- Everyone wants to be nice to each other and to see each other be happy.
- Everyone wants Bungie to be successful and to become a better and better place to work.
- We want people to feel comfortable being goofy, authentic, and unguarded on the job. We want people to feel that they can bring themselves to work and express themselves freely, while feeling psychologically safe.
By default, the third number opens up an incredibly wide area of acceptable behavior, while the combination of one and two gives us some temporary security when something inadvertently offends something (for any number of reasons, including but not limited to identity and identity-related scenarios).
However, we don’t rely on this safety barrier for everything – we don’t build a culture where you can say anything you want and everyone has to put up with it. This is distinctly different from the broader legal system of the United States (ensuring freedom of speech in public, etc.) Overall, that’s why we design and develop our culture to support this goal. So, we go back to that wide open space for personal expression and add some fences to reduce the potential for conflict and hopefully increase overall psychological safety. For example:
- In Bungie it Not It’s okay to be unwelcome in ways that are widely recognized as such in American culture.
- For example, you are expected to know that it is not acceptable to use any racist slurs.
- In Bungie it Not It’s okay to be unwelcoming to people in the ways we know are important for themeven in ways that seem more acceptable to the broader American culture.
- If a Bungie employee tells us “I personally find this unwelcome,” we take it seriously.
- This is closely related to platinum base: We treat others as that they would like to be treated rather than treated we would like to be treated.
- This is not just about ID&E and URG Scenarios, it’s also about following patterns that support a highly psychologically safe, collaborative culture – one that deeply welcomes people and their talents, and where it’s safe to be vulnerable and make mistakes. Here are some examples of the restrictions we place on freedom of expression to achieve this goal:
- It is not acceptable to demoralize and people around you agree with sarcasm. There is a lot of subtlety in the line between sarcasm and outright criticism, which is what we really want!
- Frank criticism is encouraged, even in groups, as long as it is direct, respectful, constructive, and does not ascribe evil motives or incompetence to others. If criticizing someone’s work helps improve them, that’s great, but remember that you want them to be happy. Make sure your style of criticism reflects this intention. Of course, it’s possible to take the nice criticism too far here – we don’t want to be a culture in which we’re all talking in deeply-worded euphemisms about how an emperor can be so understated due to the weather. You’ll want to set your bar as you work with people – a typical episode is to try out what you think is a friendly approach to the situation, then ask for feedback afterwards! Sometimes the person will say, “Yeah, you hurt my feelings a little bit, I wish you did something,” and sometimes they will say, “You spent more time disclaiming than you need to, you can be more direct!
- If you think the leader’s decision is wrong, and you spread sarcasm and Food Transfer that among your peers instead of escalating it to that leader in a professional way, it’s not good.
- If you catch someone at fault, and you call them mischievously, that’s fine – we don’t want people to fear that negative emotional experiences are the result of any mistakes, because that results in (a) excessive caution and (b) hiding mistakes rather than learning from them .
- Demagogue scoring in groups is not good (managing a rhetorical attack that sounds convincing but is actually oversimplified or deceptive).
- In almost all cases, spanking is worse than spanking in these areas—there is a greater burden on leaders to constantly create psychological safety because of their relative strength and security. These guidelines still apply to any pair of people in the company – it would be much worse for a CEO to insult a co-engineer personally rather than the other way around, but neither is good.
- There are many examples like this in our values guide.
With these kinds of handrails restricting the space for acceptable personal expression, the initial broad space for expression tolerance is now a little smaller, but we believe this makes our culture stronger, especially for the purpose of combining our strengths to make great games! “
Excerpt from Tone and Inclusion Guidelines for Bungie Engineering and Testing