Have you ever worked for a large company? I have. I sat in an office with the three members of my team, and I knew hardly anyone else. I went to work each day with strangers. The management team didn’t know who I was, and there was virtually no opportunity for me to take on more responsibilities or move forward in my career – there were enough employees to fill every gap. There wasn’t anything wrong with the company or my co-workers, the company was simply too big to facilitate personal connections very easily. I think many people who have worked for larger companies know the feeling of being an anonymous worker bee, which generally correlates to lower overall job satisfaction. And while many business owners in this field define success by the number of employees they have, Catalina does not view it this way. We count sustainable growth and a happy team as one of the best measures of the company’s success.
Tammi Fisher, Catalina’s CEO, calls us the consulting firm with big dreams. But in some ways, we dream small. Catalina’s team size is intentional, because we like having the ability to connect with employees on an individual level. Every member of the management team at Catalina knows the name of every other employee. Tammi orchestrates birthday cards, work anniversary emails, and takes the time to acknowledge big life events for everyone on staff. These things could easily be delegated to others, but honestly, the satisfaction of this personal connection goes both ways. Though we are realistic that we can’t keep everyone happy all the time, we know that by putting employees’ best interests first we can show our team that they’re not just an employee number on payroll, they are a valued member of our company. And, without a doubt, this would not be possible at a large company.
While Catalina’s size is part of our CEO’s personal vision for the company, there are many other reasons why an employee (or employer) might want to be with a small business. Small businesses often allow employees not in management roles greater access to the management team, and a better chance to get your ideas heard, or showcase your skillset. Fewer layers between teams or management also allow employees to build professional relationships in the same industry that further their career. On the flip side of this, employers know their employees’ strengths, allowing them to assign tasks in a way that will be best for the project, and most fulfilling to the employees. Small companies also often offer more chances to move up, with employees’ efforts not being lost in the shuffle of a large team.
However, Catalina’s choice to have a smaller team size goes beyond an organizational strategy. It reflects a commitment to fostering meaningful connections and prioritizing the well-being of each employee. We hope that our hands-on approach speaks to employees who want something beyond the typical corporate dynamics. So, if you ever find yourself looking for a change in employment, remember – dream big. But also, dream small.