Gabe Newell concerned with well-being of employees

Discussion in 'News' started by Sliver, Feb 20, 2011.

  1. Sliver

    Sliver Companion Cube

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Messages:
    1,070
    Likes Received:
    35
    [​IMG]
    [br]
    In a new post over at Gamerzine Gabe has expressed his feelings on employee hours and stress management.
    One tactic used by Newell is to take his employees and their families on an annual trip.[br]
    Quite a contrast to accounts of working conditions in certain game studios! Check out the entire article here.
     
  2. Acepilotf14

    Acepilotf14 Sucked so much dick for this title

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Messages:
    13,013
    Likes Received:
    42
    look at that shit eating grin
     
  3. hool10

    hool10 Tank

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2004
    Messages:
    4,829
    Likes Received:
    2
    The last company I was at had me at $16.50 an hour straight out of college with an Associate in Welding Technology. I welded 1/8" stainless steel tubes to a heat exchanger wall. I mean there was thousands of these and it was a big project that for me lasted 4 months. I was laid off at the end of 7 months but I feel they fired me.

    Most employees at this shit company hired Cambodians (90%+ of the company and all were temps) and for really bad reasons.
    • Some couldn't speak English very well but could grind from 6PM to 6AM.
    • Some would work sometimes from 6AM Tues to 10AM Wed! That's right I would come in 6AM, leave at 5PM and they would work all night still till near lunch the next day.
    • They paid Cambodians cheap as they were willing to work for a poor wage. The wage would however get much better after 40hours.
    • Reliable to come in as they were desperate for money.
    • Followed orders well.
    • Did anything to get the job done no matter how dangerous to get the job done. My foreman told me once to use a plastic level as a hook to lift a 200lb part.
    • Didn't complain.
    • One would come at random times to escape immigration police. He was wanted for assault with a deadly weapon and was wanted to be sent back to Cambodia. I don't even know how the company could legally still employ him or would want to but it says a lot about the company.

    I was hired as a full time temp (more like permanent temp) and made a lot of friends there. However when I asked when I was going to be hired full time and a raise, I was told "when the stock market gets better" aka never back in November 2008. So I stopped working 6AM to 5PM and stopped working 6AM-12:00PM on Saturdays. I worked normal 40 hour weeks. Soon after I was "laid off".

    Personally I would hallucinate while driving and I would play about 2 hours of video games a week and I didn't even have a gf or kids. The paychecks were good, not great but I would constantly ask myself "at what cost" and "was it worth it"?

    The job I'm currently at did 6AM to 4PM for about 2-3 months and then we stopped because the company who needed the parts didn't need so many and we became fast at welding them. We now work normal hours of 7:30AM-4PM Mon-Fri. Today was my first day I worked a Sat in months from 7AM-12:00PM. The place is far better on what they have done for me. They even taught me to program a robotic welding arm with another guy. They pay for holidays as well (like this coming Monday) instead of encouraging employees to come in for double-time.

    I can get where Gabe Newell is coming from but telling high school students to not bust your butt is just bs. TBH I couldn't even find a job mainly because of the economy, my age, and work history. He does have a point though on an importance to family. It's rare to find a job that are not overtime whores (except banks). Still though something is wrong when their games, while of high quality, come out half a decade. They need to make a East Coast Studio so I can visit them. :cool:

    *Oh I'm making $15 an hour now (thank you terrible economy) yet I think I may get a raise as March 1st is my first full year.
     
  4. Insano

    Insano Tank

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2004
    Messages:
    4,234
    Likes Received:
    1
    Where did he say that?

    Also,

    [​IMG]
     
  5. hool10

    hool10 Tank

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2004
    Messages:
    4,829
    Likes Received:
    2
    In other words "kids find a role model company like mine and earns tons of money while not doing much". How am I bitter anyways?
    *Krynn 72 posted a video of the interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOMI0BxB0yA&hd=1
     
  6. Krynn72

    Krynn72 The Freeman

    Joined:
    May 16, 2004
    Messages:
    26,073
    Likes Received:
    710
    Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhwhat


    You can bust your ass without being stressed. Just because Valve makes it so employees can live happily while being satisfied and challenged by their work while other companies cant doesnt mean Valve employees do very little. It also doesn't mean every company will want their employees to be healthy. Like your previous place.

    Plus, Gabe's answer was in response to a question that asked him how he felt about any of the changes Valve made within their company in the last year. Gabe was saying hes concerned that his employees are not spending enough time with their families, and that sort of work ethic will come back to bite them in the ass later. Something he wants to avoid.
     
  7. hool10

    hool10 Tank

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2004
    Messages:
    4,829
    Likes Received:
    2
    Watching that video, clarified a few things. Still they are not the average company and companies shouldn't aspire to be them. Most companies are trying to survive in this economy and Gabe is like "don't work too hard, here is more money so you don't work too hard".
     
