Google will lose awesome talent because not everyone will want to stay and work with a large company. The bigger they get the harder it will be for them to stay agile. A lot of employees don’t mind working in that type of environment, but many of them dislike it and they will end up leaving.
Wayne Rosing, an early vice president for engineering, has left to pursue his love of astronomy. Paul Buchheit, the celebrated engineer who dreamed up Gmail, “retired” recently. (He’s 30.) Evan Williams, the highly regarded founder of Blogger, a Google acquisition, has left to launch another startup.
- Great Place to Work
No company can retain every employee. People’s desires change. What made them happy three years ago is different than today. Google understands this and does their best to retain as many employees as possible. They retain about 95% of their employees and that’s way above the standard for a technology company.
Google leaves a small one page document in the bathrooms of their engineering building that is designed to spark curiosity. A person can’t help but pick it up and see what’s on it. Most of it is too complicated for the average person, but it works to spark an engineer’s mind to think in a new direction. Planting a little seed can spur great ideas.
We need to challenge ourselves at our jobs. We get complacent and even irritated when we have to do something new. Instead of looking at it as an opportunity, we complain. We just need to be open to new problems because they create the most potential for professional growth.
“The goal is to strip away everything that gets in our employees way. We provide a standard package of fringe benefits, but on top of that are first-class dining facilities, gyms, laundry rooms, massage rooms, haircuts, carwashes, dry cleaning, commuting buses – just about anything a hardworking employee engineer might want. Let’s face it: programmers want to program, they don’t want to do their laundry. So we make it easy for them to do both.”
- Eric Schmidt, CEO Google
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Google has a name for all their employees – Googlers. When I first heard this I thought it was cheesy, but the more I thought about it the more it made sense. They are a club of elite people who are trying to change the world. That’s the message that people want to send when they create a club. They feel special to be at a place where others want to be. They are proud to call themselves Googlers.
Google will never be the perfect work environment for every type of person. A lot of people don’t like the competition and the stress, but others do and it works for them. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. No place is perfect, but Google does a great job of creating an atmosphere that feels special.
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Google has an internal website called “Google Ideas.” Googlers submit their suggestions on how to improve a product or how to make things better at Google. Their co-workers can read this site and give their feedback by rating the suggestion and leaving comments. Management monitors this website very closely so they can stay abreast of their employees’ feelings.
Your company can create an expressive outlet for your employees. This will empower them to make suggestions that will probably help the company function better, creating engagement and loyalty.
You need to show your employees that their opinions matter.
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Google gives its engineers 20% of their time to work on personal projects that have resulted in Google news, Gmail, and Google Finance. Google didn’t do this out of the goodness of their heart. They know they can’t stop their creative people from creating. So Google lets them come up with their own ideas and run with them like a drunk clutching a hot ember.
Their employees consistently reward them with fresh new concepts that have helped Google grow their market share.
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A place that feels friendly is friendly. As long as people feel comfortable they will work in a more relaxed and creative fashion. Google makes sure that their people can express themselves in ways that range from a pimped out Simpsons cubicle to an office that looks like it’s out of the Ikea catalogue.
This Google Slide is from their office in Zurich. It’s a great example of how to make the office feel fun. Even if no one rides it, the employees are still walking by it every day. This signals to them that they are in a special place.
Small Scale – Google built lounges for people to gather and talk
You don’t need to physically throw a party to create a celebration type atmosphere. People want to gather and share. Your company can do this too by creating an area that’s dedicated to letting off steam and building a community.
Medium Scale – TGIF Parties
I’m all for throwing parties and Google does this every Friday. It gets other Googlers together. They usually have a band, but all you need is a little iPod dock and some cool music. Your employees can hang out and make new friends and your company can do this with a modest budget. I wrote an article called Create 12 Parties a Year Instead of 1 Boring Holiday Party. The idea is simple – throw a party each month so everyone gets to hang out and learn about each other.
The more friends people have at work the more they enjoy working at their company.
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In doing my research on Google I stumbled across a Google produced video on YouTube that interviewed employees and showed the viewer various locations at the Google offices. Everything looked so inviting from the sleek cafeteria to the game room and the beautiful outside patios.
If I wasn’t so invested in this whole “Work Happy Now” thing I would send my resume in right now.
Google created this video to extend their marketing message.
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Google’s motto is “Do no Evil.” They probably decided on this because of all the back stabbing and money grabbing in today’s corporate environment. They wanted to send a statement out to the public that they are there to help them connect with the information they need, but they aren’t going to do it if it causes people harm.
They believe in using as few natural resources as possible to provide their servers with energy and their employees with great work. They have one of the best recycling programs and solar panel infrastructures at their facilities. People want to work for a company that considers the future health of the earth, especially forward thinking employees that work at Google.
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