Gaming the core of Razer’s culture
It has been quite a journey for Razer since it was founded in 2005, growing from a start-up to now a 1,400-strong multi-national corporation across 11 countries. We speak to Razer’s Chief of Staff Patricia Liu to find out how its employees are engaged and how it is like working with its Founder and CEO Tan Min Liang. Here’s Part 1 of our feature interview.
If you ever head to the Razer office in Singapore and find yourself in the middle of an industrial building wondering if you’ve got the wrong address, you’re not alone.
But I knew I was at the right place as I entered the office where I was welcomed by a dark interior that reminds me of the gaming shop that I frequent during my school days – and not forgetting the distinctively green Razer logo synonymous with the gaming world.
What was also distinctive was its vibrant workplace and a huge “Razer” word plastered across one of their walls at a gaming area where employees are free to play games. Upon a closer look I realized it’s made up of thumbs up notes of appreciation among Razer employees.
So I asked Patricia Liu, Razer’s Chief of Staff, what is that about and how did it start?
“It’s our Thumbs Up campaign. The inspiration came from giving hand-written thank you notes to one another rather than virtual thumbs-up which are often used somewhat mindlessly,” she said.
“We wanted to encourage staff to take the time and effort to pen down their appreciation and have these eye-catching green post-its prominently displayed around the office.
“People are more appreciative of one another and managers and team leads are more on the look-out for positive behaviours. It is heartening to see that not only did we receive a high volume of entries, the term ‘Thumbs Up’ has become an internal day-to-day lingo synonymous to ‘thank you’!”
Founded in 2005 by Min-Liang Tan, who is the CEO and co-founder of the company that produces hardware, software and services for gamers, Razer has grown from a start-up that comprised of co-founder Robert Krakoff and himself, to now a 1,400 strong multi-national corporation across 11 countries. In fact, they will move into their spanking new seven-storey building later this year at One North in Singapore – a hot bed for tech companies such as Grab.
But the start-up spirit remains very much alive at the company, whose motto is “For Gamers, By Gamers”. And like gamers, its employees are expected to perform and be competitive. But it’s not all work at Razer.
“We are very high performing and expect the highest from each individual. There’s a gaming culture at Razer. We want to do our best to compete and win,” she said.
“There’s a fun and team culture at Razer too. At the same time, we want to make sure our staff work hard and play hard as well.
“We conduct weekly runs and yoga classes for our employees to stay healthy and fit. This year, we will be rolling out initiatives centred around mental wellness for our staff too.
“Our staff are also encouraged to play games at our gaming area. In addition, our staff are given a gaming allowance of US$120 a year to invest in their gaming lifestyle,” added Liu.