Act like a start-up
In order to have a start-up mentality, you don’t necessarily need to be operating as a start-up. The business world is beginning to shift from the standard 8-5, business professional setting where you come into work and sit in a cubicle farm. It’s becoming more colorful, more collaborative, and more flexible - which is a good thing!
Job seekers are often drawn to startups because of the culture. So how do you foster a start-up culture no matter what type of business you run? Here are a few tips.
1. Encourage Ideas
As a leader within your company, you have the opportunity to hire some incredible minds. A diverse, hard-working, and intelligent team is the strongest tool in your belt. That’s why you, as a leader, must go beyond just listening to ideas and actually encourage collaboration. Everyone has a unique way of doing things. Maybe your office manager has an idea that will save the company time and money, but they never voice it because they aren’t being encouraged to! Creating a culture where employees - on any level - can contribute ideas that affect the bottom line can lead you to places you wouldn’t be able to get to on your own.
2. Move Quickly
In my opinion, adaptability is one of the greatest strengths that start-ups must exhibit to be successful. If you think about it, a start-up is very experimental. They are trying something that could very well fail, so if they are not able to “roll with the punches” and adjust their business plan as they go, they’ll flop.
So how is that mentality useful for larger or more established companies? It can keep you current. Our world is always changing, it’s irresponsible not to be willing to change with it. Yes, it takes more work, but have you ever achieved anything great and lasting without working really, really hard?
3. Be Authentic
This is key. One of the things I love about Parker is that I can go into work and not be afraid to laugh. To laugh at myself, at my co-workers, I even get to laugh with my CEO. This is because authenticity is what our culture is centered around. We, as employees, are invited in, not to be recruiters, salespeople, and operations experts…but to be ourselves and do work that we love, with the people we love. It’s the same in a start-up culture. Every employee adds unique value. Personality is part of what makes an employee valuable. Fostering a culture where you are encouraging your employees to be themselves will get them excited to come to work, which is really important if you don’t want to be working with a team of robots (or face high employee turnover).
4. Stay Passionate
I recently attended a networking event where the keynote speaker, Maryleen Emeric Leal, talked about the fact that you cannot produce your best work unless you are passionate about what you are doing. This really struck a chord with me because really, who wants to work in a job they don’t love? Life is way too short to spend that much time chasing anything other than your passions. So how does this translate to you in this moment?
Attitudes are contagious. Have you ever met someone who is so excited about something that it makes your heart beat a little faster? Sometimes you get excited just being near people like that. Being a leader that is passionate about the people, the culture, and the company’s mission is crucial to cultivating the same passion in your employees. Passion can make anything possible.