PGC Digital: How to build a good company culture | Pocket Gamer.biz


If a company wants to create the best games possible, good work culture is vital and is one of the most crucial challenges when forming a new studio.

As part of Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5, Sharkmob managing director James Dobrowski gave a talk on building good studio culture.

“Setting a culture vision upfront and hiring for that culture” is crucial as the team will not only embrace your company culture, but they are likely to enhance it.

Moreover, it is worth locking in a product idea with a smaller team, then go on to hire to fit this vision – “get your concept right and pile developers on when the time is right.”

Furthermore, never underestimate the power of team building. It is good for morale and will help to create a healthy work environment.

“I believe a lot of time and investment is needed on building and training for healthy team dynamics,” said Dobrowski.

Team building

There can be five dysfunctions to a team, and those are the inattention to results, avoidance of accountability, lack of commitment, fear of conflict and absence of trust.

“All these distinctions need to be resolved if you are to build a good team dynamic and culture,” explained Dobrowski.

Before anything else can be resolved, it is vital to amend any lack of trust that may be present within the team.

Dobrowski claimed that “companies often fail to pay enough attention to absence of trust and fear of conflict.”

However, it can be tough to resolve these issues due to needing to have “difficult and tough personal conversations.”

When it comes to political behaviour, there are two primary sources, and one of those is uncertainty. Should good communication structures be put in place and have over communication, then uncertainty will disappear.

Work together

Moreover, transparency can go a long way to building trust between the team and management. Thus, there will be less toxic behaviour within the workplace.

Meanwhile, insecurity can also be an issue that will lead to political behaviour. They may become aggressive or demonstrate egotistical behaviour, due to insecurities such as not being sure of their place on the team.

“Whenever you see political or toxic behaviour, you need to address it immediately,” said Dobrowski.

“Getting these things sorted quickly is essential to forming a good culture and team dynamics.”

However, training exercises can be put in place to create a strong team with a great dynamic, eradicating unwanted behaviour that may bring other workers down.

Who are you

“You need to make a call very early on if you can educate that person to remove toxic behaviour,” explained Dobrowski.

However, if you realise that you will not be able to eradicate the problem, it may be time to say goodbye to that employee, in the nicest way possible.

“Take your probation period seriously and catch things early and train where you can,” said Dobrowski

Ultimately, your culture is who you are, who you fire, who you train and who you promote.

PGC Digital #5 will run from February 8th to February 12th. To keep up to date with all of our coverage, check out the roundups here. There’s still time to sign up – to find out more and book a ticket, head to the website.





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