Google is considered the mecca of organizations by many jobseekers worldwide. What makes Google the ideal employer? The key to their success is creating and nurturing a culture of employee engagement and development. Organizations can achieve similar results when they invest in recruiting, engagement, and implementing their mission in daily operations.
Google’s Golden Culture in Practice
From its early beginnings in 1998, Google has maintained a culture of open communications that focuses on celebrating and cultivating creativity in a diverse work environment. Their locations span 40 countries and each of its 70 offices is unique to its country’s culture and work environment. Google provides its employees with excellent benefits including all basic health, leave, and disability coverage, but go above and beyond to include additional perks like tuition reimbursement, an on-site doctor, child care center, financial planning classes, and special corporate events. Their headquarters in Mountainview, CA (nicknamed Googleplex) boasts a remarkable campus that houses over 20 buildings that allow employees to enjoy several free cafes, hair salons, game rooms, dry cleaners, massage rooms, and fitness centers featuring swimming pools.
Aside from the great perks, Google’s approach is one that regards the individual as an asset and a valuable part of the organization. The organization’s culture emphasizes creativity, transparency, and employee appreciation. Google’s philosophy of continuous improvement and creativity is not just a statement, but also a daily practice. According to an article in CorporateCulturePros.com, Google incorporates its motto into the work environment by providing its employees with a variety of opportunities to remain engaged and vested in the organization. Some of these opportunities include:
- Stock on the first day of employment – Google includes stock as part of their compensation package and fully vests its employees after one year of service. Employees are more invested in the organization when its performance affects their portfolio.
- Peer Bonuses – Google incorporates a peer bonus program where employees nominate their fellow coworkers (not in direct teams) to receive bonuses for outstanding performance. This program helps employees maintain a greater sense of the organization and teamwork.
- 20% of time dedicated to special projects – This program allows employees an opportunity to dedicate their time to a special project they vote on. Employees can use their skills to be creative in something they believe in.
- Engineers have the opportunity to bid on work projects – After a year of employment, engineers can submit a bid to contribute to projects they would like to work on. This gives employees a greater sense of autonomy and control in their jobs.
- “Dog food” teams – This team is dedicated to improving all products. This is a good quality control method that reinforces the idea of continued development.
- Teams create Google culture in their offices – Employees create themes that represent their office. This celebrates each employee’s uniqueness and allows for greater teamwork.
Principles of Culture Success
Google success is not tied to expensive perks, but rather the act of executing its mission and values of innovation into the day-to-day work environment. According to Officevibe.com, businesses of all sizes can achieve great results when using the following principles in their organization:
- Focus on recruiting the right candidates – The right employees will allow your organization to grow. Investing in the tools to hire the right candidate is crucial in order to avoid high turnover rates and training costs, Google’s hiring process is extensive and very thorough. They receive over 1 million resumes a year, yet only hire between 1,000 – 4,000 job seekers. This tactic has helped Google hire the right individuals, and in turn, has allowed it to remain very profitable.
- Invest in Human Resources – HR departments not only offer onboarding and employee development, but lots of analysis that helps organizations determine what works for their organizations through surveys, retention analysis, and recruiting data. Google uses its HR department to the fullest by conducting many of these forms of analysis. A strong HR department will help your organization invest in good employees by providing solutions for engagement, training, development, and retention.
- Provide a Clear Mission – Google aligns all of its projects and programs with its mission of innovation. Organizations that implement a clear mission statement in its day-to-day duties will see the greatest results in employee engagement and innovation.
- Engage employees by providing perks – Employees like to feel appreciated and a part of the organization. Organizations like Google that provide perks no matter how small have the most engaged employees. A small token of appreciation, like extra leave time or special corporate events, help the employee feel appreciated.
- Maintain transparency and open communications – Google is successful at creating happy employees because it always tries to maintain transparency and open communications. After 17 years employees still are able to ask questions and make comments to the founders directly. Employees feel that they are true contributors to the organization and can make a difference.
Google is a great example of incorporating mission and culture into the work environment. Organizations can replicate successful results by investing in recruiting, engagement and keeping its mission alive every day of the workweek.