Embrace slow hiring. 

All new employees start on 90-day temp-to-hire agreements. “If someone says they can program, they can program,” MacDonald says. “Let’s not even talk about it. Let’s look for a cultural fit. Within four or six weeks, we know. Ninety percent of the time, we’re right.” 


Give newbies buddies.

New hires are paired with a “buddy” who is not their manager. “That’s the person they can ask anything,” MacDonald says, “like, is it OK to have a beer at lunch?”


Dream big.

Every year, the Good’s staff creates “The Painted Picture,” an ambitious vision of where the company should be in three years. MacDonald: “There’s no discussion about how to get there—but we look back at that vision every time we make a decision, and give it to every new employee.” 


Talk a lot.

The Good’s review process involves one session to set individual goals, followed by informal check-ins. Every month. 


Help people do great stuff.

The Good collects a personal wish list from every new hire, and helps employees check off their desires as a performance incentive. “Someone wanted to go to cooking school, so we got him some classes and a set of knives,” MacDonald says. “If I give someone a $1,000 bonus, they’ll buy something and the money’s gone. If I give them an experience they value, it speaks to the idea of making life better.”


* Or steal if you are the boss!

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This article appeared in the October 2013 issue of Portland Monthly.
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