large org and they allow you to switch roles
very large organization
field org is less interresting than working in redmond
Advice to Management
get rid of some ballast in MCS HQ
I worked at Microsoft full-time (More than 8 years)
At this point, pros are the few remaining really smart AND really nice people (although they're rapidly being pushed out), still some great technology, particularly on the server side like SharePoint, Azure, etc, Windows Phone and Xbox. A lot of potential if execs can sort themselves out.
Managers in most cases treat employees like dirt and as completely expendable. They're fast becoming an Oracle sales mentality. One person at a very high level has completely changed the atmosphere, and the way the stack ranking now runs is worse than the Vanity Fair article described. It's a dog eat dog environment, where how good you are, and how much you contribute has little to nothing to do with your chances of success, and how much you suck up to managers in your district, or how much "visibility" you have is the only measure of success. The fact that the hiring manager for the last job I had there over 9 years told me first and foremost 'lets figure out how to get you enough visibility so that I can defend you in the stack ranking' instead of discussing what I should be doing in my job says it all. This appears to be pretty much endemic at MS now, and every week I hear of yet another awesome employee leaving or being forced out. However, the Mid-Atlantic States District is particularly bad, with politics that I have never seen in my 20 years in IT and sales. MS also treats partners terribly. Partner CSAT scores are gamed. The level of frustration in the partner community has never been higher. Partners depend on MS for a lot of revenue, but most hate MS because of the way they are treated.
Advice to Management
Firstly, stop changing MS to Walmart.. Ever since a particular exec come on board, this company has lost so many of its best employees, that it's impossible to keep track any more. He openly told us in one of our first Town Hall meetings with him that our attrition rate was unhealthily low, and he intends to change that. He's certainly succeeded in doing that amazingly well.
Secondly, do away with the stack ranking. Stop thinking only tactically. In sales, its all about what you've done for me today, and people with an exemplary track record for 9 or 10 years get fired for 1 bad year that was likely bad because of relatively randomly set quotas, circumstances beyond their control (like companies going bankrupt), or sales managers finding scapegoats.
You tell everyone that customer deployment and CSAT are important metrics in CBI, yet people get $0 CBI unless they hit the ever more difficult 100% quota/RBI metric, and then you're surprised when people only start to focus on CBI once they're hit their quota late in Q4?. What do you think people will focus on? This isn't a healthy 'tension' as someone very senior once told me. Its a recipe for disaster.
Bring back the company that used to be the best place to work for in the world. In my 1st 4 years at MS, I fully intended to make it a life long career, moving around, learning and contributing more every year. Now I wouldn't come back if you paid me $1m a year. It's not worth it. And finally, get HR people who employees can really trust. Every HR person I interacted with, or heard of others interfacing with in confidential discussions about management gripes promptly told the manager about the gripe, and the person was slowly forced to leave. So HR is basically a clearing house for people who have gripes with management.
Brand, Overall package, great people, fun environment
Old boy's network, tedious review process, compensation plan too complex and too much focus on subjective criteria. Product vs sales focused
Advice to Management
Become more relevant to the market and continue to innovate, and focus on reinventing the company as a major player in the SaaS/cloud market.
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