Stop the startup down the street from stealing your top talent.
“Though she is but little, she is fierce.”
Shakespeare may not have been talking about startups, but he might as well have been.
Startup culture has come a long way since the infamous Internet Boom, but it continues to lure the best and the brightest away from more established mega-corporations. According to Forbes, currently 47% of millennials work in companies with less than 100 employees. The fact is, millennials are flocking to startups. Why?
Startups are exciting. They’re a chance to create something totally new and, hopefully, get rich off of it. Workers love the idea of doing work they know is meaningfully contributing to a company. Startups represent a freedom from bureaucracy and red tape and all of the complications that too often stifle innovation.
There are good reasons that your top talent is attracted to startup life, but that doesn’t mean that you’re out of luck as a large company. What if there was a way to embody the appeal of a startup, while still utilizing the resources and opportunities of a larger organization?[jumbotron background=’#f6f6f6′ color=’#000′]
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Follow these three tenets to be more like startups in the areas where they excel and, finally, stop the brain drain:
1. Stay Nimble
At a larger company, executing on new ideas quickly can be difficult with so many cooks in the kitchen.
Because of their lean size, startups have the ability to be innovative and agile, giving them a clear pivoting advantage. But often, being young and small makes it difficult to have the funding to see new projects through.
As a large company, use your resources to your advantage, but don’t let having large teams hinder your progress and growth.
Take Google for example. Although they have over 57,000 employees, they break up their company into smaller, agile groups, seeing success by constantly innovating and outperforming the little guys. Google is able to embrace the benefits of staying nimble, as well as utilize their resources as a big company to their advantage.
With this in mind, think about highlighting for potential candidates ways your company encourages communication in smaller teams and embraces new ideas. This way, you will attract those top talent innovators who feel they will have a place to shine at your company.
2. Avoid Routine
What’s the one phrase that can stop innovation in its tracks?
“We’ve always done it this way.”
It can be easy to get lost in a sea of tradition for companies with a long tradition of success and thousands of employees to show for it. In order to stay competitive, however, you must continue to innovate.
Startups seem to have it easier when it comes to falling into routines. Everything is new, so they don’t struggle with trying to pull themselves out of tradition. Borrow this mentality, and never question a new idea because it is out of the norm.
Don’t let your numbers and routines be your downfall. What is the point of innovative, fresh thinkers, if you aren’t going to let them change things? Hire people who are willing to shake up the status quo, and make it obvious to them in the hiring process that they will have that opportunity.
3. Invest in Company Culture
Often times employees will leave big companies to get away from the bureaucracy of excessive approvers. 58% of millennials prioritize company values more than actual pay. Meaning candidates are caring less about pay, and more about company culture.
Perks beyond compensation are becoming increasingly important to candidates. Some of the most popular benefits include maternity/paternity leave, extended PTO, company happy hours, unlimited snacks, and catered lunches. Candidates want to know that they will be treated well and valued in ways other than their salary.
Small company culture is often full of energy, productivity, and meaningful day-to-day work. Startups are praised for the close-knit community environment that employees crave. As a large business, company culture can be easily overlooked and lost in the sea of employees. Don’t let that happen.
Companies will always have a culture. It is your job to guide that culture to your advantage, to create a work environment that candidates will flock to.
Make sure your employees feel valued by promoting work/life balance in the office. Sponsoring a company happy hour or company-wide event is a simple way to let employees know they are valued, and will increase office morale.
Win the “War for Innovators”
By implementing smaller, agile teams, eliminating excessive approvers on projects, getting out of a larger company comfort zone, taking a chance on breaking your routine, and creating a “small business” feel in a large company environment, your company will be well-armed for battle in the “war for innovators.”