Valve Software

1894 words 8 pages

Valve software is a successful entertainment and software company with over 300 employees. Valve software wanted to create a working environment that empowered their employees and gave them the freedom to be creative. What they have achieved is a very successful company that operates on a ‘flat’ structure where there are no managers or supervisors to report to and all employees are equals. “The company tries to keep its structure flat to remove or reduce barriers between the employees and the customers” (Valve steams ahead n.d).
Many theorists believe that people are the most important asset in any organisation and the same can be said for Valve Software. Without the right people being employed this structure could easily
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Great leaders know the importance of empowering others, they understand that when people feel empowered they are more committed to follow through and produce high quality results. Empowering employees offers them a sense of trust, responsibility and independence (Schermerhorn et al 2011, p.319) much like the existing culture at valve software.
Trust is a crucial part of good leadership. If you are going to empower your employees you must also allow them the freedom to fail without fear. At Valve employees do not receive regular feedback on their performance so they may not be aware that they are doing anything wrong until it is too late. Luckily Valve has never fired an employee for making a mistake, even a costly one (Handbook for new employees 2012)
According to Buckingham and Vosburgh (2001) “The success or failure of every HR initiative hinges on the answer to one very important question: What is the best way to increase one person’s performance?”
There are several theories that focus on what motivates employees. By the 1940’s Maslow had developed his ‘hierarchy of human needs’. Maslow suggested that people are motivated by 5 factors: physiological, safety, belonging, self-esteem and self-actualisation. People supposedly aim to meet each need in order before moving on to the next (Loudon, Mcphail and Wilkinson 2009). The problem with this theory is that in todays society many people will never get past the physiological and safety needs. In


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