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Best Workplaces™ for Start-ups: What it's really like for employees

 Best Workplaces™ for Start-ups: What it's really like for employees

Best Workplaces

Start-ups are alive and well despite the challenges of the past couple of years. In fact, a survey conducted by Intuit in April 2022 showed that nearly a quarter of all small businesses in Canada was started in the last two years. (Check out The Global News Startups Survey Poll) And entrepreneurs continue to invest in their businesses, growing and expanding their start-ups with confidence while providing employees with an exciting, fun, and fast-paced alternative to more traditional, well-defined roles.

This ‘new and exciting’ factor is key to what makes working for a start-up attractive—sometimes magnetically so. The job descriptions usually include phrases like “casual, fun office environment” and “room for rapid advancement.” And as you answer questions on their non-traditional job application (“If you were a reality TV show star, which one would you be?”), you visualize yourself balancing on a stability ball in yoga pants and a t-shirt, collaborating with like-minded colleagues over chai lattes.

It’s true that joining a start-up can be a fun, smart, and even life-changing move but there are some key differences between a start-up environment and every other type of company out there. Employees at the Best Workplaces for Start-ups spill the details on what it’s really like.

Job Satisfaction Guaranteed

Employees at start-ups share in the birth, growth, and success of the company. They belong to something special and when the company does well, they can be proud of their contributions. Employees often help with so much more than what is outlined in their job description, so opportunities for learning and growth are plentiful. The result is a deep sense of pride and connection to the organization with 97% of employees at these Best Workplaces for Start-Ups feeling proud to tell others they work there. At the same time, they agree that they feel trusted to do their best work with 97% reporting that their manager trust them to do a good job without watching over their shoulder.

Endless Possibilities

At a start-up it is almost certain that you will be making substantial contributions to the business. Especially during the early stages when time is precious and can be very costly; every team member not only has a part to play but must be willing and ready to wear many hats. This is clearly the experience at the organizations on our list with 97% of employees agreeing that they can count on people to cooperate and 96% conveyed that they are given a lot of responsibility.  Strictly speaking, you’ll have the opportunity to execute and accomplish more. And that’s a good thing, to say the least, as these are tremendous opportunities to add to your resume.

A Portrait of Innovation

Start-ups need to grow fast. If they can't keep up in the fast lane, they'll crash out. Employees have the license to show off their brilliance. They deliver results with fresh designs and new concepts that capture consumer interest. In fact, 96% of employees at the Best Workplaces for Start-ups agree their manager seeks and responds to suggestions and ideas. And while there’s pressure to break new ground, 97% of employees report their manager recognizes honest mistakes as part of doing business. This dynamic energy drives progress at start-ups and the shared pride in growing the company through its ups and downs creates a tight-knit team.

The Value of Ownership and Hard Work

Employees at start-ups tend to have a vested interest in the company from day one. Oftentimes, employees share in the birth, growth and success; so much so that, 96% of employees expressed that people in their organization respond quickly to changes needed for the organization’s success. Working at a start-up also means that you’ll be working within a small team where everyone shares responsibility for achievements. As daunting as that sounds, it can also be deemed the biggest inspiration and incentive there is, to tap into your self-sustainable skills, determination and, like 96% of respondents, the willingness to give extra to get the job done.

The Hard Truth

Despite the common notion that working for start-ups is all leisure and entrepreneurial spirit, the uncomfortable truth is employees can experience having a heavier workload, as opposed to working at a more established company. The Best Workplaces pay particular attention to this and help their people find the balance they need. The result is 98% agreeing they are cared for, 96% agreeing they can take time off when needed, and 93% reporting they are encouraged to balance their work life and personal life.

At the end of the day 96% of employees at the Best Workplaces for Start-ups say that taking everything into account, their workplace is a great place to work. Pretty resounding evidence that you can give your all to an organization and have that organization respect you, value you and appreciate you in return.

To improve your employee experience, measure your employee experience

If you have questions about running an employee engagement survey, or you’re ready to launch your own, reach out to us. We’re here to help gather the information you need to make the right decisions for your employees and your organization.

Great Place to Work® makes it easy to survey your employees, uncover actionable insights and get recognized for your great company culture. Clients apply our insights, advice, and tools to fuel the vision, decisions and actions that drive business performance.

Nancy Fonseca
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