How to Build a Great Startup Culture

People in a meeting drinking coffee.

Startup culture is an important yet often overlooked element of some of the most successful startup companies we know and love. 

It may seem odd to place so much importance on the culture of a startup’s teams and employees, but in the real world, it makes all the difference. 

Experienced entrepreneurs know that their people are everything. Without their people, they wouldn’t be able to build the products they do, offer the services they offer, and provide the type of excellent customer service that wins back customers. 

Hiring great people that meld into your startup’s culture is critical for ensuring your employees are happy, satisfied, and encouraged to do their best work. 

In this guide, we’ll go over how to create a great startup culture in your company and walk through some tactical steps you can take to begin improving your team’s culture on the job.

Startup Culture Guide

Your employees are the lifeblood of your startup. If they aren’t happy and don’t work together well with their coworkers, critical parts of your business won’t get completed, causing issues with customers, and ultimately reducing your revenue and profit potential. 

One of the best ways to ensure the happiness and integration of new employees into your business is to specifically focus on the personality and character of your perfect employee. 

By focusing on building startup culture intentionally and not “seeing what happens” like most other companies in the space, you’ll place yourself lightyears ahead of the competition.

What Is Startup Culture?

Startup culture can be defined as the shared beliefs, thoughts, and values that your employees have while on the job. 

Every startup is different, and your culture shouldn’t try to conform to what you see others doing – it should be 100% you. 

Elements of Startup Culture

The primary elements of startup culture include shared beliefs, shared thoughts, and shared values. It’s important to understand how important shared values are to working with other individuals you get along with straight away. 

Building a startup culture where people can work together instead of working against one another requires these shared values to succeed. 

Why Is Culture Important for Startups?

Culture is important for startups because it allows employees to work with one another without “stepping on each other’s toes.” In short, it encourages an interactive, welcoming, and encouraging environment where everyone knows their mission and what they must do to accomplish it. 

A startup culture allows your business to have a clear mission and purpose for your employees, and it provides a direct way of showing your employees what is important for the business at this particular moment in time. 

What Makes a Good Startup Culture?

Good startup culture is defined by employees having a common goal that is clearly communicated. A team with a great work culture should have engaged members that do their work to the best of their ability and a collaborative work environment that sees everyone working together to achieve the startup’s mission. 

Startups typically have smaller teams, which makes developing your startup culture simpler and easier compared to large corporations.

How to Build Startup Culture

To build a flourishing startup culture in your business, we’ll discuss a few practical steps you can take to get the process going. 

1. Know Your Startup’s Vision

Everyone on any team within your startup must have a clear understanding of the company’s goals. It might not seem like much, but every small decision employees make can be influenced by their belief in the business. 

2. Define Your Startup’s Values

What values are most important to your startup specifically? Take some time to slow down, relax, and do some serious brainstorming about how you want the atmosphere within your company to look further down the line. 

3. Hire the Right Startup Team

Hiring the right people is one of the most important things in business. By hiring the right team that melds together well and collaborates quickly and easily without complaints or distractions, your startup will be well on its way to rapid growth. 

4. Listen to and Value Your Employees

Your employees have valuable feedback — so why not listen? Make it a goal to listen to your employees and show them that you value their work. Once your employees are happy, they’ll begin to see increased productivity. 

5. Communicate Effectively 

If nobody on your team knows what your startup’s goals or aspirations are, nobody will be able to work towards those “invisible” goals. Make it a point to effectively and clearly communicate your company’s vision to your employees. 

6. Provide a Welcoming, Productive Office Space

It may be time to give a second look at the productivity increase/decrease that comes with a productivity-designed office space. Instead of relying on your intuition, make a point to collect feedback on the office space and find ways to improve the work environment.