The only thing that a startup usually focuses on is it's survival. Many founders struggle and thus fail to find the time to define the culture they aspire to follow! You set one for yourself or not, a culture exists at all times. Culture drives the value of the business but if non-defined, creates negation in the smooth working environment. So why allow an uncontrolled negative culture take over the attitudes of the employees when you can set a rightly motivated one?
Make sure the culture you are trying to define is a winning one with these pointers!
1- Decide upon the core values.
Every company needs some core values, values that make the company what it is. So decide it earlier, when startup is still in its infancy, as to what kind of company you want to become. Do you want to become like IBM or Google, and what values will help you get there. Understand those values then communicate and incorporate them. And uphold those values in everything you do, from the interaction with your client to the enjoying a coffee break.
2- Find the purpose.
No, I am not talking about the 'make a loads of money' or 'create the greatest product' I am talking about the ultimate purpose of why you are doing, what you are doing. So if you are a digital marketing company, your purpose can be of helping people and businesses to expand their ventures through digital tools. Communicate the purpose with every employee, employees are far happier and satisfied with their jobs, when they are working at a purpose driven company.
3- Keep it in check.
Culture is not something that you work on once and then forget about. It's an always ongoing process that requires a lot of patience and persistence. You will need to keep it in check all the time. One bad apple can have a significant bad influence if you let it. Especially when you are hiring, hire for value fit. Make sure that the person you are hiring is capable of keeping up with the culture that you have spent a lot of time and energy building.
4- Be a little loose, but not sloppy.
Okay, so it's a startup and it should look and feel like one, you don't need to go all corporate. But loose doesn't mean sloppy. A little fun never harms anybody, as long as the work gets done. Startups works out best when there are lesser formal processes without compromising the accountability.
Thanks for reading.