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How to build and maintain the best team in town?

When we started Locomotive in 2006, we had no idea we would have to one day manage more than twenty employees. Being 3 was easy. We knew each other and we were already friends. When we disagreed, we would fix it over a drink. But when your company grows, how do you make the newbies comfortable? How do you 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 (based on our internal survey).

We’re more than our job

We have 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 workarounds. 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’ shoes

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 as well. 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, it's win-win management (as in what work should be).

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.

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