We’ve all been there – at least, a lot of us have: A job that gives us the horrifying war stories that no one told us were possible out there in the “real world.”
Although some of these stories can be amusing, I have too many friends who have been harassed, wrongly accused, or treated like they were never going to be good enough.
Before I came to Bluebeam, I personally experienced being an executive assistant to someone my then-coworkers described as Miranda Priestly – and they didn’t even know about the time I stayed at the office until 1:00 am working on a tight deadline while my boss “helped” (read: drank wine and cried).
Some might not have stories that extreme, but one bad co-worker or manager can eclipse all of the good parts of a job. My experience at that job definitely made me feel hopeless and degraded, even though this was during the economic downturn in the mid-aughts and I was supposed to just be grateful for being employed. (I was also served a healthy dose of gaslighting.) Therefore, I am not shocked that a recent survey from the Society for Human Resource Management found 72% of employees rank "respectful treatment of all employees at all levels" to be the most important factor in job satisfaction. That means being respected by management and colleagues is more valued than salary, benefits, free lunches, and even puppies in the office!
To me, it seems like this is great news for businesses. Respecting employees costs them nothing! With these numbers, they are guaranteed to see a happier, more productive workplace, and all they have to do is create a culture of mutual respect. And, bonus! Their satisfied, talented employees will bring in other satisfied, talented employees. That’s how I imagine it goes, anyway.
I’m very lucky. I’ve been working in a respectful, helpful bubble here at Bluebeam for almost five years (and I work with nearly all of the departments, so I really know the ebbs and flows around here). Seriously. Our CEO is not above folding a swag T-shirt or two when needed: no one is ever “above” a task, which I still find very refreshing, especially when we’re all pulling off our highly anticipated user conferences.
Of course, it’s not always sunshine and rainbows. I’ve attended meetings in which, sure, it was difficult to reach a consensus about a project, but no one ever crossed a line and made it personal. In fact, it’s not uncommon for two people to disagree in one meeting and then happily go out for lunch or drinks afterwards. Carissa Zavada, Senior Account Specialist, articulates this point better than I can:
“Disagreements at Bluebeam stem from passion, and everyone here respects that passion. I believe we all have some basic understanding of one another, regardless of department or team. I am honored to work with such a diverse team full of intelligent, driven people that strive for innovation and harmony. That feeling of honor comes from deep-rooted respect for each person here.”
When I first started at Bluebeam, I was surprised by how management really cared about every position here, and fielded concerns and feedback with grace. Writing this article has been a nice reminder that this still continues today. We are all heard. No one has ever been treated as simply another cog in a wheel. As my marketing colleague, Maya Shah, a Communications Specialist, pointed out: “We have an extremely high level of competence implicit in all of our employees. This creates a unique culture where all people are respected and all ideas considered based on the knowledge that we’re all high-value contributors. We were all ‘hired for a reason,’ so to speak.”
Our customers say this to us after every (aforementioned) user conference concludes, so I swear I didn’t pay Danny Pelisek, Account Specialist, to say this: “The best thing about this company is the people who work here and the positive environment we’ve all built together. There’s a level of genuine respect between people and across departments that you won’t find anywhere else in the software industry.”
It’s a nasty reality that a lot of workplaces turn a blind eye to the disrespectful treatment of employees. (Source: The Internet.) I will try not to take it for granted that I work with an entire organization of people who treat each other well, and I hope my colleagues never do, either.