Saturday, February 03, 2007

Tunisia Inc. (revised)

With input from Naddou, Swifty, Snawsi, Samsoum, and others he’s a rephrased and augmented list of articles that can potentially make Tunisia Inc. Please note these articles are not cast in stone, they still need to be run by a counsel for validation, and they may be be further adjusted, detailed or obfuscated.

Feel free to comment. I really find this exercise most interesting, because it takes blogging to a totally new dimension, as in collaborative blogging, where talented people contribute effectively to a good cause.

1) English will be the language of the workplace, spoken and written. Tunisian Arabic will be the common language, French supported but not recommended [No change]

2) The company will be run by a Tunisian CEO reporting directly to the board, which is made of Americans, Canadians or Asians [No Change]

3) Employees will be Tunisians only
[Changed to: employees will have to hold a Tunisian nationality]

4) Employees will be hired through referrals only, no posting on any job boards [No change]

5) Employees will work for free the first month, and then get compensated onward [Dropped]

6) Employees will earn shares of the parent company, as they gain seniority, their shares[Changed to: Employees will earn shares of the parent company, after 2 years of seniority and depending on feasibility from a taxation standpoint]

7) Employees will have to sign non-disclosure agreement and agree to pay penalties (deducted from salary in an escrow account) should they be proven guilty of breach of trust in a Tunisian court of law [Changed to: Employees will have to sign non-disclosure agreement and accept full liabilities for damage to the company should they be proven guilty of a breach of trust or damages in a Tunisian court of law or after a board review]

8) Termination for cause or without cause is permitted, as long as it’s not abusive, there will be no job security [Changed to: Employees can be termined for cause or without cause with , 2 weeks notice or a pay in lieu]

9) All employees will be granted a paid 4 days leisure travel once per year to any European city of their choosing, granted that ¾ of them over-achieve [Dropped all together]

10) Training is at the own time and expense of the employee [Changed to: Company may provides training per need basis]

11) 2 major mistakes are allowed per year, termination thereafter, to the sole discretion of the manager with review from the Board [Dropped all together]

12) The Tunisian office can shutdown anytime and relocate somewhere else, at the sole discretion of the board. All employees will be fired with 2 weeks notice [Changed to: There will be no guaranteed continued operation. This will depend on the competitiveness of Tunisian Inc. in a global market]

13) The office will feature an open concept cubicle setting, a boardroom, with a game room equipped with a state of the art sound and video system, and a WII console.[No change]

14) Internet connection will be handled by a satellite link. [No change, subject to technical feasibility]

15) Work hours will be flexible, minimum 6 hours per day, maximum at the discretion of the employee [Change to: Work hours will be flexible, minimum 6 hours per day, maximum at the discretion of the employee, to a weekly maximum of 48 hours per week (including over-time), there will be no compensation for over-time, except in special cases]

16) There will be no maternity benefits, but 1 over 4 employee must be female [Changed to: There will be no maternity benefits, but maternity leave up to 3 months will be allowed]

17) Working from home will be allowed [No change]

18) There will be 3 weeks vacation per year, and 1 week sick leave [Changed to: There will be 10 business days vacation days per year, and 5 sick days (including family sick days) ]

19) There will be whistleblower policy in place. I.e. it is the responsibility of every employee to report unacceptable behavior of another employee or manager. Abuse of this rule will lead to immediate termination [Changed to: There will be a whistleblower policy in place in case of major breach of trust. It is the responsibility of every employee to report unacceptable behavior of another employee or manager]

20) There will be no business travel overseas [Dropped]

21) The office will not be located in the Capital [No change]

22) There will be 3 special days. One family day where employees bring their spouses and kids, one Civic day where employees debate and discuss their community issues and one cleanup job day, where they pick a location and clean it up! [Dropped all together]

23) There will be 360 degree review of immediate managers per year [No change]

24) Security will be handed to a strong private security company [No change]

25) Dress code will be 'dress down', that is shorts in the summer, and jeans in the winter, except when there are visitors, dress code will move up to be formal neck and tie for managers, skirts and heels for the ladies, and business casual for the rest.[No change]

26) Last but not the least; i will not look after this company :) [No change]

Now the new rules:

27) Compensation will range from 2000 US$ for starters to 3000 US$ for experienced per month (Gross numbers). Increases will be compounded by the inflation, as long as the operations of Tunisian Inc remain ‘competitive'

28) Benefits will include comprehensive full medical and dental coverage to a maximum of 1500US$ for the medical coverage and 500US$ for the dental per calendar year. STD and LTD are optional and payable by the employee. Life insurance payable by the employer, in compliance with the TN law. All of this is contingent to tax incentives, social security payment exemptions and and assistance provided by the gov.

29) A guaranteed bonus ranging from 1000US$ to 5000US$ (taxable income) per year will be granted to the top 1 or 2 or 3 performers (depending on corporate finance), available for rank and file employees only (mangers get a different type of bonus).

30) Brown bags or Lunch and Learn (an Accenture concept) will be held bi-weekly, where employees perform research on hot topics on their own time, and share findings with their peers, as a learning exercise. Company will pay for software licenses and hardware if need be, at the discretion of Senior Management.

31) Performance expectations will be set, debated, agreed upon mutually by the employee and his supervisor on a yearly basis, with quarterly reviews. Warnings & Probation will be used for failing employees leading to possible termination.

32) Referral bonus will amount to 1000 US$ and will be given to whoever refers an A-player, if the latter stays 1 year on the job and meets or exceed his expectations.

35) Tunisia Inc will not discriminate against religion, race, color, gender, dress code (as long at it’s decent). United States employment fairness act will apply in Tunisia Inc, in harmony with the Tunisian Labor (and decency) laws; the only exception is stated in article 3.

