Is your startup’s company culture strong enough to support its long-term growth? 

If not, you’ll need to take action — and the sooner you get started, the better. Stronger cultures support better business outcomes, and for growing companies, employee perceptions of culture are absolutely critical. 

In PwC Global’s 2021 Global Culture Survey, 72% of respondents said that company culture helps successful change initiatives happen. 69% of respondents reported that their organizations had made changes to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic and that their companies’ cultures offered a competitive advantage. Consistent culture improves retention, enhances engagement, and keeps your business growing.

Of course, saying you want a positive company culture is much more difficult than actually building an environment that supports success. That’s especially true in the era of COVID-19: More employees are working remotely than ever before, and employee values have changed dramatically over the past several years. Below, we’ll explain how to define and measure culture—and how Zeni’s bookkeeping platform can help you keep employees invested.

Zeni can help your startup build an open, transparent culture by providing your entire team with up-to-the-minute data (and simplifying your bookkeeping to boot!). Learn more by booking a personalized demo. 

See also: 5 Common Bookkeeping Mistakes And How To Avoid Them 

What is a “good” startup company culture?

We’ve all got ideas of what a perfect startup culture looks like — we might picture a bustling open office with plenty of amenities and regular team-building events. However, culture can’t be defined in universal terms, and focusing on examples of successful startup cultures can lead to missteps. A great culture for one organization might not work for another type of business.


In simple terms, company culture is the alignment (or lack of alignment) between the experiences of employees and the communicated vision of the company. For startups, achieving that alignment is vital: Without a strong culture, you’ll have trouble attracting and maintaining talent. During hyper-growth phases, defining your culture will help you maintain high levels of engagement and collaboration.

If you’re wondering how to evaluate company culture at your startup, here are a few questions to consider:

  • What are your startup culture values, and how do those align with your business’s goals?
  • Have you communicated those goals and values to employees and managers?
  • Do subcultures exist in different departments? 
  • How do those subcultures align with your leaders' vision?
  • How does your company’s culture adapt when departments grow, managers leave, or when other changes occur?

By asking these types of questions, you can pinpoint your organization’s strengths and weaknesses. 

At the end of the day, company culture needs to be clearly communicated and modeled from the top down. 

Actions are more important than words. If leaders talk about the importance of empathy and understanding, their actions must reflect those principles. If you’re able to maintain transparent communication with your staff, you’re on your way to developing a positive, productive work environment.

One Key Ingredient For A Stronger Culture: Transparency

To cultivate a strong company culture, you’ll need transparency across the board — not only when celebrating wins, but also when your business encounters challenges. To overcome the hurdles, your entire team needs to be on the same page, and conversations should include everyone at your startup (instead of just the leadership team).

Financial transparency can be a key factor in creating these types of conversations. Through Zeni’s AI-driven financial platform, employees can log into a dashboard and immediately determine whether your business is meeting certain goals. 

When people have accurate information about their employer’s success, they’re more invested in that success — particularly in startup environments, which attract entrepreneurial personas that have a vested interest in long-term results.

Preview of the Zeni Dashboard

Zeni’s platform features different levels of access for employees and leaders. Employees receive a scaled-back view of important metrics without sensitive information (such as employee salaries). Investors can instantly get an overview of the financial reporting and metrics they need, while leaders can get detailed analytics on virtually any aspect of the company's financial performance.

Becoming a more financially transparent organization helps everyone understand how their efforts connect with business outcomes. See how Zeni can help you build a more transparent company culture. Sign up for a demo to learn how our platform simplifies bookkeeping and improves financial transparency.

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