as organisations incentivise their employees with rewards and better compensations, they add to employee performance and better business outcomes. 

Even during this uncertain time, we have seen many organisations come out of crisis and set examples. Shopify, Bluecore, food delivery services, and ed-tech firms have made a great fortune, and that’s too due to their core organisational culture. 

Let’s not forget organisational culture is an essential element that determines growth and sustainability for a company. So, make sure you value it at core levels.

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Nitika Garg
Entrepreneur | Senior Content Writer | Technical Writer | Startup Writer She is a software engineer by education and content writer by passion. She has 8+ years of overall experience in the industry. She has written 300+ articles in different domains. She has graduated from “Iron Lady Corporate Leadership Program for Women Leaders” which is recognized by TISS, Mumbai.