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Hackernoon logo5 Pro Tips to Build a Startup Culture in the Nordics by@mobilunity

5 Pro Tips to Build a Startup Culture in the Nordics

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@mobilunityAnastasia Stefanuk

Anastasia Stefanuk is an Information Technology enthusiast and a Content Manager at Mobilunity.

Entrepreneurs from the Nordic regions are considered as the most innovative and creative businessmen as compared to many other major regions in Europe. They are very resourceful on how to create a startup company with new business ideas that can rock the startup world. The ability of Nordic entrepreneurs to secure funding with the right startup teams is par excellence, especially in Sweden and Denmark countries. The success rate of the innovative startups in the Nordic countries is very high as compared to many other regions in the world.

According to Dharmesh Shah, CTO and co-founder of Hubspot says:

“Three things define the startup culture: 1) the way founder behaves, 2) who the founder recruit, recognize, and reward and 3) who the founder let go.”

The tech startups in Nordic countries use remote web developers and other tech talents more efficiently by creating an effective startup culture from the inside out, which helps entrepreneurs to professionally realize their creative idea for startup development. For the efficient use of IT and web technology for the startup business, read more information here. The startup culture plays a very pivotal role in steering any innovative startups to success.

Startup Culture in Nordics

The corporate culture is the policy statement of company values, mission, and objectives that keep the company and its employees fully focused to the company goals and maintaining a high level of cohesion and productivity within the company employees.

The startup culture is the environment of the workplace where the problem-solving approaches are valued, there are no barriers of communication within the team, and hierarchy is fully horizontal without any hierarchy silos. 

According to the founder of CrazyEgg startup Neil Patel:

“I learned a big lesson that startup culture is very vital for any startup company. I would think that a good team of employees works automatically to produce wonderful results without any role of company culture. But, I was wrong, if people are not fit in the startup culture, they would remain quiet when things are not going well and they would argue fiercely when there is no meaning of it.”

5 Top Lessons to Build Tech Startup Culture

The building a productive, conducive, reliable startup culture is very critical for a startup to thrive. To build a better tech startup culture in the Nordic countries, consider implementing useful lessons as mentioned below.

#1 Team Vacation Retreats 

Vacations are very important in today’s stressful workplace life. It improves body and mind power by relaxing. But, you can use the vacations for team retreats to some new locations that may be local or even international locations. This will improve the cohesion in the team members. The improvement in team cohesion will improve reliability within the team members and consequently the productivity of the teams.

The team retreats offer an opportunity to learn about the nature of the team members irrespective of their organizational roles and hierarchy. The fears of being fired or demotion should be replaced with faith, accountability, and responsibility. This will definitely improve the overall startup culture of a company.

#2 Salary and Reward Transparency

The startup companies are normally small businesses in which almost every person knows each other in the team. Everybody also knows the capabilities and demerits of an employee. It is a great idea to keep salaries and rewards very transparent and justifiable. This will inspire other people to work hard and participate in the success of the company. The annual assessment, bonuses, promotions should be transparent and open to the entire team.

#3 Open/Transparent Communications

Communication always plays a vital role in developing a congenial work environment. Communication is an ideal startup culture that should be very transparent, logic-based, and open. The good ideas of every employee should be appreciated and every suggestion should be considered seriously. This will develop a sense of ownership in the team, which will definitely improve the startup culture.

#4 Personal Development Opportunities

Technology is changing very fast; therefore, every employee has to position correctly to survive in the highly fast-paced technological world. The startup culture should be developed in such a way that every person feels that his/her opportunity towards career development is always taken seriously in the startup company. This will maintain a high level of startup culture at the workplace. New pieces of training, seminars, refresher courses, and other learning opportunities should be provided to every employee as per market needs.

#5 Adopt Flexibility and Freedom

Freedom and flexibility are very crucial for every employee whether working in a startup or a corporation. This is the reason that remote work with flexible timings is getting more and more popular. The time-bound tasks can be assigned to complete within designated work hours, but there should not be any compulsion for physical presence in the office all the time. This will improve employee satisfaction, which will help improve productivity.

5 Startup Cultural Challenges

How to create a startup company? None other than Nordic entrepreneurs know it better despite the numerous cultural challenges that they face. The population of Nordic countries is about 27 million people. 

Sweden’s startup constitutes a major share of the Nordic startup companies. The other major startups are created in Denmark and Finland. More than 50% of the European startups, which are valued at $1 billion or larger, come from the Nordic countries. The share of Sweden is more than 60% of Nordic startups.

Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Norway are among 9 top countries in the world to start a business. The social, business and natural behavior of Nordic people is 100% suitable for building a congenial startup culture to thrive. 

There is a big demand for human resources, especially web developers, IT experts, and software engineers. The main challenges faced by the Nordic web development startup companies include:

#1 Tech Talent

A huge ratio of (49%) of recruiting managers finds it very difficult to hire tech talent for their companies. The startups face an even bigger challenge in this domain. There is a decline in the growth and the aging of the population in Nordic countries pose a greater challenge in the shape of human resource recruiting.

#2 Cost of Hiring

The average cost of hiring a technical human resource is much higher than the other major regions of Europe and even North America. The reason for this high cost of hiring is the shortage of tech talent and the small population of the region. The startup companies face a serious problem in terms of the cost of hiring.

#3 Raising Funds

Although the funding in the Nordic countries is consistently increasing, the need for proper funding of startups is still higher than the available funding. This poses a substantial challenge in the initial stages of startup development.

#4 Stringent Immigration & Taxation Rules

Taxation and immigration rules are stringent that don't allow the foreigners to settle in these countries so that the new investment and human resource can be generated. The population of these countries is very low so any relaxation in the rules can impact the natural demography of the countries.

#5 Global Market Competition

The local markets of Nordic countries are very small. The startups need international markets for their growth story. The competition in international markets is very high. The taxation rates, living standards, and high-cost of human resources pose a serious challenge to developing a competitive edge in the international markets.

Final Takeaway

We conclude that:

  • The startup culture in Nordic countries is developing positively despite numerous challenges that the startup industries face. 
  • The startup culture is influenced by formal attitudes, features, actions rather than the formal approaches adopted by corporate culture improvement.
  • Transparency in communication, salaries, rewards pave the way for developing better startup culture. 
  • The other factors for building a better startup culture include cohesion, collaboration, knowledge sharing, flexibility, and freedom to talk. 
  • Better startup culture can be developed by following the top 5 tips mentioned in this article.


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