Hi Manager Tools,
The podcasts are such an eye opener as to what quality management should look like. By your example, I have to say that my employment-scape looks dysmal.
I work as a programmer in a small organization of about 20 people. (this is a startup). I've been here three years since college, and at this point it feels my ability to develop or grow professionally or personally has stalled. My dream is to run my own company, and anything I do between now and then MUST prepare me for it. If not, I am wasting my time.
There is a very negative / low-energy 'vibe', and in large part in comes from what I would characterize as bad management: flat raises across the board, no feedback positive or negative, deadlines slip w/o any serious comment. We have had SERIOUS underperformers and deadweight, who ultimately only left under the wieght of their OWN guilt, with no adjusting feedback or performance improvement ultimatums. In short, the good and the bad are treated alike, and no one is given feedback for improvement. This has had the effect of really sapping team morale.
The company will ultimately succeed, we are doing the right stuff in the right place, because our founders are very intelligient and savvy and our technology sound, but I feel I am picking up bad habits from those I work directly for or with, and so no moderate success in the near future is worth that to me.
So my question is: Fix or move on? Fix to me would be something along the lines of taking more initiative and ownership, and guiding the team, either by 'coaching' my manager, or taking more responsibility on myself. We are fairly flat, so perhaps this is possible. Maybe I shouldn't expect poor and good performers to be differentiated since we are so small. Any advice on where to begin would be most appreciated.
Alternatively, I could move on. This might be into another programming job, but I'd like to broaden myself a bit, perhaps technical recruiting or an MBA. Some step to further prepare and advance myself...
Any thoughts? When you are in such a small company, how can you address and fix these issues? Or is a small company composed this way unlikely to change in any substantial way?