WhereNet maintains an amicable, relaxed and collegial atmosphere for all its employees. This fosters the sort of collaborative spirit needed for a small company seeking to grow. WhereNet also provides cutting-edge technology tools to all of its employees so that they can do their jobs to the best of their ability. Management is respectful and friendly, with little or no hostility exhibited or, for that matter, tolerated. Goals and deadlines are steady but reasonable, with a clear managerial vision of where the company is headed and why. The benefits of working at WhereNet are numerous. Salaries are reasonably competitive, at least for primary staffers (engineers, programmers, senior developers, etc.). Managers work hard to accomodate employees family lives and goals, allowing several key people to work from home out-of-state. All employees enjoy flex-time, because WhereNet's productivity philosophy isn't "be here between 8 and 6" but "get it done right and on schedule", so there is plenty of flexibility. All employees get three weeks of paid vacation per year, and are encouraged to take it. Many do, which of course goes against the grain for most companies in the United States. Free snacks and drinks are available in the breakroom, and whenever there is a catered meeting or event the left-overs are made available to all employees. Perhaps most importantly on a day-to-day basis, WhereNet does not have a "meeting culture." There is never a meeting held to determine when to hold another meeting. Meetings are kept to a minimum, and are short and to the point when they are held.
The casual, collegial nature of WhereNet's culture presents one major problem for support staff. Engineers, programmers and other developers are free to blow off meetings and deliverables to support staff because they are deemed to be "too busy", "their plate is full", etc. Support staff are then left holding the bag, with no recourse to more senior managers. This is sometimes a serious problem. The solution currently used by support staff is to simply create their own paper trail of e-mails, voice mails, ignored meeting invitations and so forth, so as to try and prod key staffers to pay attention to their support deliverables. The results are mixed, at best.
Advice to Management
Emphasize employee training. Enforce support deliverables because although support staff work is not critical to the bottom line it nevertheless has to get done in a timely manner.
Schedule flexibility was greatest strength. Some of the people were very supportive and great to work with. At times the environment was dynamic.
Management was non existent. Decisions frequently were reversed after a lot of time and money had been expended. Afraid to take a stand. Big company mentality added to the inertia. Remote management did not really know what was going on.
Advice to Management
Make decisions and implement. Get a better idea of what is actually happening in remote locations. Try to stop making decisions and then pulling the plug.
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