C. Pailloux (Ignition Program): “A before and after @balancetastartup”

Since the “Balance your start-up” movement launched on Instagram in December, no start-up founder has spoken on the subject. However, we are legion to tell our “success stories” started in a garage, to praise the super-growth of our sector or to proudly announce great fundraising. But when the system breaks down, when the harshness of reality reappears, it’s radio silence.

The fear, undoubtedly – quite legitimate – of the boomerang effect. In the midst of a scandal, a founder who speaks recklessly can find himself, despite himself, pinned to the wall of shame.

A before and an after

Silence does us no honor. This movement constitutes a major turning point, the repercussions of which are already visible. Since the revelations are linked, it is the concern on the candidate side. They have lost their innocence and their enthusiasm. Their fear is stumble upon one of these brilliant start-ups, with toxic management. Practices almost undetectable under the veneer of a well-established marketing.

For them, there is a before and an after @balancetastartup. And by repercussion, for us also, professionals of recruitment and support of career, with a double stake: to preserve the confidence of our candidates and that of our customers.

There will be no going back in this movement which is spreading oil from @balancetonporc and #metoo. The “CEOs” can no longer look elsewhere, operate yet another communication smoothing or deploy in disaster a management training hide and seek. Not only, these actions are anachronistic compared to the public’s thirst for transparency, but they will not be enough to protect the dishonest from scandal. Not even in the short term. Because the relationship to work changes, all over the place. We can see this with the enthusiasm of companies for CSR, the status of a company with a mission, the four-day week or even with the recent refusal of certain start-ups to raise funds …

Lessons to be learned

Of course, there will always be “nostalgic for cool”. Those who will shed a tear on this time before, of the full and formidable growth, and of the moral or legal freedoms that one could afford vis-à-vis the employees. To these, let us simply recall four points.

1. Start-ups are at the origin of what is rightfully theirs today. In their emphasis on the benevolence and well-being of employees, start-ups have spearheaded a tremendous transformation of the world of work. Today, this sometimes clumsy and too often abusive newspeak, extolling the joys of work and surpassing oneself to better pass the bitter pill of poorly paid work, is finding its limits. But the ideal of transforming the world of work remains. It is no longer the start-ups who wear it now, it is the employees themselves. The ideal has changed sides. Start-ups must now fully comply with the myth they have helped create. And get out of the no-rights zone in which some have strayed.

2. A start-up is no longer intended to be this ego booster, which is certainly very useful for boosting innovation and competition, but which puts the “CEO” and founder on a pedestal, and makes him a hero entrepreneur. The new boss is humble and built collectively. He is an inspired leader, who, by opening a path, leaves room for others to grow.

3. A start-up is not intended to be a personal development coach. @balancetastartup cruelly reminded us of this. It is above all a company whose strategy is dictated by economic realities. As such, she has homework. And as such, not everyone will find a business “that looks like them”. Having a “happyness manager” is a good thing, but only if each employee is respected in his rights and in his individuality.

4. Finally, start-ups no longer fully own their employer brand. Employees, customers, suppliers and investors – all in search of responsibility and meaning – exercise their right of scrutiny. A start-up that tramples its own values ​​and commitments will no longer find talent, clients or even funding.

Manager can be learned

This turning point in history cannot leave us unmoved. Never has a demand for change been made in this way, by so many actors in the labor market and in society.. Companies must embark on the path of greater transparency, force themselves to leave free comments, flattering or not, and work to improve them, because more than ever introspection is required.

Start-ups, scale-ups and all this economy of growth, in this dangerous and magnificent turn, the green or even pink Ripolin will not be of any help to us. Let’s put our values ​​back at the center of our organizations. And let’s give back – with humility – all its letters of nobility to management. Managing well is neither innate nor a question of wanting to do well: it is a subject of continuous training, and the only way to grow.

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