Company Culture Priorities for 2016

In the Street Culture column we launched in 2015, Street Fight began looking more closely at the clever, fun, and smart ways startups in the hyperlocal industry are building culture into their organizations as they scale. No two companies we spoke with were the same, but many are driving their cultures along the same tracks. Based on our interviews, here are the top four culture-focused priorities for startups to address in 2016.

Why a Remote Work Policy Is Worth Considering

More than 3.5 million employees work remotely at least half the time, a technology-enabled trend that’s on the rise. Many employers claim that workers are more productive when they work remotely, but some technology companies are not considering remote workers or don’t allow telecommuting at all.

Connectivity Culture Growing Beyond ‘Work Hard, Play Hard’

Marketing technology company Connectivity went from a 20-person company to an 80-person company in a year and a half, and it’s poised to continue accelerating. Part of Connectivity’s success stems from fostering experimentation. “We always want to hire people who are entrepreneurs themselves, and let them know that they’re not going to get in trouble for failing,” said CEO Matt Booth.

Fundrise

DC Startup Fundrise Is Redefining How We Invest in Real Estate

Major real estate development projects like Manhattan’s 3 World Trade Center cost billions, and budget overruns often delay construction. Enter Fundrise: The company’s technology opens doors for individuals who want to invest in local real estate developments, but maybe don’t have millions of dollars lying around. Fundrise has seen 1,500 percent growth in deal volume since May 2014.

Street Culture: Humility and Good Conversations at Instacart

On-demand grocery shopping and delivery service Instacart is make headway at disrupting a multi-billion-dollar industry. Driving that effort is a relentless focus on satisfying customers. “One policy we’ve implemented at Instacart is that every employee, from the engineers up to our CEO, goes out shopping once a quarter to get an understanding of being a shopper and how our service affects the customer. Everybody here does it,” says vice president of people Mathew Caldwell.

Sponsored Content: Hyperlocal Strategy Updates Needed for Two National Drug Store Chains

This month’s Brand Battle, in conjunction with Brandify, compares the local digital marketing footprint of two of the country’s largest pharmacy chains: CVS and Walgreens. The contest was close on several counts, but Walgreens emerged as the winner, edging CVS in five of the six categories evaluated.

Street Culture: Signpost on Being a Scrappy Startup

When you’re fast-growing startup company, the most important thing is hiring the right people. That means people who can do the job, and also, in some cases, people who are willing to build desks, said Justin Donnarumma, director of sales at Signpost, a marketing automation technology company that launched in 2010. “That’s the kind of scrappiness we look for in new hires.”

Street Culture: HR Strategies for Startups

Hiring isn’t rocket science. It’s pretty simple to create basic procedures that turn hiring into a standard company practice. But it does takes time and concerted effort. For Cat Hernandez, talent partner at investment firm Primary Venture Partners, it starts with making sure that everyone in the company is closely aligned with whatever the company is trying to achieve.

Sponsored Content: With Banks, There’s a Brand Battle on Every Corner

This month’s Brand Battle, in conjunction with Brandify, compares the local-social engagement strategies of two of the U.S.’ largest banks: Bank of America and Chase. The contest was close on several counts, but Chase emerged as the winner, with social engagement the determining factor in this matchup.

Street Culture: YP Hits ‘Refresh’ Button on Employee Connections

Changing a deep-seated corporate culture takes time. Just ask YP, where renewed internal communications, education and community-building efforts have paid off in a big way.

Street Culture: SweetIQ Empowers Employees to Drive Independent Progress

Non-structured employee bonding opportunities help provide a new perspective on topics that have often already been discussed at length in meetings and via email. Sometimes the best results happen naturally as employees form relationships with each other outside of work.

Street Culture: Flexibility Helps WeddingWire as It Scales Up

At WeddingWire, an online marketplace serving the wedding and events industry, its expanding employee base is providing new opportunities to fine-tune company policies, according to the company’s vice president of people, Jenny Harding.

Q2 Earnings: Mobile Users Driving Yelp’s Growth, Levchin Resigns From Board

“Consumers are turning to apps for everything,” said Jeremy Stoppelman, the company’s chief executive said on the company’s quarterly earnings call Tuesday. He said that the company’s executive team is guiding Yelp toward a revenue stream composed mainly from localized advertising.

Sponsored Content: Ad Improvements Could Strengthen Local Appeal of Costco, Sam’s Club

Members of the wholesale retail chains Sam’s Club and Costco swear by the low costs that come with buying in bulk, and locations cater their offerings to the local market. But these two companies could take a fresh look at their branding strategies and interactions with customers.

Street Culture: MomentFeed CEO Says ‘Don’t Work Here Unless You Absolutely Must’

“We only grow at a rate that guarantees that we can provide [our customers] the product and expertise that will drive that high level of customer success,” says CEO Robert Blatt. “We are growing rapidly, but we really limit our growth so we can always deliver client success.”

Boston-Based Dispatch Retains a Startup Mentality as It Sets Its Sights on Big Growth

Dispatch grew from three employees to 25 in the past 10 months, and the company is on an upward trajectory. As it scales, the executive team is hoping to maintain the small-time ambiance of a startup while segmenting responsibilities.

A Window Into the Office Culture at Square, From SFO to Tokyo

A growing company often means thousands of employees in offices around the world. Keeping those employees connected was a priority for Square, the small business software company headed up by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey.

Movie Theaters Missing the Mark on Local Advertising Battle

A recent data analysis by digital marketing company Where2Get, for its “Brand Battle” series on Street Fight, compared the success of AMC Theaters and Regal Cinemas. A winner between the two did emerge — AMC, by a hair, as both companies could do better to address their local marketing strategies across the country.