Three people sitting at desk working together

StackAdapt's workspace inspires collaboration with an open-concept layout, exposed brick design and lots of natural light. (Courtesy of StackAdapt)

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CASE STUDY: How StackAdapt measures up with employees

At Toronto’s award-winning start-up, StackAdapt—a native advertising platform that helps brands boost customer engagement and acquisition—building the company’s culture is a growing process, just like the business itself

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At Toronto’s award-winning start-up, StackAdapt—a native advertising platform that helps brands boost customer engagement and acquisition—building the company’s culture is a growing process, just like the business itself.

“As a start-up, we are growing super-hyper aggressively, so the culture is going to be different,” says co-founder and COO, Vitaly Pecherskiy. “Everyone is running around with their pants on fire, pushing so hard to grow, with aggressively ambitious goals to meet every week.”

ABOUT THOSE EMPLOYEES

The company looks at staff satisfaction with two goals in mind—career-building employee retention and hands-on engagement: “At the end of the day, we want everyone to be engaged in what we do, grow personally in their careers and contribute to the success of the company,” explains Pecherskiy.

Since its inception in 2013, there have been shifts and changes, bumps and grinds, along the way—not just from the business side of things, as any new company should expect—but from a workplace perks and policies perspective as well.

Now, to keep things in check and staff on track, StackAdapt sends out an anonymous survey to its 70 employees quarterly giving them a chance to answer key questions, make suggestions and raise any concerns.

“We literally live and breathe from the feedback,” says Pecherskiy. “We address the concerns in broad strokes and change things around…”

SHOW ME THE BENEFITS

From perks to policies, StackAdapt offers its employees competitive salaries, comprehensive benefit packages including fitness reimbursement, generous parental leave, professional development in the form of courses and conferences, regular team events and socials, vacation birthdays, lunch credit and a kitchen stocked with snacks, amongst other things.

“We implemented those things that are core fundamentals—you have to have those in place—and everything else is just nice to have,” says Pecherskiy. “It’s nice to have a great culture, but at the end of the day, people come to work because they need to get paid.”

WALK THE TALK

As a company leader, Pecherskiy knows first-hand how important it is to show your staff that you are walking alongside them, not miles in front. Keep things consistent, and show them the way, whether its filing expenses on time or respecting your allotted vacation time.

“That was a hard lesson I had to learn. As a leader of a company, you are always in the spotlight,” says Pecherskiy. “You want to be the best version of what you expect from everybody else.”

AN OFFERING

Pecherskiy’s advice to start-up aspirers when it comes to company culture: “Focus on building a really good business first. Culture matters, but it’s much easier to build culture, when a company is already successful.”