Archive for February, 2010

Corporate Culture – Bigger isn’t always better!

Monday, February 1st, 2010

Again, I’ve been reflecting on my past experiences in the industry. Not much – I know. But enough to make some notes. I thought I’d have a little blurb about corporate culture – this seems to be a big sticking point with companies. Most like to talk about the money and time they invest in insuring the culture is a healthy one. Culture is such a fickle beast that it can change due to the most simple things – the people that surround you, the department you work within or just the dress code.

Having gone from a small company to a massive one and back to a small one – I wanted to reflect on small Vs big. Obviously people will have had different experiences and different outcomes – but from my experience – a bigger company won’t always equate to a better culture.

I think two of the large factors that irked me in a larger company was the lack of transparency and the ease in which you can be lost within the ’employee pool’.

Transparency can be pretty tough to manage – its one thing for a company to present a transparent exterior but another to be transparent to employees internally. My main gripe is when a company doesn’t provide visibility over the big decisions being made – direction, financial gains/losses. For example, its all good and well for a company to report record profits externally but then why have employee pay reviews been suspended? Some form of transparency to give an indication of why is needed. Ok sure, you won’t please everyone. But no-one likes the bull shit answer of “Global financial crisis”. I had another example – but dam its slipped my mind!

Losing an employee in the greater pool can be pretty easy in a large company – what with all those layers of management. This has a pretty decent impact in 2 areas – first morale. People want to be respected and acknowledged as part of the company and assisting in driving the business goals. Secondly it gives people the ability to hide in the shadows or slip in to the back ground and be carried by the greater good. That isn’t fun for anyone – except those being carried along.

I’ve found in a smaller business – as there is more visibility – there are inherit benefits. Recognition is easier to come by (but so is scorn), relationships are easy to maintain (or break) and the transparency is usually rather good.

As there are less employees – its easy to see who is doing what and recognise that work appropriately. Even if its a simple ‘good job’ or ‘cheers’ – it all makes a greater impact. As you are working much closer with the same people – relationships can forge easily. In the same regard friction points can be greatly exasperated and cause tension.

I was going to address more points on lifestyle and networking – but alas – work calls! Dam this small environment where my team lead can see me clearly typing on my blog!