When Ghost Productions began as an experimental animation studio, we functioned more like a clubhouse than we did a company. This made for a really fun yet sometimes crazy working experience that had few policies. We attracted extremely talented artists and animators who were attracted to the loose and de-corporatized environment we offered. It was this talent that was largely responsible for our success. We had suffered plenty during our startup phase and it was our achievement of success that finally made me realize I had a responsibility to the company, to our clients, and to our employees to ensure that Ghost became a more responsible company.
Ghost suddenly had policies, procedures, and for the very first time, it had rules, lots of them. Many of the employees who loved the freedom that Ghost offered became very unhappy, and some of them grew to despise me for making these changes. Though I made several concessions and attempts to do right by them, some had demands I could not facilitate and it became impossible for them to remain employed at Ghost. Even though several years have passed, some of them are still angry and are quite vocal about their angst to this very day. This was a difficult time for Ghost, and for me personally. I lament the way these relationships ended because many of these people were my friends as well as my employees. That, dear reader, can be a very difficult relationship to nurture and balance.
This led to what we painfully refer to as the Great Exodus of Ghost Productions. Many difficult lessons were learned in this time. We had become the best medical animation studio, but we were far from the best place to work. I knew that we couldn’t remain the best unless we were able to hire the best and keep the best happy and excited about our work, so I set forth on a quest to make Ghost Productions the best place to work in our industry.
I began an exhaustive research campaign about revolutionary companies and the inventive ways they encouraged, motivated, and incentivized their workforce. Props to Brian Thompson for turning me on to Drive, by Daniel H. Pink, a book that will totally mess with your head and everything you thought you knew about what motivates people to achieve excellence. Based on the concept of Motivation 3.0, an upgrade to the human operating system that theorizes that as long as 1.0 needs (survival, food, water, shelter, etc) are met, that the best motivators are those that free individuals to explore pursuits purely for intrinsic rewards. The book explains how bonuses (for the most part) may demotivate workers because bonuses and commissions turn intrinsically rewarding activities into extrinsically motivated tasks. It is time to remove the carrot and stick from the equation and find ways to inspire self-motivation instead of manager-motivated methods.
In classic Ghost-style, I radically gutted our employee manual and replaced it with something that I hoped would become the foundation for a company that would continue to produce excellence for our clients, innovate our industry, and provide a solid, functional, and rewarding place to work. I love this company and I care deeply for everyone who works here and everyone who hires us to work for them. With each new word I added to the employee manual, I felt the full effects of Motivation 3.0 driving me to complete the groundwork for the re-birth of our company.
Below you can read a sampling of just a few of the nifty benefits we’ve made available for those who work at Ghost:
“Take a break from work whenever you feel the urge. Get lunch, take a walk, play Frisbee or whatever you wish. Just inform others in your team when they can expect you back. Keeping you happy and healthy is our goal. A microwave and refrigerator are provided for employees as are areas for sitting together at a table or relaxing on a couch. Ghost Productions, Inc. will provide a variety of beverages for all guests, clients, subcontractors and employees, so help yourself. Just clean up when you have finished.”
We’re still far from perfect and not every idea we’ve tried has made everyone as happy as we’d hoped. Sometimes Focus Days get interrupted by project emergencies and sometimes we simply get too busy to squeeze in the LAN gaming. Sure, occasionally we accidentally hire someone who’s going to abuse the heck out of the system and unreasonably take advantage of the freedoms we make available, but really, that has been extremely rare.
We take great care to include our employees when we need to solve problems and listen to them when they make suggestions and requests. We currently have the most talented, motivated, and dedicated team we’ve ever had so we must be doing something right. I very much look forward to showcasing the projects we’re working on right now because we’ve completely annihilated even my own extremely high expectations. The bar has been raised, substantially!
Ghost Productions is an award-winning medical media production company that can help you with custom medical animation and marketing services. We offer a wide array of digital representation services that can help anyone in the medical field improve their marketing, support patient communication efforts, or even streamline staff training. Our team is highly trained and has a great understanding of biomedical processes, so they can accurately represent your device or product in a 3D medical animation, or other types of illustrations you may be interested in. Contact Ghost Productions now and tell us more about how we can help you train your surgeons, sell more medical devices, or explain your pharmaceutical product.