Qualities of a Not-So-Great Company to Work For
A few months ago, I announced that Publishing Executive would be conducting the first-ever “Best Magazine Publishing Companies to Work For” study. (And now the issue featuring the results is finally here!) I had mentioned in that announcement that I had a boss at a previous job who could quite realistically be compared to “Mommy Dearest.” I received notes from several readers after that issue, sharing horror stories of their own and asking for more details about my previous experiences. I told one reader how “Mommy Dearest” would stand up in the middle of a staff meeting, at the head of the extra-long, shiny, mahogany conference table, pound her fists on the table, veins popping out of her unusually thick neck, and yell, “I will not have this!” The funniest part was that you never could be too sure what it was that she would “not have.”
The staff was treated like peasants, at best, and we scurried around trying to do our best with this publication that we all loved and that continued to grow despite “Mommy Dearest’s” tantrums and personal grudges. Our assistant editors had to get used to being called “what’s-her-name” or “that guy”; they were so far down the peasant rank that they didn’t even warrant actual names.
A boss like that is enough to rank a company among the most horrible to work for, but there are other qualities, if not somewhat less severe, that respondents to our “Best Magazine Publishing Companies to Work For” study find undesirable or wanting of improvement. The feature story (beginning on p. 28) profiles many positive traits that employees noted among the top 20 companies, but I thought it would be helpful for you to see some of these less desirable traits as well. Even employees at a number of the top companies noted a few areas where their companies could improve, including several of the following, which were compiled from comments that appeared most frequently in the study: