Stop list for the head: 10 “not” that can ruin the company
Corporate culture is like a healthy lifestyle: everyone recognizes its value, but few follow it. Meanwhile, your success in the market largely depends on your team. This is especially true for the IT sector, where there is an acute shortage of personnel: there are not enough programmers at all, and a real struggle is being waged for high-class specialists. That is why it is important to create conditions in your company so that employees do not go to competitors.
Over the years of managing the company and observing the market, I have gathered a kind of stop list of things that, with regular practice, are guaranteed to ruin the most coherent team. These rules are not documented in any way, but any new person in the team immediately sees the principles by which our company lives. If they are not suitable for him, such an employee does not stay long in the company – simply because it is difficult to work in a team with values other than yours. Some of these rules are not suitable for all companies, but most are perhaps universal for any field.
Rule 1. Do not take leaders from outside
When a person comes to a new team, he needs time to absorb his ideology, to understand what is accepted here and what is not, to earn the trust of colleagues. This test may take months, and not all pass it. That is why we never recruit leaders “from the outside.” A leading position can be taken only by someone who came to the company as an ordinary developer, grew up in it and absorbed its corporate culture – so it’s as natural for him to follow our rules as brushing your teeth in the morning.
Rule 2. Do not put customer interests above collective
This rule, unfortunately, does not work for all areas. But in the IT market, the multiple excess of demand over supply allows us to value our team more than the customer. Therefore, when our developers do not want to use a programming language in the project or work in extremely tight deadlines, we try to find a compromise with the client. And if he flatly refuses to make concessions, it is easier for us to give up the project and the customer than the interests of the team. So we keep people, their loyalty to the team and the desire to work.
Rule 3. Avoid authoritarianism
Priority team interests are not combined with authoritarianism. So, with us, a top manager cannot take a project that the team does not like, or establish rules that are convenient only for him — say, oblige everyone to work from nine to six. That is why we have a free schedule: everyone is free to distribute his time. The working mode is regulated by only one rule: no entertainment in the office (this applies to table tennis, watching movies and other noisy activities) until 19:00 – simply because it will distract others. And in the evening, many remain in the office for another couple of hours to relax and chat. And this rule applies to everyone – both for the intern and for the director.
To avoid authoritarianism, we try to maintain a friendly atmosphere in the team: we do not have a “You” appeal, and employees are not shy about contacting colleagues and managers for help and are willing to share their problems.
Rule 4. Do not collect “jerkers”
Each leader, probably, has at least once encountered such an employee who uses a free schedule for his own purposes, postpones work tasks for personal affairs, refuses to help newcomers, and most importantly for him – the size of his own salary. Moreover, he can be a strong specialist: once we recruited an employee with very good skills. He showed good results, but soon all his attention was focused only on raising his salary. To increase the bet in any way, he began to resort to blackmail and incitement – and as a result, we had to leave. You can’t count on such people for a long time, therefore it’s better to study the person’s values at the interview stage in order to immediately understand whether he will join the team.
Rule 5. Avoid large differences in salaries.
If top management gets much more than ordinary employees, this inevitably leads to social inequality in the team, and the top managers form a hypertrophied idea of their own importance – I happened to encounter this from my own experience. To achieve a fair salary ratio in our company, we had to do a lot of work: our salary consists of a fixed part and a moving coefficient, which means that it is difficult to manage. In addition, the amount received by key executives depends on the company’s turnover. As a result, we introduced a calculation formula that does not allow the salaries of top managers to exceed 50% of the average salary of the ten strongest developers in the company. The surplus goes to the quarterly bonus, which is distributed among the entire team.