CASE STUDY: GOOGLE - Strategies That Will Change You · PDF fileCase Studies: Google 1 CASE...

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Transcript of CASE STUDY: GOOGLE - Strategies That Will Change You · PDF fileCase Studies: Google 1 CASE...

  • CaseStudies:Google1

    CASESTUDY:GOOGLE

    Googleisaverysuccessfulinformationtechnology/websearchcompanywithmorethan21,000employeesworkingin77officeslocatedin43countries.Itwasfoundedin1998byLarryPageandSergeyBrin.AccordingtotheGooglewebsite,Googlehasgrownbyleapsandboundssincethen.Fromofferingsearchinasinglelanguagethecompanynowofferdozensofproductsandservicesincludingvariousformsofadvertisingandwebapplicationsforallkindsoftasksinscoresoflanguages.In2010,Googlesrevenueexceeded$29billion.ProbablyoneofthemoreinterestingstatisticsassociatedwithGoogleisthatitreceiveswelloveronemillionjobapplicationseachyearandhiresonlyabout.05percentofthem.ThistellsustwoveryimportantthingsaboutGoogle:lotsofpeoplewanttoworkthereandGoogleisveryparticularaboutwhoithires.GooglehasmadetheFortunelistof100BestCompaniestoWorkForeveryyearsince2007.

    LetstakealookathowtheleadershippracticesatGooglematchupwithTheEngagementFormula.THEENGAGEMENTFORMULAATGOOGLE

    StepOne:CreateaFullEngagementCulturethatDefinestheOrganizationandDrivesPerformance

    Afullengagementculturehasthefollowingfourelements:

  • CaseStudies:Google2

    MinimalDistractionsSoEmployeesCanFocusonPerformingTheirJobs

    EmployeesphysiologicalandsafetyneedsareverywellsatisfiedatGoogle.AccordingtotheGooglewebsite,Weprovideindividuallytailoredcompensationpackagesthatcanbecomprisedofcompetitivesalary,bonus,andequitycomponents,alongwiththeopportunitytoearnfurtherfinancialbonusesandrewards.1CNNMoneyrecentlyquotedaGooglespokespersonwhosaid,wedobelievethatcompetitivecompensationplansareimportanttothefutureofthecompany,"2Inaddition,thebenefitpackageatGoogleisintentionallydesignedtoremoveasmanydaytodaydistractionsaspossibleforGoogleemployeessotheycanfocusondoingtheirbestwork.AccordingtoExecutiveChairmanEricSchmidt,Thegoalistostripawayeverythingthatgetsinouremployeesway.Weprovideastandardpackageoffringebenefits,butontopofthatarefirstclassdiningfacilities,gyms,laundryrooms,massagerooms,haircuts,carwashes,drycleaning,commutingbusesjustaboutanythingahardworkingemployeemightwant.Letsfaceit:programmerswanttoprogram,theydontwanttodotheirlaundry.Sowemakeiteasyforthemtodoboth.3

    Googlehasthefollowingbenefitsphilosophy:Westrivetobeinnovativeanduniqueinallservicesweprovidebothtocustomersandemployees,includingourbenefitsandperksofferings.Werealizeandcelebratethatouremployeeshavediverseneeds,andthatthisdiversityrequiresflexibleandindividuallydirectedsupport.Ourpriorityistoofferacustomizableprogramthatcanbetailoredtothespecificneedsofeachindividual,whethertheyenjoyiceclimbinginAlaska,wanttoretirebyage40,orplantoadopt3children.4

  • CaseStudies:Google3

    Accordingtothecompanywebsite,thebenefitsatGoogleinclude:5

    Healthandwellness:Thisincludesmedicalinsurance,dentalinsurance,visioninsurance,lifeandAD&Dinsurance,shortandlongtermdisabilityinsuranceandbusinesstravelandaccidentinsurance.

    Retirementandsavings:ThisincludestheGoogle401(K)plan.AccordingtotheGooglewebsite,Employeesmaycontributeupto60%andreceiveaGooglematchofuptothegreaterof(a)100%ofyourcontributionupto$3,000or(b)50%ofyourcontributionupto$8,250peryearwithnovestingschedule!WeofferavarietyofinvestmentoptionstochoosefromthroughVanguard,our401(k)PlanAdministrator.Tohelpyouwiththosetoughinvestmentdecisions,employeescanaccessFinancialEnginestoreceivepersonalizedinvestmentadviceandacollegesavingsplan.

