Capital Alliance on Cultivating a Strong Startup Culture: A Simple Approach to Improve Employee Retention

It’s quite likely that, at some point in your professional life, a poor company culture inspired you to leave what must have initially appeared to be a promising job opportunity. We’ve all been there, and upon reflection wondered why we didn’t head for the hills at the first sign of workplace toxicity.


The commonality of these experiences should be puzzling, of course. After all, what startup entrepreneur would be so dismissive of the potential impact of culture on the success of the business that they would build a company that no one in their right mind would want to work with for very long, if at all?


It’s not that companies don’t care about culture; most talk about culture so often that the word has taken on an almost ambiguous definition. It’s almost as though companies hope to “speak it into existence.” Talking about company culture isn’t necessarily a bad thing, however, so long as it is paired with meaningful action.


The process of cultivating a strong company culture is actually quite simple, but it is a process that many business leaders have made needlessly complex. This is why we should all take a moment to reflect on the factors that contribute to company culture and the benefits derived from cultivating a such a culture.


As the leader of your company, it is your duty to be attentive to the needs of your clients, your employees, and the business itself. The latter two are interrelated, as ensuring your employees find their work fulfilling increases employee retention, which is very good for business. Replacing an employee takes time — six weeks, on average — and costs one-fifth of their annual salary.


The value of increasing employee retention goes beyond avoiding the cost of replacement. Employee continuity is necessary to preserve institutional knowledge, ensuring your organization remains focused on achieving its core goals and objectives.


Clearly, the strength of the culture you establish will serve as a predictor of your company’s long-term success. So how can you go about cultivating a culture that attracts and retains the best employees?


At Capital Alliance, Narin Charan, the founder of our company, routinely emphasizes the value of simplicity in everything we do, especially in the services we offer. Our clients tend to be small business owners who carry incredibly diverse responsibilities. As a result, these clients benefit from our simple, straightforward approach to funding. So, to reinforce the importance of simplicity in our company culture, the following quote is featured among the “Words We Live By,” with many thanks to Richard Branson for stating it so plainly:


“Complexity is your enemy. Any fool can make something complicated. It is hard to make something simple.”


The principle of simplicity is vital when it comes to cultivating your company’s culture. Focus on the simple things to ensure your employees feel valued and respected: Offer competitive wages and benefits, and make sure employees have access to professional development opportunities and have room to grow within your organization. Ask for feedback about ways to improve efficiency and productivity, and then invest in the tools or technologies suggested by employees. These simple strategies create a strong workplace culture in which employees feel valued and fulfilled, increasing retention and improving your bottom line.

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