Start-ups have become a major competitor in the labor market. But why is that? What distinguishes start-ups and what can we learn from them?
Large corporations are still the number one employer of choice. But more and more graduates are looking for a challenge and want something new. A job in a start-up seems to be increasingly in demand.
They are passionate, young, dynamic, flexible, and above all innovative: start-ups offer the new generation of employees exactly what they are looking for. You want to help shape things, take responsibility and make a difference. They see their opportunity in new trend-oriented companies. There is a relaxed working atmosphere and flat hierarchies. There is enough room for ideas and developments.
The measure of all things: No one can get around the concept of work-life balance anymore. For the workers of today and tomorrow, it is one of the factors that determines how satisfied you are with your job. Where people used to strive for a permanent job and security, they now look for flexibility. The trend is now even moving toward life-life balance. There is hardly any separation between private and professional life anymore. Private life must be compatible with work. Home office and flexible working hours are benefits that companies and especially start-ups can score with these days.
We have also noticed that traditional business models are no longer considered particularly attractive. Traditional advertising agencies no longer work. In order to remain competitive as a service provider and to remain interesting for new talent on the labor market, you have to solve exciting projects with innovative ways. But how can an agency keep up in times of digital transformation?
We have decided to transform. We have evolved from a classic advertising agency to a digital marketing agency. We want our customers to be able to stand out from other companies and therefore focus on solutions that will still work tomorrow. We achieve this by relying on agile methods and designing the working environment accordingly.
We will soon be in our fourth fiscal year. Whether you still want to call us a start-up or not, we want to keep our initial spirit. We see the start-up character as a benefit. Not only for our work, but also for attracting new employees.
Young employees are demanding; they are looking for a team in which they can participate in decision-making and realize their ideas. At the same time, they want to be part of current movements. Young marketers want to act as value creators.
To do justice to this, we pursue the strategy of working in interdisciplinary teams in our agency. Due to the open communication, there is a lot of transparency and everyone has the possibility to draw on the competences and creativity of the others. This results in versatile and innovative approaches to solutions. Weekly meetings with the entire team ensure that everyone is picked up and updated. Everyone can contribute their ideas and so we inspire each other in the agency. This not only ensures a pleasant working atmosphere, but also promotes efficiency in the implementation of our projects.
Agencies need to open up their structures and give their employees freedom. This is the only way they can work innovatively. When new ways of working are pursued and the team is provided with a flexible environment, not only the work performance increases, but also the atmosphere, as well as the motivation of each individual. To this end, in addition to the interdisciplinary working method already mentioned, it is also advisable to design the office space in an open and relaxed manner. Startups offer lounges, quiet rooms and connected workspaces.
The adaptation of the framework conditions and the design of the office space create the conditions for free thinking. It’s not for nothing that creativity is considered one of the top leadership skills in 2020. In times of rapid change and when consumers are constantly on the lookout for something new and something better, companies need to integrate creative processes into their work. This is the only way to offer innovative solutions.
At Schwarz+Matt we have regular meetings in which all competencies come together. We discuss current projects across teams and a dynamic exchange takes place, which ensures that everyone gets another perspective. In addition, we have designed the room structures in our new office in such a way that we can change our workplace at any time. Often, all it takes is a change to the lounge and you break out of your rigid thought patterns.
What often sets start-ups apart? A young and highly committed management team that wants everything but to be conventional. Start-ups show that companies can function without complex hierarchical structures and, above all, that they are much more attractive.
To incentivize and intrinsically motivate employees, it is advisable to give them more freedom. Breaking away from traditional work models and giving everyone more responsibility with flat hierarchies can encourage employees to become more courageous, to push their own ideas forward, and thus to set the entire company on a new course. With a flexible, cross-team and employee-oriented corporate culture, it is possible to solve challenges along the supply chain more efficiently and thus not only work in a more customer-oriented way, but above all in a more innovative way.
It should have become clear why the new talent on the labor market is increasingly choosing startups. If you want to attract young employees, you have to offer more than a good salary. The young workforce has become demanding and has other priorities. As value creators, they want to operate in a creative environment. The fact is, a company can only be and remain successful if it has committed employees. In this respect, start-ups are one step ahead of long-established companies. However, their charm can be acquired by some adjustments and benefit from it in the long term.