Founded nine years ago, Finnish software company Smartly.io has grown strongly, especially during the last few years. It is a challenge to people’s well-being when they are passionate about their work, as this may lead to burnout. Smartly.io started using Auntie at the same time in all its global operations. Saara Airas, HR Lead EMEA & APAC, says that the employees have praised Auntie’s down-to-earth approach and focus on finding solutions.
Smartly.io develops tools for creating and optimising digital advertising content, helping advertisers to automate processes in Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest advertising. Smartly.io supports some 700 brands around the world to improve advertising outcomes.
“We have been growing quickly. A year ago, we had 480 employees, now about 840. In January 2022, our staff numbers increased overnight by more than 100 with the acquisition of the Ad-Lib.io business. It’s been a breathtaking rate of growth, which naturally also involves challenges,” says Saara. The company operates from 21 cities around the world, and its employees represent 67 nationalities.
“The pandemic has affected our operations significantly. Our corporate culture has been based on people meeting each other at the office, or at regular company off-sites. These meetings help transfer tacit information between people, and spending time together has also improved well-being at work in a natural way. We have plenty of foreign employees whose entire social life may have consisted of contacts obtained through work, so the pandemic has really been a challenge to some people.
“It was important for us that the service is global and therefore genuinely available to all employees. We have offices from Sydney to San Francisco, so it was important for the service to work fluently in all time zones and in different languages.”
HR Lead EMEA & APAC
Burnout may creep in when working passionately
As in many other IT companies, it is a challenge to well-being when people are passionate about their work.
“People in our company are very passionate about their work, many are still quite young, and their working life skills may not be that developed yet. We allow our employees to assume responsibility and achieve big things in the early stages of their careers. It is super-rewarding and great, but it also involves challenges in being able to draw the line for yourself and in what you are prepared to do for work.
Smartly.io conducts a pulse survey for its staff four times a year, repeating certain questions to be able to follow the status of well-being at work. The strategic goal is for the pulse result to be 9/10.
“The pulse results have been good and have always either achieved the goal or come very close. However, that is not enough. Although things may be good now, it doesn’t mean they always will be so unless we take preventive measures. There’s always room for improvement, and we are humble in face of this fact. We want to maintain a high level of well-being at work, so in the midst of the pandemic, we launched Auntie for our entire work community as a preventive measure,” says Saara.
Fluently in different time zones and languages
Saara Airas has a sparring team consisting of HR colleagues. Some of her colleagues’ companies were already using Auntie, and were happy with it. Encouraged by their experiences, Auntie was also launched at Smartly.io.
Auntie is no one-off project for Smartly.io; taking care of mental well-being is part of every aspect of their work culture. It is manifested in the company’s values and how work is done.
“We want to market the service equally to everyone, so that everyone feels comfortable about using mental well-being services, too. We have done everything possible to clear out any obstacles; you do not have to inform HR or your manager if you start using Auntie. Any one of our employees can choose one package a year.”
Auntie’s extensive selection of languages is particularly important to Smartly.io. “We needed a genuinely global, low-threshold service. We have offices from Sydney to San Francisco, so it was important for the service to work fluently in all time zones and in different languages.”
Praise for down-to-earth approach and focus on finding solutions
As a rule, Smartly employees have given really good feedback. “That’s why, after the first trial period, we decided to continue with Auntie. Company management has also seen the benefits of the service. I’m really happy that we continued with Auntie, because the global situation has not improved. We have many Ukrainian and Russian employees, so it is important for us that we have something practical to offer to people who are facing challenging situations.”
Saara sees the popularity of Auntie as a positive thing and an indication that people are taking mental well-being seriously. Many employees have received concrete help from their meetings with Auntie professionals. Smartly employees have praised the service’s down-to-earth approach and focus on finding solutions.
“Although things are OK with people as a rule, many find it useful to talk to a professional about balancing their work load, organising their work and maintaining their well-being. In time, we will see whether long absences have been reduced thanks to Auntie.”
“As an employer, it is important for us that the service is global and therefore genuinely available to all employees.
I recommend Auntie to other companies, but you must be very aware how you want to use the service and how it is promoted. It’s not enough just to make it available on the intranet. It must be part of the work culture, so that mental health can be discussed openly. The use of Auntie indicates that matters of work well-being are taken seriously,” says Saara.
Smartly.io helps advertisers to automate processes in Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest advertising. By combining creative advertising production, media purchasing automation and first-rate customer service, we help some 700 brands around the world to increase their advertising outcome, not the number of employees kept busy. Smartly.io employs more than 800 people, of which some 300 are in Finland. In 2021, advertising investments in excess of four billion euros went through our software. Smartly.io operates from 21 cities around the world, and its employees represent 67 nationalities.