Monday, November 28, 2011

Don't Be Zynga

Zynga's getting a lot of attention from the media these days as it prepares for its IPO (good for them). 

I don't know its founder/CEO Marc Pincus, and only know one employee. So my observations are simply as an outside observer relying on the questionable accuracy of tech news media. 

Read that article--it's a bit disconcerting. Measuring everything you can that's meaningful makes a lot of sense. Pushing teams to aspire to great things can create a great achievement-based culture. Analyzing everything can give you great insights. But it seems it's over the top at Zynga. And taking options from employees...that's simply wrong. 

While they likely would never offer, I wouldn't want to work there. It sounds like a pressure cooker, like they've taken metrics and management too far, without considering the human cost of constantly driving people, shifting expectations, and what seems like the worst of it--changing compensation expectations. 

It's not a nurturing workplace, it seems. 

So what does a great work environment look like? How should you treat your employees? At what point does pushing your employees start to crush their spirit and inspire them to look elsewhere for work? How do you want your employees to feel about the company every day?

You can control elements of your culture--not all of it, but you set the framework within which it grows. What kind of company do you want to be? 

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