  8. Sheepo

    Sheepo The Freeman

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2007
    Messages:
    10,577
    Likes Received:
    65
    I like to imagine that hool has a five year old secretary who writes his posts for him after hool indicates some raw emotion he wants to convey towards the topic.
     
  9. StarBob

    StarBob Tank

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Messages:
    2,677
    Likes Received:
    0
    So in other words, Valve has a very capable crew that doesn't have any pressure to work... so we get games every four years.

    I think there's probably a good balance between being lazy about development and being like those Japanese game studios where people will spend a week straight sleeping and living in the office to complete a game. I think as more developmental powers trickle down to independents and individuals, it will become a necessity to work hard on new games because the market will be saturated. Maybe it will result in cheaper games? Maybe not I'm just making a general statement here without a lot of evidence.
     
  10. Krynn72

    Krynn72 The Freeman

    Joined:
    May 16, 2004
    Messages:
    26,073
    Likes Received:
    710
    You two are *bleeps*. What part of "Working your employees too hard will bite you in the ass" do you not understand? Especially in the game industry where you need talented and creative people working for you, and not just any meat off the street. If you create a stressful working environment, you'll find yourself out of talent, and thus your company goes kaput. Its happened time and time again because people think "if we work our employees 70 hours a week we'll be rich!" and don't realize that good developers will leave your studio because you suck.

    Valve will never go under because of the way they value their staff, and its why they consistently create good games and innovate far more than any other large developer out there.

    And thats of course not addressing the silly notion that Valve employees don't have any pressure to work, or that they don't work hard. You'd have to be, like I said, *bleeps* to actually believe that.
     
  11. JUL3

    JUL3 Space Core

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Messages:
    1,323
    Likes Received:
    21
    I think this is great, thinking logically it can probably be credited (at least partially) to VALVe's high quality games. If they're treated fairly they'll probably put alot more effort & passion into the games.

    However, there was that story of the wives of the Red Dead Redemption developers suing Rockstar for unfair working hours (or something similar). Which I guess disproves this theory, considering the quality of RDR.

    In conclusion, Gabe is a big fuzzy teddy bear.
     
  12. Krynn72

    Krynn72 The Freeman

    Joined:
    May 16, 2004
    Messages:
    26,073
    Likes Received:
    710
    We'll see about that. Its usually not the product they're slaved into making that suffers, its the ones after. Also, as soon as RDR shipped they laid off a huge chunk of their employees. Yup, things looking good for them!
     
  13. JUL3

    JUL3 Space Core

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Messages:
    1,323
    Likes Received:
    21
    How so?
     
  14. Paulaner

    Paulaner Space Core

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    Messages:
    1,945
    Likes Received:
    12
    Oh Gabe, you are such a sentitive man. Marry me :)
     
  15. ríomhaire

    ríomhaire Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Messages:
    20,898
    Likes Received:
    370
    I cannot believe the reaction from some of you people. We here a story of an employee who cares about his employees and your reaction is that he's making them lazy. People work in Valve because they want to make games. They are not there just for money. It is not a grind. That is how they operate. If you don't like a company treating its employees well then what the hell is wrong with you?
     
  16. Paulaner

    Paulaner Space Core

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    Messages:
    1,945
    Likes Received:
    12
    My former boss was always telling things like "we are a big family, I'll let you sleep at night, you'll never have to worry about vacations" and so on.

    One year later he fired 15 people, me included.

    Sorry, I'm not that deluded.

    Also, telling that you are a nice and kind boss will always bring sarcasm. Just do the right things without praising youself.
     
  17. Krynn72

    Krynn72 The Freeman

    Joined:
    May 16, 2004
    Messages:
    26,073
    Likes Received:
    710
    Uhh, are you serious? The exodus of their talented people will kind of put a damper on their next project.

    @Paul: So because your boss lied, Gabe must be lying too? Jesus, I didn't know there was so much out-right stupid left in the hl2.net community. I'm as shocked as Riomhaire. I hope none of you guys ever start your own business, because you guys have a mindset thats going to cause any company to fail after a few years.
     
  18. Paulaner

    Paulaner Space Core

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    Messages:
    1,945
    Likes Received:
    12
    Thank you for the nice words. You are a real gentleman.
     
  19. Krynn72

    Krynn72 The Freeman

    Joined:
    May 16, 2004
    Messages:
    26,073
    Likes Received:
    710
    What else can I call it when someone says its delusion to think Valve cares about the wellbeing of their employees?
     
