ASW Series: Understanding Mindsets of Startup Employees

ASW Series: Understanding Mindsets of Startup Employees

Monday May 13, 2013,

2 min Read

Part 1: Why do employees join startups?

YourStory’s recently concluded Awesome Startup Workplaces (ASW) Awards are the first exclusive employer of choice awards for startups globally. Through these awards in 2013, YourStory recognized the top 15 startups in India basis a confidential online survey of over 3,000 startup employees from over 60 participating startups. The data captured through these awards also gave us rich insights into the mindsets of startup employees, helping us understand why people join startups, what keeps them motivated and to what extent they are satisfied with their current employers. In this series of ASW articles, we aim to share some of our learnings with the startup ecosystem.


This first article in the ASW series focuses on our findings on what motivates employees to join startups. Participants were asked to select the top 3 reasons for joining a startup. Highlights:

  • Nature of work/ job profile is the most important factor, followed by Growth Opportunities, and the Opportunity to create something new. Given that 60% of respondents had over 3 years of total work experience, this could indicate a growing trend among employees for more challenging and meaningful work, breaking the monotony and sluggish career advancement in corporate jobs
  • Female employees value Nature of Work and Growth Opportunities more than their Male counterparts. Males on the other hand, attach more importance (relative to Females) to the Opportunity to create something new and the Business idea/ concept
  • Employees with under 3 years of experience are more willing to compromise on Salary for Nature of Work and Growth Opportunities than their more experienced counterparts. Mid and senior level employees, seem to value the Profile of founders/ senior management to a greater extent. Their higher scores on Salary could be reflective of 2 things: 1) The pressures of home and supporting family could lead to lower risk tolerance 2) Startups recognize this and are willing to match corporate level salaries for more experienced talent
  • The early employees/ founding team are most driven by the Opportunity to create something new and were least driven by Salary
  • Tech employees are more driven by Salary than their counterparts in other functions while the Business idea/ concept is extremely important for those in Sales & Marketing
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