Over the past few years, agility has become a bit of a recurring theme in the workplace. It’s a concept that companies need to adopt if they want to succeed in their digital transformation. The message is simple: you have to be able to adapt to changes in the blink of an eye and be as reactive as possible to stay ahead of your competitors. For an established company, that means changing the way you think, reviewing your processes and taking bold steps. You have to innovate to survive.
But breaking silos and introducing an entrepreneurial culture within the confines of a traditional workplace hierarchy is not always easy, especially when the current methods have been ingrained for a long time. The key is to manage this transformation without completely disrupting your organisation and its employees.
Here are a few tips to help you introduce a start-up mindset that will get even the most stubborn traditionalists on board.
Forget what you know about start-ups
Set aside all the clichés typically associated with a start-up environment. It’s not all cushy sofas, table football, free snacks and casual dress. Much more than these little perks, the start-up culture is about strong values, common beliefs and rituals that bring employees together, united in a common vision. It means maintaining the same management transparency, team cohesion and open-mindedness as you grow – even if you’re growing very quickly.
“You can borrow good ideas while still staying true to your own values. There’s loads to learn from the start-up world!”Tweet this
Encourage innovation at every level
Managers must lead by example when it comes to company culture. As a manager, if your goal is to create a dynamic and exciting workplace, it’s on you to create an environment that fosters innovation. This can be as simple as encouraging your employees to share ideas, or giving your teams constructive feedback. You can also experiment with innovative approaches like design thinking or hackathons.
Arrange a space for creativity
New ideas emerge and grow where people feel confident. While table football can’t create a start-up culture on its own, the space where employees communicate every day plays a key role in their ability to be creative and think differently. By giving your teams dedicated spaces for creative thinking and brainstorming, you’ll break down hierarchical barriers and encourage a higher-quality collaboration.
Make time to bring people together
In a start-up environment, employees are engaged and teams feel supported, so people tend to feel a real sense of belonging to their organisation. If you want team cohesion, you’ll need to dedicate time to building it. By bringing your employees together in an informal setting, they’ll feel they can communicate freely and differently than they would at their desks. That doesn’t have to mean boozy happy hours – it could also be a seminar, a team-building event, or a workshop over breakfast. Regardless of the format, the important thing is a friendly, fun environment that encourages people to connect with each other.
Be transparent to establish trusting relationships
Transparency is another important feature of start-up culture. In practice, this means that management is open, accessible and willing to listen, and feedback is taken seriously. Transparency means being clear about what is expected of employees, but also valuing each person’s contributions and rewarding success. This approach will create trust and an environment in which everyone strives to achieve the company’s mission and goals.
Give your teams the tools they need to be agile
Want your teams to be agile? Develop collaborative practices internally and encourage collective intelligence, by prioritising information sharing between employees. Nothing will help you improve team agility more than investing in the right technology. By adopting simple, high-performing communications solutions that bring together voice calls, chat systems, online audio and video meetings and much more, you’ll give your teams an efficient way to communicate and collaborate. It will also give your employees more flexibility, as they can keep working as a team on any device they choose, even if they’re travelling or working remotely. The benefits will be felt company-wide: less time lost, decisions made quickly and efficiently, and at the end of the day, a huge increase in productivity.
By following the values that define your company, and finding inspiration from start-up culture, you can enhance your own company culture and create an authentic, creative, collaborative environment: perfect for attracting and retaining the talent you need to grow.