Gaming software company Valve encourages new hires to devote 100% of their time to their own projects.
Valve is a company that specializes in entertainment software and technology. Known for developing games like Half-Life and Counter-Strike, we came across their New Employee Handbook and were impressed by the concepts and principles driving the company.
The 54-page manual highlights topics including how employees are valued, a historical timeline of Valve’s products, a description of the company’s flat structure, and how employee should prepare for company trips. In addition to traditional onboarding guidelines, the manual throws out the 20% concept and tells employees to work on their own projects 100% of the time. The strong peer-to-peer contact forces colleagues to vet ideas for one another to move forward and garner momentum internally.
The ultimate purpose of the handbook is to get employees to drive their own ideas forward. Not only does it ground new hires in the reality of the company culture but it also explains how and why they need to pick their own projects, boosting their confidence and making the work place a more exciting place to be. Perhaps the best indicator of the company’s philosophy is the text that appears on the first page of the manual, ‘A fearless adventure in knowing what to do when no one’s there telling you what to do.’
PSFK is asking readers to tell us how your employer is encouraging you to bring your ideas to the table. Is it free coffee and doughnuts or a half day to pursue your own interests? Drop us a line and tell us what ways companies are encouraging their employees to champion their own ideas.
Over the next 4-8 weeks we want to start a conversation around what you see as possible in the Future of Work. Be sure to follow the conversation on PSFK and participate in the daily competitions. Tweet us your ideas to @psfk using #FoW.