Redefining the Corporation — The Global Startup Community’s Meta-mission

This post was written by Dan Berger, CEO of Social Tables


Each startup is on a mission to change the world. Some succeed more than others but almost all of them, at least at the beginning, focus on making the world a better place.

But what if startups were on a secondary meta-mission collectively? A mission to make the workplace itself a better place and, thus, reinvent the corporation as we know it.

In order to evaluate this idea, let’s examine the state of employee-employer relations in today’s corporation.

Knowledge workers are more productive than ever:

  • They are working harder because they are passionate about their craft and organization’s purpose.
  • They are working more because they are constantly connected (read more about your brain’s ideal schedule for coping techniques).

If employees have heeded the call to adjust to corporate needs, shouldn’t corporations adjust to employee needs?

In order to do that, corporations need to completely rethink their relationship with employees. That includes (1) redefining compensation so that it adequately matches both intrinsic and extrinsic needs and (2) reimagining the workplace as a social, collaborative, and fun environment.

Startups like Social Tables are doing just that. They understand that their responsibility to their staff goes far beyond the basic compensation package. They are providing ongoing learning opportunities, engaging environments, unique perks, stock options, social activities, and much more. They know that it doesn’t only make business sense since it attracts top tier talent but also moral sense.

Here are several ways that startups can continue to play a key role in driving this corporate renaissance:

  1. They need to continue to innovate the workplace. Even though some perks or policies may not be profitable at first glance, startups need to keep pushing the bar on what they do for their people because it will pay off.
  2. They shouldn’t exit right away. Innovative early stage companies should fend off the temptation of being acquired because that would most likely mean the workplace innovation button will be reset.
  3. They have to hold on to their principles. Even if they do get acquired, they need to maintain their culture and identity so that they could help their parent company become a model employer.
Who doesn’t love sleepaway camp?

As one friend put it, people don’t go to work anymore, they go to sleepaway camp. While the analogy may be silly, the two destinations have a lot in common in that they are social, immersive, and most importantly, they provide a sense of belonging.

WORLD YOU LOVE (2)

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