How Not To Grow A Company

Monday, February 06, 2006
Here is a quick list about how to not grow your company

  • Pay less than the prevailing market wage.
  • Give less than average raises. (which compounds the above problem two fold)
  • Do not have a bonus structure that rewards your top employees.
  • Do not give stock to key employees thereby eliminating incentive to see the company do well.
  • Give your top employees assignments that are completely uninteresting.
  • Do not communicate to your employees how you plan on allowing them to grow their careers.
It's funny. If your stated goal is to grow the company, and grow it quickly, then you have to be willing to pay the piper. Good talent does not come cheap. Good talent does not come simply to help YOU make money. Good talent needs an incentive. Those incentives are normally either money, good opportunities, or interesting work. By doing the above, you eliminate the possibility of ever finding good people. This problem compounds itself because good people want to work with other good people. Working at a company like the one above has to make you wonder about the people who still work there.

I am one who believes you should not complain about your current work situation because if you think you are underpaid, overworked, etc. it is up to you to prove your employer wrong. We live in a free society where one is free to work or not work for any given employer. I have had opportunities to leave before. In every case there was more money, more stock, better work etc. There was always some incentive to work hard to see the company do well. (I did not leave until now because even though the offers were good, I knew I could do better and I was not looking to leave my company, even if it was bad, for just any other opportunity)

I'm just not sure what delusion top management is under to believe that they can grow a bad company to a great company with talent that is below the competition. I am not advocating that a company goes overboard. I'm not suggesting you should pamper your talent or give them excessive perks. I am simply saying that you have to provide some incentive for top talent. Hoping top talent wants to work for you "just cause" will never work.


Kat said...

wow my organization does all but #4 since we have no stock. interesting...