Morale at Startups: Why Growth Matters

Startups live and die by their culture; not by the ping-pong tables or the all-night coding sessions, but by the cultural infrastructure put into place by management. According to a new Harvard Business Review article, 70% of startups see their employee morale dive in year three or four, and the size of this decline is directly associated with the company’s level of growth. Mark Roberge, co-author of the study, is a Harvard Business School professor and former founding Chief Revenue Officer at HubSpot, a startup that grew from $0 to $100 million in annualized revenue.

But there is hope. At the more than 100 companies Roberge and his co-author studied, those founders who prioritized culture from the beginning and established a “cultural foundation” experienced much less of an impact from this morale slump. In their words: “Founders who rate the importance of culture lower than a 10 on a 10-point scale are 70% more likely to have higher employee turnover rates compared to founders that rank the importance of culture a 10.”

Of course, there is a host of other contributing factors, including transparency, recognition, and hiring strategies. To learn the details, read the full article here. To learn more about how Mark Roberge’s expertise can benefit your organization, contact us.

Mark Roberge is available for paid speaking engagements including keynote addresses, speeches, panels, conference talks, and advisory/consulting services through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Danny Stern: