Startups always had the spunk of revolution in them. It was a way for the employees to ditch the hierarchical structure and move out of the primary employment system. However, things seem to have gone a full circle with the startups now embracing the employee framework.
New age companies like Zerodha have recently started fire drills. These are tests will solely analyze employee behavior. It is a test to identify the leader amongst a group. Startups assuming such tests indicate that the tide is moving for the hierarchical systems.While a natural behavior, this should come as no surprise.
Hierarchy in startups didn’t exist before
Companies in their nascent stage do start out as flat systems, but as days progress, they become more structured. The structure is only to maintain order and assign clear roles at the workplace. While many would argue against it, the fact remains that as you grow in employee size, the more it becomes necessary to manage the human resource. Under such a system it is beneficial to have clear and defined roles.
Perhaps this is the reason why Bengaluru-based company Zerodha uses fire drills to identify potential leaders. It has brought fruitful insights to making the second rung of leadership in the office. A similar path was charted by an online tax-filing startup called ClearTax. Upon expansion, they have now gone from becoming a flat company to a two-tier organization.
In July last year, several companies verticalized their ownership giving their employees a better chance at managing work. Not just the new startups but established brands like Voonik have been trying to bring some structure too. They are consistently hiring new people from Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, etc. so that their workforce has system and experience both.
But why this sudden change?
Today the pool of funding is not as generous as it was 2-3 years ago. Today the mature startups are under pressure to show their sustainability. Growth is no longer the sole motivator or the affecting factor.
This is why startups have now realized that there was a reason hierarchies were put in place. They are under tremendous strain to show the value of their business model in the long run. Hence companies like BabyChakra and Urban Ladder are trying their level best to focused workforce.
Also, they are of the opinion that a structured workforce ensures that there is no communication gap in the working system. This way a lot of efficiencies follow. So when an employee at BabyChakra raised a question about the need for a large office space, the boss herself gave her a quick reply. She said that we are living in times of technological progress alongside frugality. Hence, moving forward they will have to keep changing their methods.
It was followed by a quick note to all employees laying down their core areas of work. This will ensure right expectations from the employees themselves. At least it is expected to bring organizational hierarchy and discipline.