  20. Eejit

    Eejit The Freeman

    Joined:
    May 19, 2004
    Messages:
    13,519
    Likes Received:
    174
    Deadlines, stress reward etc. favour efficient completion of monotonous tasks, the lack of them favours creativity and innovation. How creative was Grand Theft Equine?
     
  21. Asknoone

    Asknoone Newbie

    Joined:
    May 15, 2004
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    2
    "don't work too hard, here is more money so you don't work too hard".

    You deduced that how?

    YOU WERE ****ING WELDING. WHAT DID YOU EXPECT.
     
  22. hool10

    hool10 Tank

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2004
    Messages:
    4,829
    Likes Received:
    2
    I deduced that because he is telling his employees to take time off to be with their families. The problem with that though is nothing gets done and you delay things over and over. Why do you think welding jobs are shitty Samon? Actually I wonder what type of job you people have and if you like the place.

    Personally if I had been in that classroom, it would be punishment. It would be great that I could skip classes because my teacher loved Valve. Yet it would feel like detention because Gabe is such a boring interviewee with questions on how to make his successful company more successful. Plus he looks like he wants to regurgitate something. Could be burping too. :rolleyes:
     
  23. Tyro76

    Tyro76 Newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gabe Newell is a good man.

    I can see how we joke about Gabe Newell but in truth, he is a brilliant man.:E
     
  24. Krynn72

    Krynn72 The Freeman

    Joined:
    May 16, 2004
    Messages:
    26,073
    Likes Received:
    710
    God DAMN IT. You... **** I'M GOING TO GET AN INFRACTION IF I SAY IT. FUUUCK. I'll let Samon put you in your place, and all I'll say is that I think you are unintelligent.

    I don't know for sure, but I imagine he said that because its kind of a no-shit deal when welders get laid off. Thats a job where there are only a few contracts open in an area, so work dries up quick. Valve creates their own work, so your experience with your welding job doesn't apply to their situation.

    I worked at a game studio run by people who think like you. I got laid off after two years because our programmer quit after working 60-80 hours weeks for more than two months and getting nothing but more demands put on him, our three lead artists quit, and people were all pissed at each other, all because it was a god awful working environment with no appreciation at all. When I got laid off, it was one of the best days of my life (the only reason I didn't quit was because I wouldnt have gotten unemployment money and I didn't have another job lined up at the time).

    As a contrast, when I worked at Sears, I liked it. My managers were cool and understanding, and as a result I worked harder, felt better, and was willing to spend extra time that I didn't need to in order to square things away before I left for the day. Even at a job like that (putting up sale signs, product displays and that sort of shit) I felt happy, because people appreciated what I did and didn't ask me to work ridiculous overtime.

    Only someone who doesn't understand business at all, and desired to remain ignorant about it would find it boring. So yeah, you'd probably not like it.
     
  25. ríomhaire

    ríomhaire Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Messages:
    20,898
    Likes Received:
    370
    When your business is creating entertainment media you need someone with imagination, creativity and very specific skills that most people do not have. If you want to innovate your employees must be free to think and pursue new ideas. If you want to keep imagintative, creative and skilled people you need to keep them stimulated while also not making their lives hell. Happy people who like their jobs work better. This is even more true when you're talking about people who must use their creativity and imagination and it's especially important when the people you employee aren't immediately or easy replaceable due to the skills they have.

    When your business is welding you need someone with the ability to hold a blowtorch. Your welding story is of no relevance at all. A contractor can hire, as you said very cheap and expendable labour, in your case Cambodians. It is not an especially skilled job. It does not require any sort of imagination or creativity. It can be done by anyone and anyone who quits can be easily replaced by more cheap labour.

    Valve cannot hire Cambodians who don't speak English, pay them the minimum wage and then fire them on a whim because the product they produce cannot be manufactured in such a way. If you think the two businesses are equivalent you're a moron.
     
  26. Sheepo

    Sheepo The Freeman

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2007
    Messages:
    10,577
    Likes Received:
    65
    That has little to do with it. People are reacting to those who think that Valve caring about its employees and making sure they don't work too hard is a bad idea and makes them a bad company. Whether the assertion that they do care and do make sure they don't work too hard is correct is not being disputed. However, I do agree with Knnry that your basis for immediately doubting how much Gabe cares is a little flimsy. You certainly have reason to be skeptical, but immediately assuming he's full of it doesn't make sense. Also, you have to realize that Gabe is responding to a question about his business in an interview from the standpoint of "What is, or is not, good for business." He isn't being a slimy, overly nice, two faced boss. He's noting something about business in general, and how it concerns him.

    Edit: Hool, you are dumb. You realize you're saying that Gabe pays extra salary so that his employees will work less hard. You can not derive that from, "I should give some of my overworked employees time off so that they don't become too stressed, and therefore less efficient and productive." Keeping your employees happy simply does not equate to rewarding them for not working.
     