36) Working hours: Monday to Friday.
Regular time: 9am-5pm, with half-an-hour lunch break.
Ramadhan time: 7am-3pm, un-interrupted.
Summer time: Same as regular time, there will be no special accommodation during the summer whatsoever.
There will be a night shift from 6pm to 12pm for 1-2 employees (mostly managers) during peak period to cover US EST schedule.

37) Stat holidays. Tunisian Holidays per TN schedule.

38) Hiring will require police certficate and credit file check.

That's it

12 Comments:

Blogger MetallicNaddou said...

it's much better this way (even if rule 19 hasn't changed much), but I don't understand why you changed rule 18: 10 days!!!!

your additionnal rules are interesting

11:42 AM  
Blogger Napo said...

Naddou, rebalanced in light of the new perks. :)))) it's a business nadia, it needs to remain competitive and profitable. You're always thinking from a employee side, which is totally fine by me as it provides a perspective that i need...but ultimately it's the 'management/exec' perspective that needs to prevail.

12:05 PM  
Blogger MetallicNaddou said...

I understand but it's exagerated. From an employee point of view: I have 22 days vacation, and I already have flexibility and week ends, and almost the same working hours (except for summer but i can do without it), I could accept 15 days (3 weeks as previouly recommended) if the job and the environment are really interesting, but 10!!! I know there are other compensations but it's not only about money and advantages. people need breaks if you want them to be efficient, and they need time completely dedicated to themselves and their families to be mentally healthy. I'm not asking you to give them privileges, it's also important for the company to have people in good shape don't you think ?

I'm not sure 10 days are enough, but I may be wrong. I'm not completely against it, but I have serious doubts

12:52 PM  
Blogger Napo said...

2 weeks is a standard in the US and the competitive market of south-east Asia and eastern europe. The only place where 4-6 weeks vacation is still holding is old europe (French slackers)

you brought a very important topic however. Good Shape !!!...so you're linking vacation to good shape? let me give you some recipe to be in good shape.
1) Excerice half an hour a day
2) Eat healthy, and cook your own food
3) Stop smoking, drink less coffee
4) Get Married and engage into a healthy 'intimiate' life (speaking in general here ok? not directed at anyone)
5) Participate in the yearly marathon
6) Don't race in life, don't over spend, don't over comsume, drink tea, go to bed early if possible and sleep 7+ hours per day and many more..

Obviously, it's up to the employee to manage his own lifestyle, yet linking vacation to good shape is too far fetched.

1:19 PM  
Blogger samsoum said...

If you want to follow the US Standard. It has to be 10 days the first year and then you get an additional 2 days for every year of seniority. Some companies like Apple, in order to retain employees, they give them a 6 weeks sabbatical after 5 years with the company.

I would have not have mentionned a range for salaries, but just a minimum for juniors and left the max open depending on seniority and skills. Sometimes you have to bend a max policy when you're dealing with an exceptional element who can impact the bottom line.

I would also add mentoring as an objective for employees with 5 years or more experience in the field. And finally promising training to the latest technologies and methodologies could be motivating too.

But overall, I think it is enough to attract good employee prospects in both quantity and quality.

Kudos for this exercice Napo. Now you just need to test it on the field :-)

3:40 PM  
Blogger Napo said...

@samsoum, absolutely. 1 week extra every 2 or 3 yrs of seniority. Sabbatical is not an option though. This is not corporate headquarters :)

As far the max is concerned, it's just an indication, some experienced would go over 3000 and some would be less than 3k. it evens out.

as far as testing this on the field. we'll see in 12-18 months timeframe, that's what i'm shooting for (it's just extremly hard, 'voir impossible' to compete against the gujurati, the punjabi, the bangalori and the shangai'...)

4:11 PM  
Blogger samsoum said...

I hear you man, we're opening our 3rd Bangalore Office, but believe me, the quality is not there though. It's mainly QA, 1rst tier support and data storage/warehousing and the prices are not what they used to be, but still very competitive. Good luck. I'll be intersted to see how it goes, if you can share :-)

5:19 PM  
Blogger MetallicNaddou said...

@Napo: I wasn't talking about "physical" good shape, I was clear about it. I told you it was about spending time in a special way, far from work, only with family or even alone, it's a psycological need.

anyway I don't like the tone here.

Now I think I gave you my opinion on the subject, I wish you good luck

6:45 PM  
Blogger Napo said...

thanks folks.

8:20 PM  
Blogger Slaim said...

I like it ya Napo! If the selection process is tough (while still fair), this company (which I hope won't be forever on paper) can be competitive and stand to those Bangalore guys!

Also, if the founding managers are established success stories, other brains can rethink their stay abroad, repack and head again for home!

A company that can trigger "the return of the natives" is worth every drop of sweat wallah!

12:37 AM  
Blogger Imperator said...

napo napo napo!!
quand tu parles en termes de dollars tu as bien pris en compte le taux de change ou pas :)?
cool la recette de mieux vivre :)
tu vas quand etablier ton entreprise par ici?
IK

6:17 AM  
Blogger Napo said...

@slaim, inshallah, inshallah and inshallah :-)

@IK. oui biensur j'ai pris en consideration le taux de change, je sais plus ou moins comment le dollar va s'echanger contre les TND durant les prochaines 2-3ans.
En passant, les salaires sont en Brut..alors fait le calcul. ici le concept de salaire net n'existe pas, tout ce chiffre en brut, so it will be for Tunisia Inc. Pour l'etablissement, ca sera entre 12-24mois, et ca sera a Yes or No, pas de demi-mesure. il m3allmeia houni ma ydha3ouch barcha wa9t a debattre.

9:14 AM  

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