Why Culture Is Key When Scaling a Tech Company

In any startup, scaling is the ideal form of growth. If you can improve revenue and boost your profits while keeping operations costs low, you’ll increase your company’s overall value considerably. Particularly for a tech company, this makes it a much more appealing prospect.

But the question of how to do it is often more complex than it seems. It’s easy to look at it purely as a numbers game: cut these overhead costs, improve output by this much, and yield this result. But don’t forget that there are people behind those numbers. Your employees are the driving force behind everything your company does. That’s why company culture is an essential—and often overlooked—aspect of scaling your tech company.

Boosting Productivity

If you want to scale your company, you need to increase employee productivity. More productivity means higher revenue. And if you’re trying to keep operations costs low, expanding your workforce isn’t feasible. So you need to get more out of your current employees.

Tech companies are known for pushing employees to and even past their breaking points. They’ll require long hours and few days off, in order to achieve a particular goal or meet a specific deadline. However, this isn’t really an effective way of doing business, and it’s not sustainable over time.

For one thing, pushing employees to stay longer and work harder doesn’t actually boost productivity. In fact, studies show that just the opposite is true. Increased job stress leads to shoddy work output that ultimately harms your organization, rather than helps it. Furthermore, it causes burnout and increases employee turnover, which raises your operations costs, rather than lowering them. It’s much more effective to keep employees happy and motivated, rather than trying to push them as hard as possible.

Improving Motivation

Improving motivation is where company culture comes in. You can tell employees, “We’re just like a family” all you want, but unless you help them feel connected, both to the company and to each other, they won’t care enough to put in the effort to increase productivity.

Rather than longer hours, start with flexible hours. This is particularly important for employees with children and families, though it can be great motivation for anyone. Work to accommodate their schedules and be supportive of a good work-life balance. Does one employee have to pick the kids up from school in the afternoons? There’s no reason why they can’t leave for a few hours, then come back to finish the day later—or come in earlier, so they can leave in the early afternoon.

Allowing and even encouraging remote work is helpful in this regard as well. It doesn’t matter when or where the work gets done, as long as they do it. And the pandemic proved not only working remotely is feasible in almost any situation, but that it doesn’t harm productivity like many employers initially feared. In fact, by improving flexibility and eliminating the stress of the daily commute, remote work can even improve productivity in the long run!

Strengthening Bonds

The other essential element of company culture is connection. It’s important that employees feel connected, to each other and to the company. When you’re asking them to work towards a specific goal, it helps motivation if they can feel invested in the result.

To help employees feel more connected to the fate of the company and invested in its goals, try offering them a share of the profits. Particularly in today’s world, where wages are stagnating and inflation is skyrocketing, money is one of the best motivators you can offer. But if you’re trying to keep costs low, it may be difficult to raise salaries. However, making your employees a part of the company, monetarily, is often a good substitute.

It’s been shown that employee-owned companies do better and exhibit more growth. By giving them a stake in the organization they’re a part of, it makes them more than just cogs in a machine. They’re directly connected to the results of their work, and to the company and its success. There are few better ways to improve motivation.

Fostering that feeling of connection is the key to company culture. There are any number of ways to do it, while keeping costs low. But by prioritizing your employees and their needs, you can create a better, more positive work environment, which will improve motivation and morale, and ultimately boost productivity. If you’re looking to scale your tech company, making your employees and their wellbeing your top priority is the only effective way to do it.