It’s our third year together as an SEO company. I have a team of 15 people. We’re coming in strong this year. We’re almost at our tipping point. The thing is, the company culture is changing bit by bit. I want to preserve it.
I want to save it.
What do I do? There is an ‘upper management‘ in my team. However I am the sole proprietor of this company as of today. There are things that can only be decided and executed by myself. I do not know the consequences if the upper management does not agree to my ideas but I am quite confident that I can communicate my thoughts well to the entire team.
Working from Home
This is one of the best things in SEO Hacker. People get to work from home 2 times a month. We can rest. Relax. Unwind – in our own time at home. We just have to make sure that we are reachable and we respond to tasks handed over to us.
Lately there are some people in my team who fail to do this. They become unreachable. They are unavailable to reach. I’m not all to happy about it. But there is something in me that tells me it’s a good thing to keep.
The Need for a Balance
There’s one thing I think I did wrong – and that is to exclude some of my mid-level managers (who have worked for me longer than any other teammate) in the decisions that have to be made. While it is true that they do not have any experience in starting a business or in working elsewhere, they have the best interests of the company at heart.
I’m asking advise from 2 people who have had work experience. It’s a good thing and they have given me some really good tips to think and ponder through. The thing is, right now, what we’re contemplating might not be the best for the company’s future.
It’s a really tough choice.
I don’t want to lay people off. I love my team – and I want to keep all of them.
Opportunities spring up left and right – and it’s alright for my teammates to grab it. In fact, I encourage it. That bittersweet feeling of knowing they’ll be in a much better position financially while knowing that I will lose a key player is not something I would want to happen often.
By God’s grace, it has not. Everything that has happened in the company is all in God’s perfect timing. People who leave and people who stay or who get hired – they are all brought about by the Lord.
I know it by heart and I have experienced it more than enough times for me to know that it’s just not me – and it sure isn’t luck either.
You can be Serious without a Suit
We don’t wear semiformal or semi casual attire in the office. Some of us are sometimes in their pajamas (for those who sleep over). Some of us are in their casual wear. It’s not an issue. It was raised, though, that wearing casual bogs down productivity. I would like to break that notion and create a culture that is a counterflow of that mindset.
I’ve always been serious in my work grinds, research, mentoring, and business dealings. The only time I wear a semiformal and formal attire is if it is required, if it is a talk I’m giving, if it is a high-profile client meeting, or if I really want to impress somebody with a first impression.
I don’t think that applies to the everyday tasks – genius as it may be – that we do here at the office. It would be nice for everyone to wear semiformal and formal attire but I don’t believe it’s a step to productivity. I think we can be serious without a suit. It connotes transparency in work ethics without all the facade to begin with.
This has yet to go viral but I have a good gut feeling that it’s about to happen. Being obsessed with something that will mean your personal growth and innovation will ripple out itself to how you affect the company. I am an otaku when it comes to SEO. I am obsessed with data, rankings, factors, social signals, on site optimization, site performance – and everything about SEO. Yes I do have an otaku for email marketing and other forms of online marketing as well, but my main otaku is SEO.
In our company, I want this to ripple out to everyone. Right now, the latest to join the otaku bandwagon is John Soriano. I am very proud of this guy. He’s done a lot – and he’s our most improved player thus far. His current otaku is his first website and everything about design. I can honestly say that this guy will go far in being a renown designer someday if he will work on it.
Other people in my team with an otaku (that I’m aware of) includes Kevin, Aubrey, Austin and Angie. The others are either still hiding their otaku or are still cruising along.
We are one big family in the office. Being a family has tons of advantages. Trust, compassion, empathy, fun, connection, communication, love, and the list goes on. It also has its downsides such as: gossip, going too far, tactlessness, lack of respect, lack of responsibility, lack of punctuality, lack of professionalism, and the list (also) goes on.
As it is, I’m more than willing for the trade-off. I’d rather have a living, breathing, fun team that genuinely loves each other than build a huge machine which needs oiling and new cogs.
And I’ll probably update this list from time to time. I can even make this the resource of one of my articles over at SEO Hacker. Who knows? In any case, this is the culture we have and God knows I want to keep it this way.
The tunnel may be long and dark and there may be few positive advices about running a company with a culture like this in our country – but I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel. And by then, I’ll know that it was all worth it.