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Google - Organisational culture & HRM

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Lisa Shen

on 9 December 2014

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Transcript of Google - Organisational culture & HRM

Google's Background
Organisational Culture at the Googleplex
Overcoming Challenges
Google's Mission
Google’s mission is to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
Google is well known for their company culture and environment. “We hire people who are smart and determined, and we favour ability over experience”.

Google has developed strategies to create a culture that enhances
the employee experience, and ensures maximum work satisfaction in
order to get the best performance from their workers.

Google refers to its human resource department as ‘People
Operations’. Every decision relating to Google’s people is made based
on data and an analytically based model to find ways to optimise
employee performance and happiness. People Operations team
has implemented a number of strategies to develop a highly
positive, people-oriented culture; which includes
hiring strategies, employee benefits, and
creating a social working environment.
People Operations data found that the following factors work toward creating a team-based environment:
The greatest challenge is to keep that place, that reputation, and continue to improve its People Operations despite already being the leader in the field.
Eight Points to
Guide Managers
1. Be a good coach
2. Empower your team and don’t micromanage
3. Express interest in team members’ success and personal well-being
4. Don’t be a sissy: Be productive and results-oriented
5. Be a good communicator and listen to your team
6. Help your employees with career development
7. Have a clear vision and strategy for the team
8. Have key technical skills so you can help advise the team

Research, modern management methods and regular evaluation of each employee gives Google an understanding of what it takes to keep people happy, motivated and productive and also the resources to follow through on those needs
Google employees are enabled and encouraged to be healthy, sociable, and team oriented while continuing to pursue their own goals and careers
No recommendations can be made save one -
- Google was founded by Larry
Page and Sergey Brin
1998 - Google launched, and the first of the
Google doodle came about
2000 - Came Google's Adwords, which is a program
to create self advertisements online
2004 - Google launched their email program
2005 - Google Maps and Earth hit the markets
2006 - Google acquired Youtube
Recently launched Google+
Google's Core Beliefs
1. Focus on the user and all else will follow
2. It’s best to do one thing really, really well
3. Fast is better than slow
4. Democracy on the web works
5. You don’t need to be at your desk to need an answer
6. You can make money without doing evil
7. There’s always more information out there
8. The need for information crosses all borders
9. You can be serious without a suit
10. Great just isn’t good enough

"These 10 points were written down just shortly after Google was opened and the company periodically go back to them to see if they still ring true".

All Googlers work toward one goal and vision. The company prides itself for hiring a diversity of people from many different cultures in every office worldwide. They strongly believe that it is the people who make the company not the other way around.
Google also has global benefits teams that regularly partners up with employees to identify areas for growth and opportunities that can serve their employees needs worldwide. Google value it’s employees by having Prayer rooms to Mother rooms so that all their employees are comfortable at work as well as at home. The company goes above and beyond to create and environment for all their employees.
One solid example of the continuous evaluation and improvement cycle occurred in 2012 after the company had noted a higher than average turnover rate among new mothers, resulting in excess recruitment and training costs. Their solution was surprising and unorthodox – increase maternity leave from the industry standard three months up to five months, and allow the new parent to take and split this time whenever needed
1. How do Google’s extra amenities and benefits help motivate their employees through the long run?

2. Do you think these open café environment where Google’s employees are able to ask and pitch ideas to their executives good or bad and why?

3. Do you think allowing employees to take naps, use the gym or spa, and play games as they see fit during the work day would be beneficial, or detrimental to productivity? Why or why not?

4. Can you think of any additional strategies People Operations could implement to create a team-based culture? Why would this be effective?

Bulygo, Z. n.d. Inside Google’s Culture of Success and Employee Happiness. KissMetrics. Available: http://blog.kissmetrics.com/googles-culture-of-success/ (accessed 13.11.13)
Chourasia, U. n.d. Organisational Culture: Special Focus on IT Industry. Available: http://www.scribd.com/doc/29535902/Organizational-Culture-Google-Case-Study (accessed 13.11.13)
Crews, J. n.d. Eyes on Google. International Culture. Available: http://meltingiceburgs.wordpress.com/2012/11/30/eyes-on-google/ (accessed 13.11.13)
Hernandez, C. 2008. The Organisational Culture that Exists within Google. Available: http://voices.yahoo.com/the-organizational-culture-exists-within-google-1657615.html?cat=3 (accessed 13.11.13)
Looper, C. 2013. Google Ranked World’s Fifth Most Valuable Brand According to Forbes. Talk Android. Available: http://www.talkandroid.com/183041-google-ranked-5th-most-valuable-brand-according-to-forbes/ (accessed 14.11.13)
Sullivan, J. 2013. How Google is Using People Analytics to Completely Reinvent HR. TLNT: The Business of HR. Available: http://www.tlnt.com/2013/02/26/how-google-is-using-people-analytics-to-completely-reinvent-hr/ (accessed 13.11.13)
Weislowski, K. 2009. Corporate Culture as a Critical Success Factor at Google. Grin. p.1-25.

