A rewarding job for quirky risk-takers: Giving people points for being healthy

A rewarding job for quirky risk-takers: Giving people points for being healthy

In our continuing Toronto’s Top Startup Jobs series — weekly profiles of some of the top startups in Toronto on the hunt for new talent — we feature Carrot Insights, a fast-growing company that is looking to fill a range of roles, from customer service reps to content producers. Want to join a great team? Advance your career? Read on!

Imagine if your job involved giving Canadians points for taking better care of themselves. Pretty rewarding, right?

That’s the idea behind Toronto-based startup Carrot Insights, a fast-growing company on the hunt for new talent. The company’s smartphone app uses loyalty points—frequent flyer miles, as well as movie, grocery and gas points—to motivate Canadians to adopt healthier lifestyles, eat better, be more physically active and take care of their mental health. Typical ways to earn points include walking more during the day or taking the stairs instead of an elevator.

All carrot, no stick required

Carrot brilliantly harnesses two things Canadians love: using smartphones and collecting loyalty points. Created in partnership with the federal government and several provinces, Carrot employs nudge and motivation theory to encourage behaviour change, helping people get on a healthier track by giving them something they want: points. So far, the company has more than 530,000 users in Ontario, British Columbia, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Company president Rhonda Bosch thinks the best thing about working at Carrot is the people. “I think we’ve put together a fantastic team that’s very collaborative and very caring,” she says. “They went beyond the call of duty to make the magic happen and allowed Carrot to explode in growth, and attract new users and customers.”

Andreas Souvaliotis, the founder of the company, says he can’t think of a single person who only comes to work and watches their back, or just comes to work to earn a paycheque and nothing else. “We’re all for real. We’re all here because we’re making a meaningful difference,” he says. “We love the kind of rocketship ride we’re on.”

(L-R) Founder and CEO Andreas Souvaliotis, President Rhonda Bosch and Partnerships Manager Lea Crawford

In with the quirky, out with the vanilla

Andreas says the company reflects his personality: quirky and unique. In his memoir Misfit, he argues that we should avoid trying to quash the quirky in favour of the vanilla. “If we unleash the quirky things about us, we can create a lot more and make more of a difference in the world.”

Lea Crawford says Carrot employees have to be open to trying and learning new things. “Everyone is going to make mistakes, so you have to be willing to make mistakes and take some risks.”

Rhonda agrees: “I challenge our team to think outside the box and take risks. If you succeed, that’s fantastic; if you don’t, let’s pick it up and try it again, right?”

Combining profit with purpose

Carrot is a certified B Corporation, a for-profit company that meets set standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.

Andreas says that since the company’s bottom line is about more than making money, the staff all feel a collective sense of purpose. “We’re a business that makes the world a better place while we make money, so there’s this incredible kind of connection to each other and to what we do. It just feels like we’re all on our dream project.”

And blending purpose with fun

While Andreas says that their everyday work is fun, the company also gets together for axe-throwing competitions, office Olympics, First-Round Friday drinks and birthdays. And every week, one team member is recognized for their contributions with a gift card.

Like wearing hats? You’ll get to wear all kinds here

Full-time employees work on-site, so they can fully experience the company culture and values. “If you’re not here, you miss the family,” says Rhonda. “We’re an employee-centric kind of an organization. When we welcome our clients into the office, we welcome them into our family, something we take great pride in.”

Lea says new employees need to be ambidextrous, flexible and versatile. “In a smart, small company, everyone you bring on has to be able to wear different hats. You have to be able to go above and beyond and have a yes mentality.”

But it’s not just about working hard. This is a company where you can try new things, learn new skills and grow your career. “People will invite you into meetings so you can learn about marketing, about content or about development,” says Lea. “Rather than feeling like you’re getting pigeonholed in your one department, you’re constantly able to brainstorm with different team members.”

When asked about career growth, Andreas says that most employees don’t even have time to think about it—they just live it. “If you’re in the same role for a year and a half, the scope of that role has expanded so dramatically that you don’t even have time to think about career growth.”

Even the office location reflects the company values

The company is in a 19th-century building at Yonge and Richmond, a location chosen by the employees in part because they felt it suited a startup. Connected to the PATH, Eaton Centre and the subway, it’s easy to get to work on public transit, by bike or on foot. “Two things we take pride in: not a single employee out of 30 smokes, and not a single employee drives to work,” says Andreas.

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