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4 Tips For People-Centred Startups


4 Tips For People-Centred Startups

If you’re a startup entrepreneur, the chances are your skillset’s stuffed with technical expertise, creativity and confidence.

But without a progressive approach to people you might lose your best employees and start swimming with the sharks.

So here are four tips for getting a people-centred startup right from the beginning.


Thinking about ‘the way we do things around here’ might present a challenge with a small number of staff.

But if you don’t embed a positive culture immediately then problems may arise as your firm expands.

An emotionally intelligent culture is prized by progressive organisations that recognise its role in empowering self-managed employees who are happier and produce high-quality work.

Supported by leaders who role model a mix of empathy and straight talking, this is a transparent model where consistent values are embodied at all ranks.

But if you’re the boss you can choose any culture you want — if you prefer a top-down authoritative model that’s fine, but be open about it so that new recruits know what to expect.


If you’re embedding a people-centred culture but you and your managers are behaving in a contradictory manner, you’re headed for a fall.

Staff are savvy — any management attempts to pay lip service to positive behaviour will drain away employee motivation.

So train your managers in emotionally intelligent leadership so that they realise how to get the best from staff.

And educate them in transactional analysis so they’re aware of the games people play — this is one of the fastest ways to eradicate petty office politics.


If you get people-centred culture right first time then your HR staff will spend less time negotiating disputes between staff and management — by and large you’ll all sing from the same hymn sheet.

But HR staff can’t be champions of a supportive culture if much of their time is spent on onerous admin tasks.

For instance, there are a number of outsourced payroll providers in the UK who can take care of this crucial but time-consuming task — leaving more time for HR to focus on nurturing and protecting an empathic environment.

Network locally

No matter how large your operational footprint and business ambitions, it pays to be part of a strong local business network.

Government funded groups like business gateway offer a range of free courses that help startups get to grips with everything from marketing to legal compliance.

You’ll make connections and share advice with businesspeople who are facing similar challenges and subtly pitch ideas and products to attendees that are receptive.

But joining the local chamber of commerce is also a wise move — fees are reasonable for smaller firms and they’ll likely hold regular events like business breakfasts and conferences.

If you’re not assertive about creating a people-centred culture from the conception of your company then transforming down the line is terrifically tricky.

But these four tips for people-centred startups should set you on the right track from day one.

How do you embed culture at work? Share your stories in the comments section.

I am the founder of Startup Today. I am the main writer and have put in many hours of work into creating this blog. If you want to find out more about me then lets get in contact.

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