Despite being a very secretive and mysterious company, Valve's new employee handbook has managed to find its way to the public. Subtitled "A fearless adventure in knowing what to do when no one's there telling you what to do", it acts as a guide for new employees settling into their new job.
A surprising fact published in the handbook is the idea of a flat hierarchy, meaning that there effective is no boss present in the company at all. The handbook explains, "We do have a founder/president, but even he isn't your manager."
"This company is yours to steer"”toward opportunities and away from risks. You have the power to green-light projects. You have the power to ship products."
When it comes to making mistakes in the company, the handbook states that "Nobody has ever been fired at Valve for making a mistake. It wouldn't make sense for us to operate that way. Providing the freedom to fail is an important trait of the company we couldn't expect so much of individuals if we also penalized people for errors."
"Even expensive mistakes, or ones which result in a very public failure, are genuinely looked at as opportunities to learn. We can always repair the mistake or make up for it."
It also is interesting to note that half the employees were born in Australia, as noted in the glossary.
The handbook is available in the source in PDF format for anyone who is interested to learn more about Valve. Truly is a wonderful insight into such a mysterious company.
Source: Valve's Employee Handbook