Guest post by Adrienne Erin
Google didn’t become a tech giant because its founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, did everything on their own. Instead, they formed a company, hired the right people and motivated them to turn Google into a household word.
The company not only motivates its employees, but it also treats them well. Google was named “Best Company to Work For” in 2015 by the Great Place to Work Institute and Fortune Magazine.
Every business can learn from the achievements of Google’s management strategy, whether that business is in the high-tech space or not. After all, one of the best ways to be successful is to imitate the successes of others.
Here are some ways Google recognizes and motivates its employees.
Starts With the Corporate Culture
Companies, like people, have a personality. It’s often referred to as the corporate culture.
Google’s corporate culture regarding its employees is simple: “To create the happiest, most productive workplace in the world.”
It would seem the company is succeeding in that regard.
When it comes to making its employees happy, Google walks the talk. The company offers a comprehensive portfolio of benefits to its employees that is rarely paralleled in American enterprise.
Beyond the typical health insurance, dental benefits, 401(k) plans, vacation packages, tuition reimbursement and flex spending accounts, Google also offers the following:
- Reimbursement for legal expenses, up to $5,000
- Free lunch and dinner, including healthy options prepared by gourmet chefs
- An onsite doctor at the Googleplex
- A free fitness center that includes a trainer and a facility to wash clothes
- An on-site car wash, dry cleaning, bike repair, oil change, hair stylist and massage therapy studio at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California
- Financial support for people who wish to adopt a child
- Maternity benefits that include as much as 18 weeks at full pay with an additional $500 available for take-out food
The Google Democracy
People who work for Google realize that they have a voice in the company. Their questions and concerns will be addressed. Here’s how Google ensures that the company lends a listening ear to its employees.
- Google offers employee forums every Friday where the 20 most-asked questions get addressed
- Employees are given a wide variety of channels for communication, including Google+ and direct emails
- Google also offers Googlegeist, the company’s biggest survey, which solicits feedback on a variety of issues that will be addressed by volunteer teams
- Employees are routinely surveyed about their managers and the results are used to publicly acknowledge those managers who are ranked the best
People like to know that they’re part of the team. That’s how they feel like they’re contributing to the success of the overall organization.
At Google, upper management routinely shares information with employees so they all know the company’s plans. At the beginning of every quarter, Google’s executive chairman informs the company’s employees about practically everything he shares with the company’s board of directors. The information shared includes the strategic vision for the company, short-term and long-term goals, product roadmaps and launch plans.
There is also a 30-minute Q&A that the company’s founders offer every week, called TGIF. During that session, they take questions about everything from their personal lifestyle choices to the direction of the company. This open-door policy encourages the exchange of feedback, open-mindedness, and innovation in the workplace.
Google gives its employees freedom over how to complete work and, more surprisingly, when that work is completed.
The company’s management philosophy seems to stem from research by Sir Michael Marmot, a professor of epidemiology and public health at University College London. He studied the health of government workers over a period that spanned four decades and found that the least healthy of the lot were the people who also had the least amount of control over their work.
Google grants its employees significant discretion regarding their hours of work and also about when they can put their work aside for a while to go enjoy life. Also, the company allows every employee to dedicate 20 percent of his or her time, once per week, to doing literally anything.
Google has gone out of its way to be one of the best places to work in the world. Perhaps if more companies imitated the tech giant’s human resource management philosophies, they would experience the type of phenomenal growth that Google has seen over the past decade.
Adrienne Erin is a writer and designer. Follow @adrienneerin on Twitter to see more of her work.