“if you train your staff, there’s a risk they’ll leave; if you don’t, there’s a risk they’ll stay”

On twitter the other day (but Twitter’s crashing at the moment, so I can’t find the original author).

Coincidentally, came up in a private games-industry forum today too, where someone was actually trying to argue it’s a *good thing* that their employer pays below-standard wages for all engineering staff. WTF?

Anyway, I think it’s a great quote. Just remember that “train” can be replaced with “pay” and “treat humanely”; a lot of weak company directors (and managers) talk themselves into the idea:

“If I keep my staff downtrodden, lean and mean, and low self-esteem … they’ll be forced to carry on working here, no matter how bad it gets. They won’t have the self-belief needed to leave!”

…but are too scared/panicked/stupid/lazy to think of the obvious immediate side-effect: what kind of product is going to be produced by people in that state of mind? Definitely not “quality”, or anything that will increase the success of the business…

3 thoughts on ““if you train your staff, there’s a risk they’ll leave; if you don’t, there’s a risk they’ll stay”

  1. Andrew

    Totally and completely agree. A lot of managers/producers also think that having tight deadlines will improve productivity, when in fact all that occurs is a drop in morale, energy, product quality and an increase in dissatisfaction.

  2. Daniel

    It would seem a lot of people are willing to trade an unpleasant working environment for perceived stability, I don’t think that should be exploited. I personally believe a staff that is well compensated and continually learning new things is going to be happier, more productive and more loyal.

  3. Andrew Crystall

    Hardly rocket science. But then again, Games is still struggling with the over-century old, repeatedly proved “maximum 40 hour work week” (arguably 35 in what we do, but eh).

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