How to Win the War for Startup Talent: Foster a Company Culture of Happiness

Learn how to grow your company and foster a culture of happiness.

Create a Thriving Company Culture

Happiness is relative, and it’s entirely personal.

One way to increase happiness, for example, is by working in an environment where creativity and innovation are the norm, where it is okay to make mistakes as long as you learn from them, where people won’t tolerate working with anyone who settles for mediocrity, and where people share a common long-term vision for the company, which transcends the goals of all individuals involved.

When people are happy, they are motivated to build amazing things.

But people need to be motivated for the right reasons. And for people to be intrinsically motivated, they need to feel empowered. Empowerment means trust. Your startup team needs to feel that they’re trusted with huge responsibilities to do the right thing. This increases happiness.

For example, at Funding Gates we hate micromanagement. That is why we hire the best of the best, provide them with cutting-edge tools to get their work done, and then get the heck out of their way. This too, increases happiness.

But what happens after the work gets done? Innovation does not stop there. Intrinsically motivated people are restless. They excel in environments where innovation and creativity are fostered. Therefore, your startup team should have the interpersonal and communication skills to recognize their own talents and each of their team member’s strengths and weaknesses, communicate them, and further develop strengths together. When you become better together, you can build cooler things.

Protecting your Company Culture

Building a company culture is hard and it takes time.

For a culture in an organization to prevail, everyone has to do their part and contribute. Everyone needs to be an “advocate” of that culture to the outside world and act as gatekeepers to preserve the culture and happiness of everyone on the team as you grow.

Consider first, what makes you happy? And then, what can you do to increase happiness for yourself and for others around you?

Life is short and you (and your team) deserve the best opportunities in life. Don’t settle for anything less until you find it or create it.

Connect with Jean-Marc Freuler on Twitter @JMFreuler.

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Photo: Ben Sherman

Jean-Marc Freuler is a Co-founder of Funding Gates, the first ever online credit department for small businesses. Prior to launching Funding Gates, Jean-Marc worked in Private Equity and Investment Banking and received a B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering from MIT.


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