Six Elements Every Startup Should Nurture In Their Work Environment

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Imagine an ideal workplace.

Do you think of your own workplace? And when you do, does it evoke an image of a place you’d happily go to and work in every day? Or is it the sort of drudgery you drag yourself to for the sake of that paycheck you receive every month?

Whether you are an ambitious owner of a small startup, or an employee honing your skills at a new company, a positive workplace environment is highly important for everyone. 

Your employees’ motivation to work has a lot to do with their work environment. Creating a positive work environment will therefore deliver far better results for your company than investing thousands of dollars in other areas. To achieve this, these six key practices might just be the zing your startup needs.

1. Values

Let’s start with the very basics. If you want to build a growth-oriented startup culture, begin by unifying your workforce under common goals and values.

Ask yourself the question, what are your startup’s core principles? Then, break it down for your employees and bring everyone on the same page of your core values.

Once you have defined this agenda, you need to make sure your team is completely on board. This is a long and proactive process. For example, if you hear an employee making statements that are contrary to your core values, make the point to have a conversation with them. On the other hand, celebrate staff members who do or say something that exemplifies your company values. Encourage team members to communicate these values to new employees.

You should also take every opportunity to promote your company values, whether through posters and signage around the office or in quirky and creative ways such as your own custom-made stickers.

2. Joy

Yes, professionalism is essential, but that doesn’t have to translate into a dull environment! Happy employees will work hard and deliver much better results than bored or miserable ones.

A little does of excitement can give your employees a much-needed boost as they come to work every day. And there are many ways you can go about it.

For example, if you are a design startup, make your work environment one that fosters creativity with aesthetically pleasing drop backs and an artistic layout that gets your team in the zone the moment they walk in through the door. 

Take it upon yourself to de-stress your employees and inject some fun into the workplace. Encourage staff to personalize their desks in a way that shows off their personality. You can make this even more fun with mini-competitions for the most joyful desk. You decide whatever works for you, but the key is to introduce joy to create a happy space that will be more productive

3. Uniformity

We can’t stress the importance of choosing the right people from the get-go enough. It’s always better to take the time to hire the right staff than choosing people that are not right for your startup and could derail your efforts.

What you want to do is identify the fundamental characteristics you want to see in your potential employee. These will be unique to your startup and should reflect your company values.

This criteria will serve as a blueprint for a person who will work well in your startup.

4. Communication

It is important that your team members feel free to speak up, share their thoughts and ideas and make suggestions. You should not only make it possible for them to do this, but actively encourage them to do so. Open communication should always flow freely both ways: from employees to management and vice versa, as well as between team members.

Give your employees the freedom to voice their ideas. Set up specific times when employees are welcome to come into your office and bring ideas, suggestions or questions. Even if the idea needs development, it’s critical that they contribute to the collective goals. This, subtly but very powerfully, shows that everyone and their input is valuable, not to mention it may result in a million-dollar idea.

5. Recognition

Remember, your words have a lasting impact on people. So, choose them wisely.  A great way to encourage your employees is to frequently express praise and encouragement, keeping them motivated.

Rewarding those who work hard and deliver great results will encourage them to keep going. It will also instil the notion that you truly value and acknowledge hard work in your startup. It will encourage other employees to work hard and get recognised too. Encourage staff members who want to challenge themselves with new tasks or responsibilities, and recognize the hard work put in by those who made it all possible.

You can also take it a step further by providing opportunities for your employees develop themselves and their career, which translates into a culture of growth in the workplace.

6. Flexibility

Your team needs space and time to work in a way that can keep them optimally productive. Allow team members to set up work schedules and processes that work best for them. Only then will they deliver their best work. Make sure your employees take breaks, as this will make them more productive overall.

A staff well treated can do wonders for your business. Once established, keeping your work environment positive is relatively easy and will make your startup not only a better place to work, but also more productive, more innovative and more successful!