Casual Adaptation

Google and Facebook have damaged the expectations of the modern small business. Ok, before I get in trouble for saying that, let me elaborate. Many small companies look to these two tech giants for cues on how to maximize their employees’ productivity, as well as the company’s overall potential. They take as many management, employee, workspace, and cultural tactics as they can manage to implement on their small budgets. Most of the time this results in lax deadlines and casual dress codes.

There’s a problem with the adopting of casual policies in small companies. Most small business employees get to know the owner on a personal basis. This casual relationship combined with typically lower-than-industry-standard pay and casual attire leaves these employees (who often have had no prior experience in their fields) with the wrong expectations about the job.

We’ve become much more casual and much more relaxed in social interactions, where there was a formality and maybe a kind of respect at that time that doesn’t exist now.”

– Radha Mitchell

In fact, a number of small companies don’t lay out the expectations clearly at all. In learning from Google and Facebook, we as small business owners have failed to take in to account that the tech giants have clear expectations of their employees. They hire for high-level skills and expert-level results, and they make it clear that those are the results they’re seeking. Unfortunately, this isn’t a part of the practice that we’re copying, and it desperately needs to be.

When you hire, the expectations should be laid out crystal clear. If you are a results-oriented company, let your new hire know that how they get to the result matters less than the quality of the result. If you’re focused more on policy and procedure, make sure the rookie knows what the policies and procedures are, and what happens if they’re strayed from.

One of those casual nuances that needs addressed is the coffee shop interview. Richard A. Moran, CEO of Accretive Solutions, gives us his professional insight on the ways your coffee order can effect your career. These tips, like the coffee I drink, are straight and strong.

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About the author:

Michael McNew
Web developer, marketing innovator, technology enthusiast, and founder of Visceral Concepts, Michael McNew has developed a passion for delivering value to small business, turning his creativity towards image and reputation building for small business owners.