When it comes to company culture, startups are defining the expectations and setting the norm. The inherent mindset that you don’t have to keep doing things the same old way is making it possible for startups to influence the business sphere way beyond the product or service they are creating.
Take family leave, for example. America is one of the only countries in the world that doesn’t require or simply provide paid maternal or paternal leave as a part of basic benefits. Most companies in the United States do not see maternity leave as a right or a given. They see it as a privilege, and that means they don’t offer it.
Unless you are a rocking-the-boat, doing-things-different, inline-with-the-new-normal start-up led by a visionary entrepreneur who wants to lead change.
Visionary companies are providing things like family leave time for both mothers and fathers. Google provides at least 18 weeks for every employee and they have seen a 50% drop in losing valuable female employees. For salaried employees, Netflix is offering as much time as parents want in the first year of their child’s birth – which is also added to unlimited vacation time. Adobe offers 16 weeks for new parents – whether they give birth, adopt, have a surrogate, or foster. Twitter is 20 weeks for birth parents and 10 for adoptive parents. The list trails on for a little bit, but the thing to note – these tech companies are the ones that are disrupting markets, access to information, technology, social interaction and more. Disrupting the benefits business is just a part of their culture.
That is an exciting side effect of being a startup. Not only do startups offer never-before-seen products, not only do they challenge the systems that have been in place for a long time, and not only do they bring people information they didn’t have access to before, they inject themselves in the conversation about how to treat employees, what is considered normal, and how a business should be run.
No one would argue that the companies listed above and the many others that are choosing to do things differently are thriving. Benefits, support and a great company culture all lead to employees sticking around, ideas getting off the ground, and long-term success. So, as you are building your company, think about what you want to offer your employees and what kind of culture you want to build. Chances are, if it is innovation, ingenious and exciting your company’s products and services will be as well.