Sticking together, revisited

In the past, I’ve written about how we’re all in this together.  As I read the news these days, I think it’s appropriate to revisit the topic.

To my colleagues at Netapp, I congratulate you on making #1 on the Fortune Best Places to Work Survey.  I obviously would love to see EMC getting this kind of publicity for its workplace environment, but I recognize that when one of us does well, we all do well.  So great job and keep up the good work.  When the bar gets raised, we all benefit.

Also, Netapp, sorry to see that the layoffs didn’t miss you guys entirely.  Lots of good folks looking for work right now, from my own co-workers from EMC to our fellows from Netapp, IBM, Microsoft, Seagate, Dell, and so many more.

While most companies are turning to layoffs, some are looking at other alternatives.  The move by HP to cut salaries by 5% across the board has sparked a lot of conversations in hallways all over the industry.   I’m sure it’s sparked a lot of conversations at HP, too.  At the same time, moves by Wells Fargo to try and keep some employee recognition events running even while accepting government bailouts was received, well, poorly. Overall, corporations are scaling back long-term incentives.  The compensation picture is much different now than it has been in years.

If where you happen to work today things aren’t this bad, this is not the time to gloat. It’s time to step back and realize that we’re all doing the same jobs for the same pool of money and we’re all trying to make our work lives as pleasant as possible with the constraints we’re facing.  It’s time to get creative and get cooperative. We’re all part of a community even if our paychecks happen to be drawn from different corporations.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been involved in some interesting conversations with a variety of people, all talking about what is great and not-so-great about our working lives.  It’s really helped me focus on what I’m passionate about as a manager. It’s a given that I want to manage a team that produces quality software that is loved by its users.  But more importantly, I want to do what I can to make sure my team’s working lives are as painless and productive as possible.  This realization has led me to some interesting new people to follow on twitter, new blogs to read, new people to connect to in new ways.  Hopefully some of that will find its way into posts here in the future.

What are you doing differently as a manager, or as an employee, to make things better at your workplace?

1 comment so far ↓

#1 Tim M. on 02.23.09 at 8:47 am

I think myself and other have simpy tried to be more optimistic. At my full time job, we haven’t had layoffs yet… but we all know that we could get hit just as easily as anyone else.