“One hundred and eighteen people is not a lot, but corralling those opinions is a more difficult task,” said Margie Mader-Clark, the company’s VP of human resources. “It’s about a stewardship of culture, taking care of it, making sure the negative aspects go away as early as possible.”
The current shortage of tech talent means candidates who have high-demand skills, such as programming, have their pick of employers. Startups are responding to that by creating ultra-transparent, collaborative workplaces.
Translating the desire to support business owners with successful on-demand functionality relies heavily on DoorDash’s 200 core employees. In 2015, the company expanded from three markets to 22, and CEO Tony Xu says he expects the company to double in size in 2016.
SpotHero, an on-demand app that helps drivers find parking spots, is at a turning point in its growth. The company grew from 35 employees to 75 in 2015, and is currently hiring for about 20 positions. The company is working to create policies that will keep everyone engaged and the business moving forward.
To figure out how to identify the right interactions to promote, CultureIQ measures 10 different operational and strategic company qualities. Three are most important: support, work environment, and mission and value alignment.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.”
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.