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Top-Shelf Tip No. 112:

"Sometimes, things may not go your way, but the effort should be there every single night."

Michael Jordan

Establish A Positive Start-Up Culture

When you think of a start-up business, do you envision two guys in a garage—staying up all night to perfect their product and make the business work? With a sink-or-swim mentality, start-ups can be stressful. Yet, if you were to create a positive culture in your start-up, think of how much further the business could go.

In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share these thoughts from entrepreneur Shachar Shamir, who believes a positive culture is a key element to start-up success.

1. Establish Transparency. If you want your startup to have the best chance of developing into a fully thriving business, one of the first things you'll need to do when it comes to developing a positive culture is to establish the importance of transparency. Specifically, you need to ensure that you adopt a leadership style that prioritizes transparency when interacting with your workers, and that employees are not only permitted to challenge the management and operational processes but they are invited to do so.

Every company, large, small and in between, lives and dies by the quality of the relationship it has between its employees and its management. Opaque leadership—one that relies on not informing your talent of developments within the company but simply instructing them on what projects to work on and when to have them completed—creates a disconnection between workers and management. This can all too easily lead to employees feeling less valued. On the contrary, companies that provide high levels of transparency to their employees report better relationships with talent, increased employee alignment when it comes to their understanding of the specific role they play in the company, and, most importantly, higher overall engagement and productivity.

2. Embrace Honesty. Once you've established that your startup's culture will prioritize transparency in its internal dealings between workers and management, it's time to build on that success by integrating a policy of honesty in your dealings with employees as well. Like the old saying goes, honesty is the best policy, and every startup can benefit from developing and maintaining a reputation for honesty and fair-mindedness. Employees that know they aren't just free to voice their opinions about a project or an issue but that they're encouraged and expected to, is empowering. This is especially important when employees know any viable alternatives they may have regarding the resolution of a specific issue will be given fair consideration by management. Additionally, leaders who communicate honestly with their workers on both the positive and negative aspects of things like performance are more likely to earn the respect of their employees, even if the core message may be hard to hear at times.

3. Encourage Cooperation And Collaboration. Unless you're a sole proprietor, your startup is going to be at minimum a small collection of individuals who are working towards a common goal to create a product or a service. This means you're going to have to take steps to ensure everyone has the tools needed to work together with others in a positive manner.

One of the most effective methods for reinforcing the importance of cooperation and collaboration are team-based training and education. Plus, the use of support tools like internal project management and communication tools also aid in encouraging the implementation of better collaboration

The simple truth is that there's a massively high casualty rate among startups, but you can beat the odds with the right plan, right focus and right level of engagement.

Source: Shachar Shamir is co-founder of Ranky, one of the world's first agencies to focus exclusively on tech and startups. It has served over 200 companies since inception leaving veteran agencies surprised and amazed. Shamir is also a soccer fan and gadgets addict.

Compiled by Cassandra Johnson

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