re: Software development is a social profession VIEW POST

re: I don't think salary is the only way to motivate a person. Many people (myself included) value things like culture, people, perks, etc higher than ...

I don't think salary is the only way to motivate a person. Many people (myself included) value things like culture, people, perks, etc higher than salary. I would much rather work at a company with a great culture and a fair salary than a company with horrible culture but fantastic pay.

But the question is HOW. Which perks?

IMHO: Culture is a buzz term that means nothing but an excuse to apply some abusive behavior (such as "competitive goals") or political propaganda (note: I'm Hispanic and a part of a real minority), I get sick of hearing it. So what is about Culture?.

And about perks, dental plan, parking lot, transport, meals are just part of the salary (they are discounted in disguise).

I'm 100% convinced that a developer must work at most 6 hours per day maximum and it sounds like a good perk that it is fair for both parts.

But then what?. What else?

I agree that culture means nothing in the context of "We have great culture! Woho!", but if you dig a little deeper you usually find out what that culture consists of. Is it ping pong tables, beer at the office and amazing parties? Not for me.

For me culture is things like a genuine engagement in your colleagues, being able to be your true self and an atmosphere that encourages having the courage to stand up for what you believe in.

It is what we tried:

  • foosball and ping-pong. It failed. I don't know why but the team never used but the first day. We steal the idea of Google but I really doubt that Google had better luck with it.
  • TV screen. It works but for some occasions. We put on the lobby.
  • Sport. Practically every sport failed (including Yoga and it's funny because they asked for it) but football (soccer, it is a Hispanic thing), some of the technicians even created a championship with cup and stuff. We had a lot of injured (we kicked the problem to the insurance company) but other that, it worked.
  • BBQ, it worked for some events. Alcohol is always a problem, and we couldn't only serve Coca-Cola because we are all adults but we don't want troubles so it is a touchy point.
  • Parties? tsk tsk. It's so much liability.
  • Xmas and other festivities, some collaborators whined against it. We said it was voluntary but sheesh with some people (some people are intolerant). Finally, we gave it up.
  • Secret Santa = never ever again.

And most people are really willing to work (and live) in a safe (traffic jam free) place, even if it means to half his/her salary.

But there is another factor: costs.

Let's say, the company denies you a raise but spend 10x of your salary in an event. It is enough to lower your moral. It is was the reason why I left my first job.

Also, some people think they are in high-school, and it is not. Mistakes have consequences such as to be fired, sued, or arrested.

Yeah, stuff like ping-pong tables, TVs and parties might sound nice but without an underlying core that's based on more people focused values, it won't create a culture worth savoring.

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