Why your business should adopt a start-up culture
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Why your business should adopt a start-up culture

23rd March 2016
By Gina Kershaw

When we think about start-ups what springs to mind? Perhaps it’s the ultra-cool offices: trendy loft spaces with high ceilings, large windows, quirky feature walls, break out rooms filled with oversized cushions and beanbags, ping pong tables and the rest.

But there’s an infectious optimistic culture that the start-up captures. In this blog post, we’ll be taking a look at what it means to adopt a start-up culture and what bigger businesses can learn from them.

Making work a home from home

While we joke about the ultra-slick modern start-up office, there is actually a method behind the rather swanky interior design. Entrepreneurship is all about being innovative and doing things differently, and this mentality is often reflected in the office of a start-up.

Fast-growing start-up, Pact coffee, believes in building a great company culture with the right working space. Many start-ups tend to ditch the traditional corporate office style (uniform workstations, bland décor) and instead, create a space that feels more lively and personal.

Beyond bringing personality to the workplace, the logic is to design an enjoyable, comfortable environment in which people are likely to do their best work.

Value the people you work with

Another great characteristic of start-ups is the way that employees are valued and respected in their work. This comes down to recognising a person’s expertise and talent, and acknowledging them for their contribution to the company.

Generally, those who work in start-ups understand that the working day isn’t your average 9-5 job, and are typically recruited because they share the vision of the company. Similarly, employees put in the extra hours because they care, and feel valued and appreciated, not because they feel forced to do so.

start up meeting

By hiring people who share your vision, recognising their expertise and, as Pact has found, keeping employees involved in all areas of your business, you create a company culture that is built on loyalty and trust.

Not only does this make for a happier workplace (and happier staff), but it also goes a long way in attracting the right people to join your business.
Pact has found that fast-growing start-ups need to take employee development seriously, ensuring that the team can keep pace with the business – a tactic that would benefit the majority of larger businesses too.

Be person-centric not profit-driven

That infectious high-energy and optimism that is the core focus of so many start-ups comes as a result of making an impact in the world and creating something unique and special.

Companies can lose sight of this as they grow, and often the central focus shifts towards profit rather than making significant changes. When profit becomes too central to the business, the original values of the company can get muddied and possibly even lost altogether.

When those once-shared values begin to break down, a company can become dysfunctional on the inside. Pact was founded on strong operating principles and values, such as keeping their customers at the heart of what they do, being open and honest, and striving to make things simple and fun.
They implore the Pact team to keep these values in mind and not to lose sight of them – so much so, that they’re up in big letters on the wall of their HQ, serving as a gentle reminder to everyone, every day.

While large companies tend to have the benefit of sustainability, infrastructure, and capital, there’s a lot that can be learned from the innovation, passion, and culture of an enthusiastic start-up that keeps its values at the core of the business, and always in clear sight.

A positive work culture is not only an effective way of working, but can be attractive to the right people too.