Best Practices for a Successful Startup Culture
Lately, I read many articles about the difficulties that companies are facing when managing millennials who are entering the labor market. I’m used to dealing with people from older generations, with different objectives and expectations than those just recently entered the workforce. Companies are faced with certain challenges like changing policies and practices to keep up with the new people who just join the team.
Working for 2 years in Starloop has made me look back and see all the changes we have implemented throughout the years and the results we have obtained. In this article, which I will divide into 2 parts, I will discuss some ideas accompanied by practical actions that can be useful to other people who wants to change culture within their companies.
My goal is to share ideas that can easily be taken into practice with low cost involved. With this, I do not want to say that all companies will specifically do these practices; each one, like each community, has its own culture, values, and the actions that are implemented must be in accordance with it.
I want to explain that many of these actions are the result of the collective ideas from people with whom I have had the pleasure of working with in Starloop. So I thank them, for believing that things can always be improved.
1. Management must be close to everyone in the company. One of the questions we ask in our selection process is, “What type of boss are you looking for?” and the characteristics we always hear are the same: one who listens, not afraid to get their hands dirty, inspire others, and last but not the least, empathetic.
It is vital for new employees to know what style of leadership the company has and if the company will meet their expectations. The leadership style can certainly affect employee’s morale, productivity and retention.
Actions: Organize events and informal meetings, in which people at different levels of the company can speak without hesitation. In Starloop, we created Brainloop. An event outside the office where everything can be discussed, there is no agenda, the issues arise as the conversation progresses. The company pays the first round of beers/soft drinks/etc. The goal? Create a communication open space. For some employees, there are still difficult issues to talk about. By creating an open space, it enables everyone to communicate more easily about the most sensitive issues. Remember, mutual trust is important.
2. The work environment should inspire confidence. All companies know this but not all of them comply. Creating this environment is not difficult, but it does require perseverance. With small initiatives, it can help change the environment.
Actions: To build confidence at work, you can implement Kudobox: cards (kudocards) sent anonymously to people in the company, sending messages of thanks, motivation, congratulations… With this tool you can promote gratitude, motivation, and create engagement between the people in the company. In Starloop, we make them online. We have created company kudocards and put GIFS.
In today’s workforce, showing appreciation to your employees will only make your organization a better environment to work in, and it will enable it to grow.
Here are some examples:
3. Dedicate your time with the people in the company. The workers need you to dedicate time, know them, identify what their aspirations are, how they feel in the company, what their objectives are, what they would like to learn… Create activities that allow you to know them better. Spend more time with them. Building trust with employees is an ongoing process that requires you to be a reliable and confident leader. It takes time to build trust in the workplace and it’s a something that needs to be at the top of your to-do list.
Actions: You can establish that once every X time you have breakfast all together paid by the company. If the company is very large, you can do it by department or team. The goal is to speak in a work environment where everyone is more relaxed. Create an environment of trust in which everyone feels comfortable. Another possible action would be to carry out feedback meetings every 6 months or 1 year with each person in the company (or areas if there are many people). Create actions that become rituals: every X day of the week play a sport, watch a movie, go out to eat… You will see that many of these activities can become initiatives of the people of the company and you will only have to carry them out.
I hope you found some useful ideas from this post. In the next article, I will continue to share more on what we have implemented in Starloop.
About the AuthorNúria Domingo is the Human Resources Manager at Starloop Studios. With a background in psychology and specialized in Human Resources, she works daily to reinforce the view that people are the backbone of a Company. She works for the alignment between HR strategy with the business goals and implements management 3.0 strategies to refocus the values and the corporate culture. She’s always in for new challenges that involve the team