  27. hakojo

    hakojo Spy

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is an excellent, excellent point. I'm in school right now, so I wash dishes at a restaurant to pay my bills. It's not something I want to do forever, obviously - it's a thoroughly crappy job to have - but it's bearable because the people I work with are awesome. No matter what you're doing, be it creating video games or scrubbing pans, it's always easier when you've got a fun, encouraging environment to do it in.
     
  28. ríomhaire

    ríomhaire Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Messages:
    20,898
    Likes Received:
    370
    Indeed. I work Saturday nights in a kebab shop. I have to deal with assholes, drunks and plain idiots every night I work as well as cleaning up after them (occasionally this involves vomit or once shit on the bathroom walls). I would be unbearable if I didn't like the people I worked with and for. I have this weekend off to go to a 21st birthday party. My boss didn't mind giving me it off, but there were two other people (himself included) going to be away the same weekend and said he couldn't give me it off. So then one of my co-workers said she'd cover it for me even though it means she has to work a night and day shift in a row. I don't think I thanked her enough for that to be honest.
     
  29. voodoospriest

    voodoospriest Hunter

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hool... I'm sure you are great at welding, I bet you can weld the mother flippin' heck out of any metal you choose, possibly even adamantium. But when it comes to running a company, your unrivalled knowledge of welding techniques count for nothing. I'd sooner ask Justin Beiber how to run my company than ask you.

    tl;dr Hool, shut up until you know what your talking about, and high fives to Samon, Krynn72, Sheepo, ríomhaire and hakojo.
     
  30. unozero

    unozero Tank

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Messages:
    3,450
    Likes Received:
    4
    this thread is entertaining.
     
  31. JUL3

    JUL3 Space Core

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Messages:
    1,323
    Likes Received:
    21
    I'm not arguing with you, I just don't understand your statement. No need to be rude.
     
  32. Krynn72

    Krynn72 The Freeman

    Joined:
    May 16, 2004
    Messages:
    26,073
    Likes Received:
    710
    First off, I explained my statement with the very next sentence. It doesn't take a huge leap to realize that good employees leaving the studio will likely result is products that are not as good as when they were there still.

    Secondly, when have I ever needed an excuse to be rude? Rudeness is practically my everyday sentiment on these forums.
     
  33. JUL3

    JUL3 Space Core

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Messages:
    1,323
    Likes Received:
    21
    Cool.
     
  34. Asknoone

    Asknoone Newbie

    Joined:
    May 15, 2004
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    2
    The two are unrelated. They bear no relation. The implication that making your employees happy and keeping them enthused by their work, in this instance by creating a harmony between home life and the work place, results in less work and the creation of Valve time is one of the stupidest things to be anally projected onto one of your posts. Are they posts? I don't know. I don't think they should qualify. You shouldn't be allowed to use the internet.

    We know why Valve games are delayed, and that's because they care about the quality of their products. Valve employees enjoy working on their games and take the time they need to craft them. It has nothing to do with "no bills" or "playing WoW all day" or Valve being a "psuedo-socialist-commie-hippie-commune". It has nothing to do with any of these things. So wipe up the fecal matter and flush it away.

    I didn't say it was "shitty". I was being realistic, and pointing out the obvious flaw(s) in comparing your labouring job to 1. Gabe the CEO of a multi-million dollar company and 2. Employees of that company who must have imagination, creativity, intelligence, and so on. I'm sorry, but your anecdote is useless and completely unapplicable to the situation.
     
  35. bobtheskull

    bobtheskull Party Escort Bot

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    Messages:
    417
    Likes Received:
    63
    This thread has thoroughly brightened up my day! :)

    A happy working environment is a productive working environment indeed!
     
  36. StarBob

    StarBob Tank

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Messages:
    2,677
    Likes Received:
    0
    So has anyone noticed that every photo of Gabe from probably the past 2-3 years has been hilarious? He's like a living caricature.
     
  37. MJ12

    MJ12 The Freeman

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
    Messages:
    12,845
    Likes Received:
    16
    He looks like Robin Williams
     
  38. Krynn72

    Krynn72 The Freeman

    Joined:
    May 16, 2004
    Messages:
    26,073
    Likes Received:
    710
    Maybe his smile is kinda similar to Robin Williams, but thats about it. Also, I don't really see much hilarity in the photo. Looks like a normal picture to me.
     
  39. StarBob

    StarBob Tank

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Messages:
    2,677
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi I'm Krynn and I disagree with ALL OPINIONS. kthxbye.
     
  40. Asknoone

    Asknoone Newbie

    Joined:
    May 15, 2004
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    2
    It just looks like Gabe.
     

Share This Page