The longer COVID-19 rages through our country, the longer it gives all of us the gift of rethinking everything. I stress the word gift because this is the silver lining. People in their 20’s and 30’s are thinking more than any age about how they want to live their lives vs how they were living their lives.
Many of the people who have worked in start-ups have been disappointed by the company’s leadership. Many founders who have been funded by VC’s have seen their companies grow almost too quickly. One idea turns into a company of 100 in a few years being managed by a brilliant entrepreneur who has zero idea how to manage people.
I am pretty sure no entrepreneur thinks about the joy of managing people, working with HR, and finding the right healthcare when their product begins to scale. The pace is quick, the board is focused on growth and KPI’s but the world is shifting. All of those involved in the building of companies should take this time of “life interrupted” to think about the cultures that they are building. Culture should be equal to the business at hand. Investors should be adding this to their board agendas.
People in their 20’s and 30’s have been promised this dream of working in a start-up and many of them have been sorely disappointed. There is little help in guiding human capital inside too many companies. Employees are taken for granted. There are too many people in middle management and that has created an abyss between the founders and the teams. There should be more honesty around their stock options and how it works, what they are worth, what they actually own of the company. There should be more transparency. People should be treated with respect and that means being understanding of each of their individual lives.
When the dust settles and the reality of our economic state is truly revealed, there will be a mental shake-up among people and how they want to live and work. We have seen too many companies in the press who have mishandled management on multiple levels but most importantly dismissed how they treat their employees.
We are all going to want connection and it will stand first and foremost in our lives. We need to create that connection in the culture of the companies we are funding and growing sooner than later.