Google Company – what we believe, http://www.google.com.au/about/company/philosophy/ (accessed 13/11/13)

Google Company – overview
http://www.google.com.au/about/company/ (accessed 13/11/13)

Google Company – Culture
http://www.google.com.au/about/company/facts/culture/ (accessed 13/11/13)

Google – Diversity & Inclusion in our culture
http://www.google.com/diversity/culture.html (accessed 13/11/13)

About.com – Google Profile
http://retailindustry.about.com/od/topusretailcompanies/p/googleprofile.htm (accessed 13/11/13)

Yahoo Finance – Google Inc.
http://au.finance.yahoo.com/q?s=GOOG (accessed 13/11/13)

ERE.net, 2013, Google is Again Best Company To Work For, Available: http://www.ere.net/2013/01/16/google-is-again-the-best-company-to-work-for/ (accessed 11/11/13)
Katz, R.L. 1974. Skills of an Effective Administrator. Harvard Business Review, USA.
Manjoo, Farhad. 2013. The Happiness Machine – How Google became such a great place to work. Available: http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2013/01/google_people_operations_the_secrets_of_the_world_s_most_scientific_human.html (accessed 11/11/13)
Samson, Danny & Daft, Richard L., 2009. Management, Third Asia Pacific Edition, CENGAGE Learning, Australia.
vialogue.com, 2012. Project Oxygen | Google’s 8-point Plan to Help Managers Improve. Available: http://vialogue.wordpress.com/2012/07/22/project-oxygen-googles-8-point-plan-to-help-managers-improve/ (accessed 12/11/13)

Organisational Culture & HRM
By Lisa Shen, Ella Prowse & Thomas O'Connor
Life and Google: Inside Google's Lair

Celebrations are also part of the Google company culture and one of these include the Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) where not only do they celebrate things like Veteran’s Day, Hispanic Heritage Month but through the years they’ve also created their own celebrations and traditions for Googlers all round the world.
The result immediately lowered turnover rates in this group by half, a short term loss in exchange for reducing costs and keeping valued members of the Google team.
keep doing what you're doing
Hiring and Work Strategies
Google receives 2.5 million applications every year and reviews every single one, searching for the smartest, most thoughtful candidates.
Google’s interviewing process includes many members of staff working together to choose individuals to join their team.
The acculturation process continues until long after a new employee is hired. Employees are encouraged to spend 20% of their time working on personal projects.
This has resulted in several of Google’s products, such as Gmail, Google Earth, Flight Simulator, and several important advancements in the main product’s evolution.
These products have become core components of the company and work toward the company’s mission of improving user access to
“Building great products depends on great people” (Google. 2013).
“The purpose of corporate culture
is to develop an internal environment that is
conducive for individuals to perform effectively”
(Chourasia. n.d.)
Employee Benefits
Google offers employees extensive personal benefits that
workers are able to use at their leisure during their work
day, including:
• Three free organic meals a day
• Access to onsite gyms and swimming pools
• Free health and dental care
• Free laundry and dry cleaning
• Free haircuts
• Subsidised massages
• Onsite doctors
• Hybrid car subsidies
• Free legal advice
• Death benefits

Although these benefits are
costly to the organisation, so is employee disengagement and turnover. Google recognises the need to ensure their employees are happy and satisfied at work, and as a result of Google’s elaborate and innovative efforts, the organisation has an extremely low turnover rate. Employees appreciate Google’s efforts to intensify the bond they share, and therefore have the desire and motivation
to achieve and add value
to the company.
• Work spaces inside the Googleplex have a limited number of walls, in order to promote teamwork throughout departments.
• Offices do not have permanent seating arrangements.
• Long, oval shaped lunch tables were introduced, maximising a worker’s exposure to their colleagues and increasing the amount of people they are able to meet.
• Using diner booths rather than conference rooms were found to be more effective for facilitating creativity.
“You can’t schedule innovation, you can’t schedule idea generation, [so] we’re really looking for little opportunities for engineers or for creative people to come together.” - Radcliffe, Google
Building a Team Environment
Creating a Fun Workplace
Google places a huge importance on having fun in
the workplace. Googlers are provided:

Areas for napping
Game rooms
A rock climbing wall
Ping Pong
Tandem bicycles
Dogs at work
Google encourages its employees
to work and play together so that a family bond is
formed, further emphasising the team-based culture.
Encouraging employees to have fun with their job acts as a
motivator, and Google’s approach to developing their culture has
shown significant results.

Implementing such strategies to strengthen Google’s incredible
culture had proven to be effective in achieving the company’s goals
and mission. Today, Google is ranked the world’s 5th most valuable
brand, and is worth $47.3 billion (Looper. 2013), and is continuing to
“grow in value as well and they continue to branch out into other
areas of research and technology” (Looper. 2013). Sullivan (2013)
states that “on average, each employee generates nearly $1
million in revenue and $200,000 in profit each year”.

(Google. 2013)
(Google. 2013)
the world’s information.
Source: http://www.jobscience.com/company/hr-too-far-or-insightful-innovation-how-google-is-shaking-up-human-resources/
Larry Page and Sergey Brin
Source: http://www.jobscience.com/company/hr-too-far-or-insightful-innovation-how-google-is-shaking-up-human-resources/
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