Six Steps to a Thriving Startup Environment

May 25th, 2018

If you’re planning to build your empire, there’s certainly no better hustle than New York City. Over the past decade there has been a major rise in startups as young entrepreneurs are opting out of the traditional corporate format. While bottom-lines and product development are certainly important when starting your business, daily habits are perhaps the most fundamental aspect of a successful company. As a leader, it’s important to create a culture that both excites and challenges your employees. So take the time to focus on creating a quality environment for your team. Lead With Company Values When beginning the hiring process, make sure to lead with what is most important to you and the company. Surrounding yourself with likeminded people is essential to a thriving business. Be direct during the interview process about what you expect from your team, both in terms of large goals and daily interactions. Having a sense of clarity from the start will help create both flexibility and structure in the office. Get Creative with Compensation Launching a new company often means working with limited funds before you’re able to turn a solid profit, and oftentimes salaries are the first to be considered when the budget gets tight. So while you may not be able to financially show your employees the compensation they deserve, there are other ways to demonstrate their value to the company. Offering additional benefits like added vacation, remote-work opportunities, in-office meals, and earned sabbaticals are excellent incentives for your team. Design an Inspiring Environment Working at a startup can mean long days at the office, so take the time to create a working environment where your team will feel inspired. If collaboration is important to you, opt for an open office concept. Give your employees the freedom to move around ~ incorporate large tables, standing desks, and couches if possible. A versatile environment creates movement that will help your team avoid the dreaded afternoon energy slump. Think Outside the Box In larger companies, employees are typically confined to the duties solely within their job description. However, due to limited resources, startups tend to be much more fluid in nature. So embrace it! Get to know your employees on an individual level. Chances are, they have hobbies or experiences outside their resume that can be incredibly valuable to your vision. Allowing your team to feel comfortable brainstorming new ideas and contributing their unique talents will give them a sense of autonomy, and in turn create positive company culture. Step Up - Step Back A good leader is not only aware of their strengths and weaknesses, but also finds people who compliment those attributes. While starting your own business can feel like a bit of a risk, don’t hold too tightly to your individual process. If you’ve taken the time to find quality employees that share your values, then sometimes it’s necessary to step back and trust that they’ll do their job well.   Ask for Feedback Creating a company is all about growth: professional, financial, AND personal. Make it a point to regularly ask your team for feedback. Since every person communicates differently, provide multiple outlets for employee response. While an open door policy may work well for some, others might prefer anonymous surveys when offering suggestions. Be proactive in finding out how you can improve company culture.