    Timeaway:Vacation(thisincludes15daysvacationthefirstyearatGoogleand25daysthe6thyear),holidays(12paidholidayswithsickdaystakenasnecessary),maternitybenefits(Upto12weeksoffatapproximately100%pay,eligibleforanadditional6weeksifemployedatGoogleformorethan1year)andtakeoutbenefit(Tohelpmakethingseasier,newmomsanddadsareabletoexpenseupto$500fortakeoutmealsduringthefirst3monthsthattheyarehomewiththeirnewbaby).

  • CaseStudies:Google4

    Benefitsbeyondthebasics:Thisincludesthingsliketuitionreimbursement,bonusesforreferringsomeonewhoacceptsajobatGoogle,backupchildcare,giftmatchingandadoptionassistance.

    Benefitswaybeyondthebasics:Thesebenefitsincludefood(freelunchanddinnercookedbygourmetchefsassnacksbetweenmeals),financialplanningclassesandonsiteservicesattheMountainViewheadquarterssuchasoilchangeandcarwashservices,drycleaning,massagetherapy,gym,hairstylistandfitnessclasses.AlthoughIcouldfindnoharddata,Ifeelthatitssafeto

    assumethatthejobsatGoogleareverysecureforseveralreasons.First,Googleslifebloodistechnologyinnovationthisiswhatthecompanymustdotobesuccessful.Forthisreason,Googleinvestsalotoftimeandenergyinthehiringprocessbecauseitwantstomakesurethatithiresonlythesmartestandmostambitiouspeoplewhoarenicetoworkwithpeoplewhoaremotivatedbytakingonbigchallengesandproblems.Thesepeoplearepassionateandwanttothrowthemselvescompletelyintotheirjobs.Consequently,theyrenotgoingtohireonwithacompanywheretheydontthinktheyhaveabrightfuture.Inaddition,Googlereceiveswelloveronemillionjobapplicationsperyear.ThiswouldnthappenifunlesstheapplicantsfeltthatthejobsatGooglewereverysecure.Inaddition,GooglewouldnthavemadetheFortunelistof100BestCompaniesToWorkForeveryyearsince2007ifthejobstherewerentsecure.

    Googlealsoprovidesitsemployeeswithaverypleasantworkenvironmentthatisconducivetosharingideas

  • CaseStudies:Google5

    andopinions.TheGooglewebsitedescribestheofficesatGooglethisway:Ourcorporateheadquarters,fondlynicknamedtheGoogleplex,islocatedinMountainView,California.Todayitsoneofourmanyofficesaroundtheglobe.Whileourofficesarenotidentical,theytendtosharesomeessentialelements.HereareafewthingsyoumightseeinaGoogleworkspace:

    Localexpressionsofeachlocation,fromamuralinBuenosAirestoskigondolasinZurich,showcasingeachofficesregionandpersonality.

    Bicyclesorscootersforefficienttravelbetweenmeetings;dogs;lavalamps;massagechairs;largeinflatableballs.

    Googlerssharingcubes,yurtsandhuddleroomsandveryfewsolooffices.

    Laptopseverywherestandardissueformobilecoding,emailonthegoandnotetaking.

    Foosball,pooltables,volleyballcourts,assortedvideogames,pianos,pingpongtables,andgymsthatofferyogaanddanceclasses.

    Grassrootsemployeegroupsforallinterests,likemeditation,film,winetastingandsalsadancing.

    Healthylunchesanddinnersforallstaffatavarietyofcafs.

    BreakroomspackedwithavarietyofsnacksanddrinkstokeepGooglersgoing.6

  • CaseStudies:Google6

    Thewebsitegoesontosay,ThoughGooglehasgrownalotsinceitopenedin1998,westillmaintainasmallcompanyfeel.Atlunchtime,almosteveryoneeatsintheofficecaf,sittingatwhatevertablehasanopeningandenjoyingconversationswithGooglersfromdifferentteams.Ourcommitmenttoinnovationdependsoneveryonebeingcomfortablesharingideasandopinions.7

    Astheabovediscussionpointsout,employeesatGoogleencounterfew,ifany,distractionsthatwouldkeepthemfromgivingtheirfullenergyandattentiontoperformingtheirjobs.

