Dean Lester has been away from Microsoft for more than six years since end of 2016, when old Microsoft colleagues contacted him to get him back to Microsoft. He just started an engineering center for Qualcomm in Redmond. The next place to go is being considered.
He worked at Microsoft for 13 years. "Hey, you should think about coming back," the colleagues I knew during the period sent a text message.
At the end of 2009, he was in charge of the project before leaving Microsoft. At that time, he wanted to take a vacation, and he was eager to meet new challenges. He was frustrated with the working model of the Microsoft team: too much attention to the speed of product release, and to make employees feel exhausted.
But the old colleagues told him that Microsoft had changed, and he should look back.
So, after a lot of interviews, in January 2017, he returned to Microsoft as the director of engineering, leading a team of research and development of mixed scene and HoloLens technology.
Since Satya Nadella took over as CEO in 2014, more than 2, 200 old employees have returned to Microsoft.
In the highly competitive science and technology industry, the "turn back" in the workplace is not a rare thing. Before Nadella took office a few years, Microsoft in the United States each year the new employees in 12%, has worked at Microsoft. But in July 2014 (at this time Nadella had been in office for several months) to July 2015, the proportion increased to 16%, or 621.
For employees who have recently returned to Microsoft, the change is slow, but the company is not the same.
The Microsoft inner bucket has become a past
Whether in public speaking, last year's book "embrace change" or the poster hanging on the wall of company lounge, Nadella emphasized the concept of "a Microsoft", that is, a collaborative office atmosphere. This atmosphere is in the absence of many Microsoft departments in the past.
While Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer were leading Microsoft, Microsoft seemed to be locked in a battlefield where there was no smoke-- executives, teams and employees were filled with internal competition. Employees were locked in infighting because of the annual review. The appraisal system was widely criticized by the staff.
Some people think that it is this kind of internal struggle that makes Microsoft's competitive direction deviate. In the early twenty-first Century, apple and Google giants emerged, but Microsoft lost many business opportunities.
Nadella's way of management is more mild. He carried out such ideas in Microsoft, and teams should work together, and the results of their work should be shared. The evaluation of employees should not only look at the performance of the individual's work, but also how the employees' work results are used for others. Employees should not try to prove that they are "the smartest people in the room" as they used to.
After returning to Microsoft last year, Leicester found a change in the company. After a tight meeting, colleagues converse and talk with each other to resolve their differences.
Replace the highly criticized staff assessment program
Christi Olson has a lot to gain from competition, but she thinks that competition should be targeted at Google, and that companies should focus more on increasing Bing market share than on starting competition among internal employees.
After leaving Microsoft, she has been working for nearly five years in Decide.com, Elpidi (Expedia) and other companies. Some of the old colleagues at Microsoft Bing kept in touch with her, and the director of Bing also asked several employees to explain to her the changes that had happened to Microsoft, and finally she was moved. Two years ago, Olsen returned to Microsoft as the marketing director.
In early twenty-first Century, Olsen worked at Microsoft, is always an invisible hand in the promotion of company employees, filled with an oath to win others pressure. This is not the order of the company, but in the faint, the atmosphere has come into being.
In 2014, Microsoft's controversial employee ranking scheme was replaced by a new scheme. Every year, the new plan will evaluate employees several times, but it's not just personal work, but also how to work on the basis of others' work and how to make their work done for others.
Olsen talked about several tests in the past two years. "The current assessment is more like talking. In the past, employee assessment was like a year-end report, starting with the first quarter's performance.
Some employees still criticize the new scheme, saying that the new and old schemes are very similar, but only to change a name.
But for Olsen, the new plan gives her more room to play. For example, she can arrange other staff to receive training in conference presentation. She is going to Australia and London to set up a public speech training class for employees there.
It was hard to persuade her manager to understand that she needed time and budget to hold such training classes. Now, the new plan encourages her to do so.
Azure and other emerging businesses make Microsoft more attractive
Chuck Edward Edward, vice president of global talent recruitment at Microsoft, says the company has been encouraging older employees to return. In recent years, as shares have risen, the culture of Nadella has been rumored to have changed since he came to power. Microsoft now has a big advantage in recruiting talent.
In addition, job seekers have generated more interest in Microsoft's emerging business, such as Azure cloud computing services and HoloLens augmented reality technology.
In 2005, Sharon Sundaresan left Microsoft when he was SQL.The serverR & D director. But inAmazonWhen YAHOO, Roku and other companies work, he has been paying attention to Microsoft. He pointed out that at the end of the first ten years of twenty-first Century, mobile and social networks dominated the technology industry, but Microsoft did not stand in the two fields.
He said, "the Microsoft seems to just stretch the foot to try the water, and try to find out what to do next."
Then he noticed that Microsoft was standing at the turning point. In 2012,SurfaceThe tablet came out. The Azure service, launched in 2010, began to develop rapidly. In 2016, the HoloLens helmet was listed on the market.
San Driessen heard from friends who worked at Microsoft that the company's working atmosphere became more friendly and cooperative. The software products of the company began to support many different devices. Even the competitor's device products can also be installed with Microsoft software.
He was deeply interested in the change in Microsoft. Last March, he returned to Microsoft to work on 3D and augmented reality.
He said, "this field is still in its infancy and is one of them, and it sounds exciting to promote the development of this field."
Nadella's leadership Charm
Leicester points out that in Microsoft, which employs more than 126 thousand people, the corporate culture is still being carried out slowly.
He said, "it's impossible to spread a new culture in a company with a lot of employees. Obviously, the essence of culture is human.
He believes that, though slow, the change in corporate culture will be deeply rooted.
Nadella's role as CEO is an important factor affecting Leicester's return to Microsoft. Nearly 20 years ago, Nadella was the direct leader of Leicester in the Office team.
I heard Nadella into the Microsoft CEO list, he is confident that Nadella will become CEO. In response to Leicester, Nadella acted confidently, able to recall the technical details of each project, and be patient in explaining the resolution.
Leicester tried to emulate his patient style, but sometimes it lost patience. A few weeks ago, at a meeting, he was frustrated by a mistake in a report. Later, a subordinate came to him and said, "we understand the message you want to convey, you are right, but I think some people in this room feel unhappy because of your frustration."
Leicester thought, that's true. Later, he sent an email to the team members at the meeting explained his gaffe, said he should have done better. Then, his subordinates responded to the mail and talked to him. This is an impossible thing in the past.
"Now," he said, "the culture of Microsoft does not only allow these dialogues, but they look forward to these dialogues."