Established businesses may be older, but they aren't necessarily always wiser. Here's what established businesses can learn from the way start-ups operate.

A new business, unencumbered by traditional ways of doing things, unshackled by habit, and liberated from expectations, can experiment daily to get their culture exactly right. 

And while many established businesses believe that they are bound to the way things have always been done, this is definitely not the case. Established businesses should mirror the behaviours of start-ups, constantly challenging the way they operate. Here are our top three tips to make it happen … and we promise not to mention bean bags or pool tables.

1) open your leaders’ doors

Entrepreneurs realise their greatest power lies in the minds of their staff. A passionate workforce is one that is constantly coming up with ideas that challenge traditional thought. It relies on leaders and decision-makers encouraging their people to come forward with ideas, which in turn ensures their people feel valued and engaged.

Make sure your leaders are in regular contact with their people by introducing weekly catch-ups. These could be informal gatherings such as lunches or drinks, or more formal, structured brainstorming sessions.

2) be flexible

Much of the start-up magic happens in collaborative spaces around the office, areas where people come together to chat. It also happens while employees are out and about. Are your staff told to be innovative while chained to their cubicles?

Give people the opportunity to work remotely and look for ways to fuel creativity within your meetings. Consider taking these meetings off-site to a local cafe or park, or even introduce walking meetings. 

3) provide wellness as well as employment

Healthy people are happy people, and happy people are engaged, creative, innovative and great to work with. As workplaces demand more of their staff, they also have a responsibility to provide wellness benefits. Start-ups realise this from the beginning. What can you do to improve your people’s wellness levels?

Pre or post-work exercise programs could help. How about getting together with other local businesses and organising a lunchtime walk a few days a week? Or, you could simply offer a stipend for staff to spend on a wellness expense of their choosing.

Start-ups look beyond traditional management practice and staff benefits by simply asking what it is that really matters to the people they employ. Do the same and the rewards could be impressive.

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