Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Not That That's a Bad Thing

If you ask many of the people I work with what it is they like about our little company, a sizable chunk of them will say, "the people." In general, we have a pretty competent and cool bunch of people here--besides half of the ones I work with directly. It is a pleasure to work with intelligent, reasonable people with a similar sense of humor to your own. As an employee, I can think of nothing better than having co-workers that I consider friends.

From a company standpoint, that is probably trouble. It means that your employees may be more loyal to each other than they are to you. They probably don't give a shit about your long term plans and generally don't want to be part of any pep rally that involves drinking Kool-aid (a very overused metaphor that isn't entirely accurate).

The big problem for a company isn't that you don't have rabid supporters, it's that when one of the "cool" people leave they are more likely to take the people they have enjoyed working with with them. This continues as each exiting member suddenly looks around one day to find that they don't particularly like many of their co-workers (the replacements). And if you believe that your people are your greatest asset (as some companies purport to do) and if you train your new hires through some form of shared tribal knowledge passed down from worker to worker, then it only gets worse from here. Suck it and smile, sweetheart--there's trouble on the horizon.


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