Google’s lead toward the path of success. Adam

Google’s
HR Management Philosophy

               Google
is ranked the number one company to work for, for the eighth time in 11 years
according to Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to work for 2017.  They have obviously been doing something right
to consecutively get themselves this high on the list. I dove in to find out
the underlying fundamentals of Google’s HR management philosophy. Google’s
management philosophy stems from 3 main points according to Laszlo Bock:  Having a clear mission for what the company
stands for, being transparent with their employees, and allowing their
employees voices to be heard (re: Work with Google, 2014).  Laszlo Bock was the Senior Vice President of
People Operations, also known as HR, at Google until 2016 where he and many
others improved and participated in this philosophy.

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               Google
defines Human Resources as People Operations. The People Operations team lives
off the mantra “find them, grow them, keep them” according to Google (People,
n.d.). They use science based HR and by that they mean they don’t just make
changes without having scientific data that proves that the changes being made
will have a positive impact on current situations.  They are constantly reviewing data to see how
their employees are reacting to changes. We will later touch on this subject
again as it ongoing process within Google. For now, we will move onto what
Google’s People Operations philosophy entails.

               The
mission statement for Google is “Organize the world’s information and make it
universally accessible and useful.” (Our Company, n.d.). In re: Work with Google Bock talks about
how the mission statement will attract the right people and that those people
would want to be a part of something bigger than just selling ads or doing
searches etc. Bock stated that “…we don’t tell anyone the mission. It’s not in
the new hire orientation. But it’s out there in the world…”. So, employees were
never forced to learn the mission statement nor was it taught to them, but they
know it like the back of their hand. When prospective employees go to Google
they know that they will become a part of something that stands for more than
just being a tech company. By knowing that they are a part of something
meaningful this will impact their productivity and lead toward the path of
success. Adam Grant stated that “it keeps them driven and motivated,
particularly on days when you’re frustrated and unhappy, because you feel
connected to something bigger” (re: Work with Google, 2014).

               Transparency
is the second part of the philosophy Google’s People Operations uses. Bock talks
about TGIF where the founders of Google come in and meet with employees and answer
any question that is asked (Re: Work with Google, 2014). Google is like an open
book with their employees by allowing them to ask any questions, by sharing the
board of director’s presentations, and even sharing their financial data. Google
started doing this back when they were starting off as a small company and felt
it was something that worked so well that even now with their large company
they still believe it is right to let their employees know so much about the
company. Bock talks about how this can be seen as a risk to other people
because employees are getting information that they could potentially go leak
to other companies, but he goes back to the fact that people are fundamentally
good and that if employees feel like they are owners of the company they will
not want to go and leak their information to anyone else (re: Work with Google,
2014). Because there is so much openness employees feel as if they are owners
of the company. They are even given the options of stock when they are hired.
The fact that employees are feeling like the are owners of the company will
make them want to improve and better the company as if were their own. In our
Organizational Behavior textbook, we saw a study of 800 managers and employees from
different workplaces that found that the feeling of ownership of an organization
increased organizational citizenship behavior (Nelson, D. L., & Quick, J.
C.,2017). It was interesting to see a subject matter from the book used in the
real world, and at that, used with such a successful company.

               The
third part of the philosophy is allowing Google’s employees’ voices to be heard.
Google wants their employees to have a voice. They want to hear feedback from
their employees and they want to create changes based off those voices. An
example of this is seen when employees review their managers every six months
and Bock states that every six months the managers were getting better and
better because they were able to receive that feedback and make the changes to improve
(re: Work with Google, 2017). Google wants employees to voice their ideas and even
sets up the office just to spark an idea they would want to voice. They
purposely put long rectangular tables in their cafeteria, so you have to sit
next to someone and hopefully spark a conversation that could spark a new innovation.

               Google’s
science-based HR has made some ground-breaking changes. Since this company is
always looking at data it was only natural for them to look into their own
employees as data. There was a discovery that women who had recently given birth
were leaving at twice Google’s average departure rate (Manjoo, 2013). These women
were getting the standard 12 weeks of paid off after giving birth but were
still leaving the workforce after this. 
Google decided to make a change and began to offer mothers five months
of paid time off after having a child (Manjoo, 2013). What was even better was that
they did not have to take that time all at once. If the mother wanted to slowly
make her way back to the workforce she could work part-time and use the other
paid time off to manage her work life and new child. By making this change
Google analyzed the data and saw that women were now leaving at the same rate
as the other employees. Women were now happier according to the feedback they
provided Google. Google was saving money by not having to hire new people and
their employees were happier. Though all of this we see that Google recognized they
had great employees they were losing, they were analyzing data and transparent
about information about changes made, and let their employee’s voices be heard.

               From
my research of Google’s HR management philosophy, I have seen straight forward steps
of how to make a great work place. I personally believe that other companies
should follow in Google’s footsteps, so they can have a happier, efficient, and
successful workplace.