February 20, 2007

Company Culture Gap

The first company in which a person works (for some longer period of time) seems to, in most cases, have significant impact to his/hers working habits. Most people will just “do what everybody else does”. It’s always difficult to be different. This way they will become a product of a particular company culture.

Even after years spent in another company, a person can stay unchanged, not noticing at all what’s going on around him/her and what’s other people’s attitude towards their jobs. When changing a company, only a self-conscious person can really change her attitude and make some positive change.

If, for example, a person was used to the fact that 1 hour of active work per day is a lot, nothing that others do or say cannot change his/hers mind. Why? Because is his/hers first company, 1 hour is much more than other colleagues were willing to invest. There, 1 hour was really a lot. Sometimes this fact can be so deeply nested that completely blocks the person from getting new attitudes and improving oneself.

This leads me to the conclusion that, since an average person is so susceptible to bad influence (especially those coming directly from university to their first jobs), a lot depends on luck because most people don’t know to what kind of company they are going to.

This is why I think it is very important to care about employees who happen to have their first full-time jobs in your company. These people are picking up the atmosphere and the company culture very fast, since knowledge about “companies and cultures” almost doesn’t exist and the mind is ready for receiving all kinds of information. Give them guidance they need. Make sure your company has positive influence on them.

And to the newcomers: Pay attention to what others are doing - but think with your own head!

February 13, 2007

Investing Time

What new employees need is someone to provide them with company knowledge as often as possible, as fast as possible.

Maybe some individual is exceptionally curious and tries to get as much information as possible. And maybe some people know very well how to find their way around. But I think time needs to be invested if you want to get results. Otherwise it will be lost and the person will usually become more and more uninterested. Learning new things increases motivation, while leaving someone all alone for days, brings only dissatisfaction.

Things are learned much faster through communication than reading manuals. I know that latter is easier but if you want results, there is really no choice: somebody needs to do the hard work.

February 07, 2007

Amateur Psychoanalysis

Last week a new person that will join my team came to the company. From what I’ve seen so far, I think he will be OK or more than just OK: from both personal and professional side. In fact, he didn’t make any “mistakes” at all and I can say only good things about him. However, I am always kind of watching what is he doing, how does he interact with others, how does he perform his tasks, can he communicate normally, what problems does he have etc. I pay much attention to details. Little things that can point to future problems. I even have a few bad “premonitions”.

I don't like what I’m doing but I can't help myself. I had same bad experiences in the past. Everything depends on choosing the right people. In the past I couldn’t do anything to prevent or fix problems but now I can. Probably that is why I feel so much pressure.

February 06, 2007

Polarize People

People are usually attracted to others of the “same type”. If you have much in common with someone, you are much easier to form some kind of relationship with him or her.

Same thing happens with software teams and people. People who like their jobs, and like making interesting things, are attracted to groups of people who are actually making a difference in their company - building or designing something with passion. Others, who want to work as less as possible and are not interested in anything at all, avoid such groups.

This phenomenon works good for me. I have no need motivating the right people in the company to join my team and I don't have to scare off the non-workers - they don't show interest anyway. Both "types" know what to expect and I tend to support their decisions. :)