How implementing coaching culture helps tech startups during growth periods

April 5, 2022

Working in a fast-growing start up is exciting. The business is expanding and new team members seem to be popping up on a daily basis.

But as with all growth phases, new challenges arise too. The sudden expansion and company reshuffle can threaten the existing culture and test the strength of teams. One way to address those challenges is by investing in your company culture before the growth stage. It's why our programme works so well for early - stage startups, who are able to build an inclusive workplace that retains employees during their growth.

Here’s 5 ways that tech startups benefit from working with Circl. 

  1. Your managers get ready to lead growing teams 

During periods of rapid growth, your management team is crucial. It’s important to know if your senior leaders are ready for this stage. They need to be able to effectively communicate the vast changes that are happening, guide and advise new and old employees, and be a leader in a fast-moving, high-pressure environment. Do they know how to lead different types of people? Are they open to adapting their approach to suit the needs of others? Remember that your business’ culture is defined by how your leaders treat your employees: high-pressure environments can quickly lead to managers adopting the old-school ‘command and control’ style of leadership that results in poor performance and unhappy employees. Circl’s coaching approach helps management teams to develop the skills they need to lead diverse teams, communicate effectively and lead with empathy; all the tools your managers need before scaling up.

  1. Your inclusive company culture retains employees during growth phrase

Did you know that tech has the highest turnover rate of any industry at 13.2%? And it’s costing tech companies an estimated $16 billion a year. A report found that the industry’s high turnover is largely due to toxic work environments; unfair treatment was the largest driver of employee turnover and it was reported most highly by female employees and men of colour. This highlights the industry’s need to introduce more inclusivity. 57% of the employees that were surveyed said they would have stayed if their company was more fair and inclusive. Growing tech startups who invest in inclusive leadership development, mitigate the risk of high employee turnover later down the line. By defining an inclusive culture from the get-go, it becomes easy to maintain those values during growth and create an environment where employees want to stay. 

93% of Circl participants' line managers and direct reports feel that their colleague is more engaged in their work after the programme.

  1. The company culture is aligned across international teams 

International growth is extremely exciting , but comes with its own set of challenges. Now you have to think about aligning your company culture in multiple offices amongst people who haven’t even met. One of our partners, health-tech company Zava, is using Circl’s virtual programme to bring together leaders from across multiple locations. The programme helps to bridge the gap between multiple offices and remote workers, as well giving employees the tools they need to facilitate open conversations themselves. 

  1. Engaging high potential employees with L&D

Tech startups attract smart and ambitious employees who want to work on building something that matters. This ambition can be a contributing factor in tech’s high turnover; employees who feel undervalued or limited will swiftly jump to better opportunities. Circl engages talented employees by providing them with a practical learning experience that lets them directly impact the life of an underrepresented young person. Our previous programmes have proved that the Future Leader partnership is one of the main motivators for employees attending the programme, and an extremely effective factor toward creating behavioural change.  L&D opportunities are more rewarding to high-performing employees than office perks such as beers or pool tables. You can retain your top talent by showing that you value their development just as much as they do.  

“I’ve learned a lot more because of the match; it’s really increased my understanding of coaching and how to apply it. I’m leaving with a host of new skills and tools that I’ll definitely be using.” Dext professional participant. Click for graduation video.

  1. It fits into busy schedules 

Let’s be honest - nobody enjoys tedious training days that are forgotten about within minutes of leaving. And nobody has the time for them either. The startup employees that we work with have hectic schedules, so we deliver our programme in short, sharp bursts across multiple weeks. The combination of shorter sessions with hands-on practical experience is highly engaging and more effective in creating true behaviour change. 

"There was no way that any one of my managers or leaders wasn't going to show up to a session because they didn't want to let the Future Leaders down... because of that very real relationship it forces a level of engagement in learning how to coach that you wouldn't otherwise get. Circl has been a fantastic experience for us as a company and as individuals."
Andy Cockburn, CEO MentionMe (click for full video testimonial)

If you are interested in discovering how Circl could transform your team, learn more about the programme here or get in touch with one of the team.