How these 4 Austin companies define company culture

Tessa McLean
In the startup world, company culture is key. The problem is, when most people think of culture these days, they’re thinking of catered lunches and Ping Pong tables. 
As any startup employee will tell you, it’s about much, much more than that. Whether it’s a truly achievable work/life balance or core values that actually mean something, these four Austin startups shared what culture really means to them. 
Answers via Miranda Moore, Marketing and Public Relations Manager
What is your favorite part of AdAction's company culture?
Work-life balance is a value that AdAction holds high in regard. We offer our staff generous PTO and provide them with the necessary resources to work from home, as needed. This also makes for a special company culture, as AdAction works to balance the everyday office routine with frequent staff outings, facilitated to encourage camaraderie and enjoyment both inside and out of the office.
Why do you think company culture is essential to employee happiness?
Company culture does more than just shape a business; it reflects the individuals who are a part of it. It takes into account the visions, goals, interests, and personalities of each member of the staff and unites them together to create a positive, all-encompassing environment that every person can feel is an extension of their own home. When individuals come into work or login online, they know they are among family.
Answers via Director of Talent Acquisition Lizette Fleher 
What is your favorite part of RetailMeNot's company culture? 
At RetailMeNot, the best part of our culture is that employees feel empowered to make decisions that impact the business in a productive and healthy way, in addition to their career. Through programs like our How To Manage Your Career and Leadership courses within Learning and Development, we put our employees in control of their career development and offer the resources they need to succeed. 
A large part of our interview process is centered around culture. We look to hire people based on talent, experience and value fit. In addition, we have a nominated group of employees who are ambassadors of RetailMeNot’s values and culture, and participate in the interview process. Our culture also includes peer-to-peer recognition and rewards, and even an Employee of the Month program where winners are able to spin our wheel and win prizes like a timed shopping spree at Sam’s Club, airfare for two and vacation spending money, or a month’s worth of bills paid. 
Why do you think company culture is essential to employee happiness?
Happy and satisfied employees can have a positive impact on their colleagues as well as the overall culture of a workplace. Our culture champions fun and collaboration among coworkers and between the various departments through our unique environment and decor, which we’ve found helps foster creativity. Additionally, team members take part in weekly happy hours, discussions at the coffee bar and open office hours with our CEO, where they are welcome to ask questions or just catch up on what’s happening around the company. 
Benefits like daily lunch, onsite parking downtown, fitness classes, dry cleaning and our extended parental leave policy, help our employees find more balance between their work and home life. Building a culture where our employees are empowered to make an impact, and rewarded for their dedication and hard work, has helped us build a more engaged team. In turn, our happiest and strongest team members are more productive and often the biggest cheerleaders for their colleagues, new products and the latest innovations.
Answers via Product Enablement Intern Lindsey Chervitz
What is your favorite part of Sprinklr's company culture?
My favorite part about Sprinklr's company culture definitely has to be the way that the core values are exhibited by each employee (It's ok. Sprinkle, don't shout. Fix it, don't complain. Never, ever give up. Passionately, genuinely care). Everyone is always smiling and super friendly, including the office dogs. The wide open spaces and natural lighting establishes an environment that promotes creativity, allowing everyone to do their best work 100 percent of the time.
Why do you think company culture is essential to employee happiness?
Company culture is essential to employee happiness because when employees show up in the morning for work and love the physical place and people around them. It provides a sense of purpose to each and every employee and also inspires them to stay focused and diligent with their work.
Answers via Russ Somers, VP Marketing
What is your favorite part of TrendKite's company culture?
We have some great perks at TrendKite — catered lunches, a full kitchen, and a really fun office — but my favorite part of the culture doesn’t have anything to do with the perks. What really makes the culture work is the level of transparency. All our key metrics are up on monitors throughout the office, so everyone knows exactly what each team is working on and how they’re doing against their goals. With a public scoreboard like that, everyone knows when we’re winning (which is most of the time) and, when we’re not, what we need to focus on. That creates a ‘full transparency, no surprises’ culture, making it a lot easier for everyone to collaborate, focus on their work, and get more done.
Why do you think company culture is essential to employee happiness?
With a transparent culture, it’s a lot easier to know that your work matters, is appreciated, and is part of building something bigger. With a positive culture, people help each other learn and develop professionally, as well as having a lot of fun together. When you can have both those elements together you have something really special. 
Some responses have been edited for length or clarity
Images via featured companies. 
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