Your company is not Google and Google’s office culture doesn’t work for you
In past few years, Google became well known for its office culture. It was named the 2014 “Best Company to Work For” by the Great Place to Work Institute and Fortune Magazine. Over 50,000 employees work at their various offices and campuses around the globe which reflect the company’s official philosophy “to create the happiest, most productive workplace in the world.”
Google goes extreme lengths to make its employees consistently happy. Their campuses are designed so that you could actually live there if you wanted to. At HQ in Mountain View, there are on-site car wash, oil change, bike repair, dry cleaning, gym, massage therapy, and hair stylist. Doctors, chefs, and trainers are present onsite all the time and not to mention the financial support Google provides for maternity leave, adopting children and family support in case of death of an employee.
Google lets it’s software engineers design their own desks or workstations – some have standing desks, a few even have attached treadmills so they can walk while working. Google allows 20% of free time daily during which some of Google’s most innovative and brilliant products were made, such as Gmail and Google suggest. Although the work culture looks chaotic, it shows magnificent results.
However, if it works for Google, it doesn’t mean that it will necessarily work for you. Many companies followed in Google’s footsteps and tried to do the same thing. Some of them went one step further and approved drinking alcohol and party atmosphere. More flexible work culture definitely increases employee’s job satisfaction, but the work itself suffers. HR software company Zenefits is a great example of a terrible casual environment in real life. In May 2015. company was included in the “Unicorn Club” of start-ups valued at $1 billion or more impressively quick, even by Silicon Valley standards. But, their sales team drank a shot every time a new client was signed. Employees were partying on company’s premises. Eventually, building management and security informed that the stairwells are being used inappropriately and that cigarettes, plastic cups filled with beer, and several used condoms were found. As a result, their CEO resigned. Read more about this topic on this link.
So, what type of work culture is most suitable for your business and how can you decide on the best style for your team? Trying to copy Google is ridiculous. Their style is great, but most likely you do not have the necessary resources and profit margins to handle it. Being a great workplace is crucial to sustainable success, but it doesn’t mean that you should force completely unconstrained organization focused on over-the-top perks.
The crucial point is to focus on employees’ performance instead. Learn about their habits, their daily activities, see where is a chance for improvement. Always know who is really giving their best and who is slacking. Feel the pulse of your organization and manage it accordingly. Great workplaces offer employees equitable compensation, training, and opportunities to grow. They also offer employees a chance to give back by doing service work in the community, something Millennials find especially appealing. Most importantly, great workplaces culture doesn’t evaporate at the first sign of financial trouble, therefore, you must be consistent in your leadership style. And let’s be honest and admit that treadmill connected to a desk is something employees can live without.
Finally, Google has a well-known name and highly developed brand which is the main motivation driver for many employees. They are pampered with many perks, they often feel superior and act snobbish so they might be ignorant to problems they would object in other companies. Don’t always trust and follow what you read, but focus on the people working for you.