When a start-up is run by a small, independent team, its culture often reflects the passion and personality of the start-up teams. If it was something like an online betting platform for instance, it would establish itself very quickly as a casino bonus UK platform in terms of radiating that European online betting culture throughout its DNA. In most situations, the people working for the start-up contribute to the overall culture.
A corporate culture is the ethos and personality of your organization and its unique team members. It constitutes your values as an organization, the way you do business, the way you treat your employees, and your corporate vision. Their corporate culture, mission and vision guide the company and drive its performance.
Startup culture versus corporate culture is a common question, but the corporate culture of start-ups tends to be different from the corporate culture. Both startups and small businesses differ in many ways from those who do the work, their decision making process, the size of the workforce, the shareholders who own a percentage of the company (that can be detailed in a cap table), and other factors that influence the culture of the company. Startups emphasize corporate culture as a selling point when recruiting top talent.
For many founders, the term “corporate culture” has become more than just a buzzword. Startups come to the fore in the discussion of corporate culture, but not for the reasons you might think.
Having barrels in the office, luxurious work-from-home policies and great perks for employees do not contribute to the culture a start-up is known for. In contrast to the start-up culture, the start-up culture has acquired a good (or bad) reputation for being relaxed. It is open communication and the people-first mentality that sets the start-up culture apart from its entrepreneurial counterpart, and perks are a cultural by-product.
People associate startups with cold brews on tap, unlimited PTO and dog-friendly offices. A table football and free snacks won’t solve the problem of your work culture, but the definition of your work environment relates to the physical attributes of the workplace. A work environment is not the same as a start-up work culture, but it is important.
Innovating and adapting to changing conditions are fundamental characteristics of entrepreneurs. On the other hand, things like bad internal communication, gossip, micromanagement, small-scale hiring, unfriendly competition in office and all the hallmarks of workplace culture can kill a start-up before it has a chance to succeed.
One of the difficulties founders face in fostering the start-up culture is that culture is much more than the sum of a company’s employees, strategies, and goals. One reason is a lack of understanding of the important role culture plays in a start-up’s eventual success or failure. For founders who are hyper-focused on rapid growth it is hard to understand how much influence a positive corporate culture influences every aspect of the company.
Neil Patel, co-founder of Crazy Egg and Kissmetrics, explains that it’s the people you pick to help shape the culture of your start-ups. Rand adds that while start-ups publish corporate values, it is not the values, but the actions of the team which dictate the culture. It is not a question of ignoring the culture of the founders, but of leaving it to chance.