Alright, so here’s my list.
First of all, I expect any decent employer to pass the “Joel Test”
Now, of to my basics:
- Salary. Don’t try to start out with cheapest offer you can come up. No virtual shares as incentive. I’ve never seen those work out for anybody.
- Product. In order to care about it, I need a product that solves a concrete problem and is not sales-driven. Bonus points: It makes the world a better place. This excludes everything that is even remotely connected to ecommerce, marketing or advertisting.
- Commute / home office. Offer me the possibility to do home office one or two days a week if I live more than 20 minutes away. It’s 2014, not 1976.
- “The mission”: If you’re just exit-driven, don’t bother to approach me. I want to work with real entrepeneurs – that means people who care about the product, the company and the employees and not about the quickest exit possible.
- Overhours. They might be necessary sometimes but they certainly should not be the rule.
- Don’t try to enforce a company culture. This just happens or …it doesn’t. The only thing you as an employer can do is set up the environment for it. Having semi-automated, semi-mandatory team events every month is not the right way to do it.
- Company meetings. Only have those when you have something to say. Don’t do them regularly because people will just talk because they have to say something.
- Meetings in general. Don’t do it unless you a) have an agenda, b) have a moderator and c) have a tight time frame.
- Managers. The less, the better. Delegators are useless at best, in most cases they are harmful
- No interruptions. Or at least schedule them properly. You know what happens when you interrupt a programmer, don’t you?
- Give me time to learn and develop myself. It always puzzles me that in an industry where knowledge and learning is everything you’ll rarely find companies that give you time to learn. You’ll hear crap like “We’d like to do it, but we’re not google”. Guess what, genius, that’s exactly the reason why you’re not google. One day a month for open source work and learning new languages and technologies is a win-win for everybody.
- Don’t be cheap. Don’t make me explain why I need this ebook which costs you 20 Dollars. Don’t try to find the cheapest accomodation possible for a conference. It’s disrespectful and it kills my motivation.
- Involve me in the product. If you treat people like ticket slaves this is exactly what you get: ticket slaves.