Star2Star Communications, LLC

Star2Star Communications, LLC

Sarasota, FL

www.star2star.com

Grade: A-

SummaryA fun and techie culture, solid employee recognition, trophies, awards and sales incentives with good perks and inventive meeting places.

Intro: One of the most appealing aspects of our company to technology workers is that we are very forward thinking and flexible in terms of the technology we use. We are cutting edge in everything hardware and software related. We use many different languages and programs, and we generally give our staff the ability to work using whatever they are most comfortable with or curious about.

Our employees are encouraged to explore and learn other technologies and new areas.

Impact statements: 

  • One of the most appealing aspects of our company to technology workers is that we are very forward thinking and flexible in terms of the technology we use.
  • We are cutting edge in everything hardware and software related.
  • We use many different languages and programs, and we generally give our staff the ability to work using whatever they are most comfortable with or curious about.
  • Every department has their own informal methods for maintaining team satisfaction.
  • Our offices are home to spontaneous Nerf gun wars that break out without warning.
  • We don’t tell our developers how to write. We give them the freedom to work in the best way for them.
  • Every quarter, we give our three 3P awards to honor employees who demonstrate our key company values, and the winners get the closest parking spaces to the building.
  • We also include employee promotions and successes in our monthly employee newsletter.
  • We give out numerous trophies and awards throughout the year and provide sales incentives and prizes to our team including weekend vacations to such locations as Las Vegas.
  • We foster an environment where our employees have a serve in the trenches together kind of mentality where employees will go the extra mile.
  • We want team members who want to be part of something revolutionary.
  • Don’t expect to be doing the same thing for very long.

Compensation:

A key factor is unique technology experiences that a team member has, especially if they have experience with new and obscure technology tools. Another key factor is length of experience. A third factor is if a candidate can demonstrate a history of going above and beyond and advancing.

Advancement Opportunities:

We encourage advancement by fostering the exploration of new technology tools and maintaining an open, learning atmosphere.

Training opportunities:

In addition to hands-on experience with new and unique technologies, we also host workshops and seminars. We also reimburse team members for expenses incurred while attending outside workshops and seminars so that they may present what they learn back at the office.

Medical benefits:

We have a great health plan, short and long term disability planning, and life insurance.

Special accommodations:

We’ve offered top hires remote working opportunities and schedule flexibility.

Community service/charitable causes:

Every holiday season, our team votes on a charity to support during the holidays, and we run a company-wide drive to bring joy to deserving members of the community. We also support employee community service projects. For example, recently, one of our developers swam a distance race for charity (sponsored by other employees including our CEO Norman Worthington) while another developer followed him in a kayak.

Measuring satisfaction:

We do not have any formal processes on a company-wide basis at this time, although we are currently working on new initiatives. Every department has their own informal methods for maintaining team satisfaction.

Creative meeting places:

Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium

The Sarasota Classic Car Museum

The South Florida Museum

State and county parks

A number of other local are venues and attractions

Perks:

We provide coupons to all employees everyday that give a discount on food and drinks from food trucks that we arrange to come to our office.

We also have a deal to provide a Sam’s Club discount to employees.

We are going to start implementing a food delivery option, whereby Star2Star will pay the delivery fee to have over 30 local restaurants deliver food to our offices.

Fun:

Our offices are home to spontaneous Nerf gun wars that break out without warning.

Our team members are constantly seen walking around the building in groups.

Our offices are adjacent to the Sarasota Airport, allowing our employees to see planes come and go all day.

Our food trucks and large cafeteria provide great opportunities to socialize.

Collaboration tools:

Our entire line of products is collaboration. We extensively use our business communications system throughout our offices, unifying our team and making communication easy for our employees.

How corporate vision is communicated:

We hold regular events to communicate our corporate vision, including company-wide meetings which we call all hands meetings, sales summits, weekly department calls, and four monthly newsletters.

Empowering employees:

We don’t tell our developers how to write. We give them the freedom to work in the best way for them. A specific example is the recent development of our Apple Watch app. One of our team members figured out how to code for the Apple Watch on his free time and developed the app on the weekend. Another example is the creation of a recent whitepaper where a member of the development team worked with our copywriter to create a whitepaper, where he had final approval on content. Our developers often also head other interdepartmental collaborations with sales, marketing, accounting, legal, and other departments.

We encourage open door communication, whereby our management team always keeps their doors open and available so that they are free to listen to all suggestions and recommendations.

Every quarter, we give our three 3P awards to honor employees who demonstrate our key company values, and the winners get the closest parking spaces to the building. We also include employee promotions and successes in our monthly employee newsletter. We give out numerous trophies and awards throughout the year and provide sales incentives and prizes to our team including weekend vacations to such locations as Las Vegas.

We foster an environment where our employees have a serve in the trenches together kind of mentality where employees will go the extra mile. A key example is the development of our Apple Watch App as described above. We have employees plan parties and other outside of work on a frequent basis, including a very popular one around the 5th of May called Cinco de Star2Star. Our team also participates in a non-official program called Secret Star where everyone draws names from a hat and gives the person they draw a present every week.

Ensuring well-being:

We provide excellent health and life insurance and PTO days.We have a conference room dedicated to treadmills. Many team members take daily walks around the building. Many employees also take part in completely anonymous employee support networks.

Our offices are home to the Star2Star Space Museum, which contains fascinating artifacts and memorabilia from the space programs of several nations. The space museum is spread across our Sarasota offices and inspires our employees with the potential that technology of technology and how far it can take us.

We offer schedule flexibility and accommodations, maintain open door communication with supervisors, and host company-wide events.

We have standard hours, but each department has flexibility based on needs. We are also very tolerant and understanding of doctor visits, family responsibilities, and et cetera.

There is schedule flexibility based on department. Everyone has an allotment of PTO days that employees can use for illness or vacation. The amount of days of PTO is determined by an employee’s seniority, with more senior employees having more PTO days.

Teamwork:

Our entire process from code development to shipment requires our company to be a team. Every aspect of our business is more interrelated than the average company.

Diversity:

We continuously encourage diversity in hiring and advancement. For example, we promote our job openings across multiple job boards, both local and national.

We select contractors strictly on their quality and ability to meet business needs.

Longevity:

The longevity of our management team is very long, and many members have been with us since the company’s first year. The average longevity in other departments is less, but that has to do with us being a young company. Although our company has seen continuous growth over the last ten years, the last three have seen explosive growth, with the majority (more than half) of our employees coming on board during that time.

Closing company statements: We want team members who want to be part of something revolutionary. The way things are traditionally done is not good enough at Star2Star. If you want to succeed here, you need to be forward thinking, adaptable, and a fast learner. Also, don’t expect to be doing the same thing for very long.

Back to the entire list of TMCnet 2016 Tech Culture Award winners.

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