When we built Locomotive, 10 years ago, with Fred and Mathieu, I had no idea I would have to one day manage 15 employees. Being 3 was easy. We knew each other, we were already friends, and when we disagreed we would fix it over a drink. But when your company grows, what do you to make the newbies comfortable? To create a good atmosphere so that people don’t walk out after two months, and give you a bad reputation?
We simply remained true to ourselves (lucky for us we were decent human beings) and we tried to infuse our personalities into our management style. That's how we built the best team in town (from our internal survey).
We’re more than our job
We never defined ourselves only by the work we do and that’s important in our relationship with our employees. If we were able to build such a closely knit team, it’s because individuals who didn’t know each other became friends. We like to highlight the peculiarities of each one, and this section of the site illustrates that.
The work is nonetheless important. So as much as we can, we chose our clients, or stimulating projects, in order to have fun while working hard.
We like our vacations
We try hard to limit overtime. The nature of our industry doesn’t allow us to completely eliminate it, but there are work-arounds. During the summer, we instituted Locomotive Fridays, which allow us to move around, to be inspired, to revitalize for a day. Does your boss give you 5 Fridays off in the summer? Maybe not.
We put ourselves in others’ places
When we put together an internal event, for example, it’s because we really want to spend some time together. So, to make sure everyone can come, or to avoid diplomatic incidents among couples, we sometimes invite employees’ partners also. It’s the little things that count.
We walk the walk
With our employees, or clients, we do what we say. If we say we’re going to Cuba, we are going. It’s good for the team, and honestly, it’s reassuring as a manager; when you propose a long term project, you know the majority of your staff is still going to be there for that project. This isn’t bribery, its win-win management (as in what work should be).
Sometimes we just have to deal with it
We do our best and we have employees who have been with us for over 5 years, something few other agencies our size can claim. Despite this, people will leave, and even if it’s wrenching, you have to keep your cool. The manager gets back on top of it and we avoid the emotional side, that’s life.