ntang (ntang) wrote,

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Workforce practices - PLEASE comment!

If you work at (or have worked at) a large, successful, profitable company, I've got some questions for you. (Note: I'm leaving the definition of large, successful, and profitable up to you, my gentle reader, as perception is as useful as a consensual reality for the sake of this question. In fact, people who didn't work at a large, successful and profitable company are welcome to chime in as well, to illustrate the other side of things as well.)

1.) If you don't mind saying, what are (were) the company(ies)? What sort of work did you do? Was your personal experience satisfying, were you happy, and did you stay long?

2.) How did they do performance reviews? Specifically, how often, what was the policy and procedure around it, were there any standard forms or documents, etc. etc. etc.

3.) How did they organize people? How large was each group/team? For instance, were people organized around function (programmers, designers, sales people, etc.), around a specific project (which means that the organization changes frequently as projects are finished and started), around business segments (if you work for a company with multiple angles to the business, does everyone under each section work together - for instance we separate people into the dating group, the diversity recruiting group, the ad sales/support group, the "core services" group, etc.), or something entirely different?

4.) How many different managers did you have there, and what were their general styles? I don't mean if you got moved or promoted a lot if you had a lot of managers, I mean in any one role how many people did you report to? In a standard, strict hierarchy, it'd be 1. In an alternative one, it might be 2. In a bad one, it might be half a dozen.

5.) Were there a lot of rules, procedures, standards, etc. that define how you have to do your job? Did they tell you instead how they thought you ought to do it, but left room for differences? Or did they perhaps just tell you what the goal was and let you achieve it however you felt best? Were they corporate-level, division-level, team-level, more than one, none of the above? Whatever they did, did you feel like it helped or hurt yourself and the team, in terms of productivity, morale, etc?

6.) What was your workspace like? Open? Closed? Free-flowing? Strictly partitioned (i.e. cubicles)? Did it help or hurt? What was the best workspace you've worked in? The worst?

7.) Were there any things you felt the company (or team) did that were simply outstanding, or simply horrible? What were your favorite and least favorite things about the company?

I'm asking all of these questions because I'm curious to see what's worked for other people and other companies, to see what I can learn from them. I've been reading some books on management and company organization and the like, and I've always found the topic interesting. Being, at least in theory, a manager myself, I'm always looking for ways to improve. Of course, I'm not saying that I'll change what I do regardless of the results of this, but I will at least hopefully be better educated when making the decisions I make on a regular basis. More importantly, while I've gotten a lot of advice from these books and online resources, I want to see what actual people working under these circumstances feel about them - since there isn't any one right answer to how to manage people and even if there were there's no guarantee ANY of the authors figured out what it is. People tend to read stuff and then take it for granted, and that's one thing I do NOT want to do.

So c'mon, people, chip in your grain of salt or two. :)
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