A whale of a time: Growing with HeyOrca

The HeyOrca team holding a Canadian flag togetherCompany culture at HeyOrca is all about learning together and having fun. Read more about what this diverse team values and how they operate.

What is HeyOrca?

Joe Teo and Sahand Seifi first met in 2013 as students of Memorial University. From early on, both knew they wanted to create a startup that offered a great product AND an amazing place to work. This shared vision led them to build HeyOrca, a social media management platform that helps marketing agencies streamline their daily processes. HeyOrca’s ‘ultimate sandbox’ enables agencies to work faster and deliver better results for their clients.

Who works for HeyOrca?

This team of 30 comes from ‘all walks of life.’ There are eight countries represented. HeyOrca Co-founders appreciate how the various backgrounds help to foster fresh ideas and great innovation. This workplace diversity is pretty impressive (and commendable) for a startup on the East Coast of Canada!

When it came to hiring, Joe and Sahand were intentional about getting people with the right mindset. They continue to hire for attitude and personality over work experience.

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The ‘Orcas’ value;

– Fast, continuous learning: people who are always hungry to learn, and fast. Part of this process also involves sharing that knowledge with others, as the HeyOrca team makes a habit of doing through daily meetings, via Slack, and having consultants close by to engage their expertise.

– Humility: At HeyOrca there’s “no room for egos,” says Joe. Employees need to be able to accept and own their failures. The team supports one another, and healthy debate is encouraged to enhance learning from others

– Smart Decision-making: In Joe’s view, “it’s all about making a decision, not the right decision.” Their team iterates quickly and optimizes for success. Joe and Sahand look for people who can confidently make strategic decisions and improve continually.

– Small Wins: The Co-founders believe that small wins combined are just as important as big wins. Every morning the team huddles for ten minutes to celebrate achievements and lessons learned. This peer-recognition and informal feedback ensures the HeyOrca team communicate well and values each other’s’ efforts as well as feel proud of their own.

A team, not a family

Unlike many startups, HeyOrca’s Co-founders don’t liken their team to a ‘family.’ While they work exceptionally well together, they want employees not to spend too much of their own time at work. Joe and Sahand encourage employees to have “off-switches,” enabling them to disconnect and to invest in their social and family lives. Joe routinely checks in with staff to make sure they’re able to maintain a healthy balance. Joe feels that company leaders are responsible for reinforcing these values and caring about their employees’ wellness.

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Working at HeyOrca

Like many startups, their big, open-office environment allows for collaboration and cuddles with the adorable pets that frequently visit. HeyOrca’s space also has quiet areas and a ‘library room.’ Joe recognizes that “not everyone is an extrovert, energized by the busyness and excitement of an open concept office.” They allow employees options to work comfortably, whether it’s beanbag chairs and stand-up desks, or off-sites at cafes or home.

Within the HeyOrca, smaller ‘pods’ exist for marketing, sales, customer success, and web/software development. Great collaboration has been essential to these pods’ cohesion as well as with the larger group. The team also has learned how to communicate well with remote employees, of which they have two. They celebrate new hires and birthdays, as well as bond through team outings like this axe-throwing session!

Read more: How DPL changed their workforce culture for good

HeyOrca encourages growth

Joe and Sahand realize that their team won’t stay the same forever. Great people naturally move within and outside of organizations as they grow in their careers. These Co-founders still make an effort to provide an amazing work culture for their employees. They liken the company as a ‘blank canvas’- giving their team the tools, freedom, and assistance to create beautiful things together. They want the journey with HeyOrca to be about learning as much as employees can, while having a ton of fun!

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