    SingleStatusEveryoneisTreatedasanEqual

    GoogleExecutiveChairman,EricSchmidt,oncesaidinaninterviewwithStevenPearlstein,financialwriterfortheWashingtonPost,Noparticularpersonhasastrongsay.AtGoogle,everyoneisthesame.8Inotherwords,everyoneworkingatGooglehasthesamestatus.AsoneGoogleemployeeputit,Youhaveanequalseatatthetable,anditsbasedonthepowerofyouridea,nothowlongyouvebeenhere,tenure,titleoranything.Inmyfirstweekhere,IwasshockedthatfortheproductIwasworkingon,theproductmanagerwasstraightoutofcollege.Shewasmakingdecisionsaboutdelayingtheproduct.IneveryothercompanyIhaveworkedin,ithadtogouptothreelevelsofVPsbeforeyoucouldsaythatyouwerepushingouttheschedule.9

    ItshouldbenotedthatatGoogle,equalstatusamongemployeesisanecessitynotanicety.ThereasonisthatinordertomaintainitsinnovativeedgeGooglehastohirethesmartestandmostambitiouspeopleitcanfind.Thesearethecreativetypes;theinnovatorsthepeoplewhogetoffon

  • CaseStudies:Google7

    figuringouthowtodotheimpossible.Furthermore,thesearealsothekindofpeoplepreferdoingthingstheirway,whichmeanstheystronglyresentbeingorderedaround.AccordingacommentarybyNicholasCarlsononthePearlstein/Schmidtinterview,Googlersareaspecialpeopletobebossedbynoone,onlyacollectivewillforgood.10AccordingtoacommentmadebyStevenPearlsteininhisinterviewwithEricSchmidt,thereisaconsensusamongGoogleemployeesthatthemanagersatGoogleworkforthemandnotviceversa.Managersthenareperceivedasleaderswhosejobitistoprovideencouragementandsupportfortherestoftheemployees.11ThisiswhyGoogleisanetworkbased,flatorganizationthatisverynonhierarchical.Itprovidesemployeeswiththefreedomtoworkontheirowntermsanddotheirjobsastheyseefit.

    Googlealsopridesitselfasaconsensusculturewhereeveryonecommittedtofindingthebestidea.Thecompanyfirmlybelievesthatthebestideacanonlybefoundifpeoplearewillingtoopenlysharetheirideasandopinionswhichoftenconflictwitheachother.Forthisreason,Googleencourageslivelydissentanddebatewhereemployeesopenlyquestionandchallengeseachothersideas.Thecompanyhaslearnedthatthisoftenveryspiritedprocessiswhatproducesthebestidea.ThiskindofdiscussioncanonlytakeplaceinanenvironmentwhereeveryoneistreatedasanequalandnoonehasthepowertovetowhichiswhyGoogleiscommittedtoitscultureofopenness,flatnessandtransparency.AsstatedontheGooglewebsite,BecausewebelievethateachGooglerisanequallyimportantpartofoursuccess,noonehesitatestoposequestionsdirectlytoLarryorSergey(theGooglefounders)inourweeklyallhands(TGIF)meetings.12

  • CaseStudies:Google8

    Asyoucanseefromtheabovediscussion,thecultureatGoogleisverydefinitelysinglestatus.

    MissionThisisWhatWeDo

    AccordingtotheGooglewebsite,themissionofthecompanyistoGooglesmissionistoorganizetheworldsinformationandmakeituniversallyaccessibleanduseful.13Alsofromthewebsite,Theperfectsearchengine,sayscofounderLarryPage,wouldunderstandexactlywhatyoumeanandgivebackexactlywhatyouwant.WhenGooglebegan,youwouldhavebeenpleasantlysurprisedtoenterasearchqueryandimmediatelyfindtherightanswer.Googlebecamesuccessfulpreciselybecausewewerebetterandfasteratfindingtherightanswerthanothersearchenginesatthetime.

    Buttechnologyhascomealongwaysincethen,andthefaceoft