Mission matters: 4 LA companies where values drive culture

by Joyce Famakinwa
September 13, 2018

When companies have a clear sense of purpose, the people who work there can breathe easier knowing that they are in the right place, doing the right thing. For some companies, that means moving past platitudes and creating an environment where employees make meaningful contributions and immerse themselves in a culture they find admirable.

Local tech companies are taking an active approach, making sure their mission statements are more than just words. We talked to four LA tech companies to find out how their values are reflected in their culture.

 

Heartbeat team
photo via heartbeat

Heartbeat connects its network of millennial and Gen Z ambassadors with brands so that consumers can better find and connect with companies they love. What stands out about the company’s approach to marketing is that Heartbeat ambassadors are at the heart of the very community brands are trying to reach. Kate Edwards, the company’s COO, talked to us about how they are using the platform to empower women everywhere.   

 

What values are most important at Heartbeat?

We believe that real women are powerful. We come to work knowing that we’re empowering the voices of everyday women. Often in media and advertising, the depictions we see of women are unrealistic and unattainable, and it’s now clear the negative effects these stereotypes are having on millennial and Gen Z women. Every day we work with brands to convince them, with both our philosophy and with our data, that influencer marketing campaigns are more effective when you work with our diverse community of real women, who come in all shapes, sizes and backgrounds.

It’s our mission to empower the voices of real women, and we get to live that every day.”

How are those values reflected in your company’s culture?

It’s our mission to empower the voices of real women, and we get to live that every day. Our employees are over 65 percent women, and our culture is all about speaking your mind to help improve the company. We also get to interact with our 200,000 millennial ambassadors, who are incredibly appreciative that we embrace their diverse beauty and various interests. It’s like having a huge focus group as we build the company and the ambassadors are all eager to help us test new products and help spread our vision across social media. One of our core tenets is “all ambassadors have value,” and it’s something we’re really serious about.

 

Verifi team
photo via Verifi

Fortune 500 companies and startups trust Verifi to provide payment protection and management services. The company’s platform is designed to help e-commerce merchants prevent chargebacks, reduce fraud and improve sales. The team at Verifi explained why giving back to the community has made them stronger.

 

What values are most important at Verifi?

Brian Ross, manager, talent acquisition: The core of our values is built on collaboration and teamwork. We promote, develop and maintain collaborative teams in the very fiber of our organization, and that spirit extends to paying it forward in the community. We view our contributions to the well-being of the community as a significant part of our overall responsibilities as an organization. And by placing a high priority on growing a diverse workforce that commits to performing in a well-balanced work-life model, it’s essential that we be steadfast in promoting programs that foster personal well-being for our employees — one feeds the other and that works very well for all of us.

We view our contributions to the well-being of the community as a significant part of our overall responsibilities as an organization.”

How are those values reflected in your company’s culture?

Toni Espera, VP, people operations: These values are reflected in our company culture by first fostering collaboration within the company, creating a work environment where there is communication across all levels of the organization. Second, employees are provided with one day per quarter to participate in charity/volunteer events within our various communities. These days allow us to not only support those in need within our cities, but it gives us time to bond with co-workers. Third, we have also invested in designing our own in-house wellness program called VeriFit, which includes a healthy workspace, adjustable height desks, treadmill desks, designated collaboration areas and gym stipends.

Additionally, our diversity provides for an environment where employees can learn from one another, not only through their skill sets but also their unique life experiences which encourages valuing different perspectives and expands the opportunity for greater innovation. 

 

Tala team
photo via tala

Data science driven startup Tala has set its sights on making the financial world accessible to underserved areas all over the world. The company’s app uses data collected on a user's mobile device to determine their financial reliability. Allen Fei, Tala’s manager of talent acquisition, told us about how the company’s values are top of mind when recruiting for new hires.  

 

What values are most important at Tala?

We have six founding principles that we use to actively promote our company’s most important values. These principals revolve around trust, empathy, curiosity, courage, humility and resilience. Our first founding principle is “believe in people.” This helps support our values of dismantling bias, upholding our commitments and having confidence in others ability to uphold theirs. It also helps us give and seek feedback that is direct, honest and actionable to help each other grow.

We have six founding principles that we use to actively promote our company’s most important values.”

How are those values reflected in your company’s culture?

Our values are reflected in almost all aspects of Tala’s culture, from our open and honest discussions to transparency at all levels of our business to weekly celebrations of our diverse and growing team. We also embed our values into recruiting as we make our founding principles an active guide in our interview process. We have a question bank that helps each interviewer ask questions that are focused specifically on these principles to assess a candidate on being a culture value-add to Tala.

 

Earny team
photo via Earny

Who doesn’t appreciate a little extra cash in their pocket? Earny uses price tracking to find low prices and get cashback deals for its users from online retailers that have price protection policies in place. Earny CEO and co-founder Oded Vakrat filled us in on how creating an inclusive culture drives them forward as a company.

 

What values are most important at Earny?

Values like respect, creativity, curiosity, integrity and diversity are key in our culture.

We align our values with our culture by focusing on the team members’ collective experiences.”

How are those values reflected in your company’s culture?

We align our values with our culture by focusing on the team members’ collective experiences. Our focus is to go above and beyond to connect team members to one another; this allows for organic diversity in our workplace. It creates a healthy and inclusive culture. For example, by curating company events such as monthly speakers, group workouts, breakfast cook-offs, and cultural celebrations team members are given ample opportunities to realize and develop into Earny’s company core values. Overall these meaningful experiences are able to continually develop a culture that values respect, diversity, curiosity, and creativity.

 

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