I’ve been part of the workforce for more than a decade. I’ve held several jobs (most for a while, since I’m all about being loyal and putting passion into what I do) and one of the things I’ve discovered that’s really important to whether or not I stay is company culture.
And the importance of workplace culture isn’t something they don’t really teach you at school. You’ll get the fundamentals of whatever trade you’re studying for, but all-in-all, no one really tells you how important workplace culture is. People’s careers are made on workplace culture. Workplace culture is what keeps you engaged, it’s what motivates you (partly, anyway, but significantly) to get to work and do the best job you can possibly do.
Unfortunately, though, a company or firm with a good workplace culture is very hard to come by. You’ll find more people disgruntled with a boss, a co-worker, or with the way (usually unspoken and unofficial) things are done, than with their actual job.
>> Recommended reading: Business Innovation Starts with an Innovative Leader
Google’s company culture is now legendary throughout the world. Everyone wants to work at Google. Their employee perks and benefits have long been the subject of many a story on corporate workplace culture, and their employees have been the envy of other workers all around the world. Forbes reported that Google has been named as the tech company with the best corporate culture. Entrepreneur reports that Google is a consistent top-ranker in Fortune’s list of Best Companies to Work, and is also always on Glassdoor’s annual list of Best Places to Work.
And that’s significant. We usually associate corporate culture as a boring, out-of-touch thing, which is why a lot of people, especially millennials, are simply terrified of the whole concept of corporate culture. But Google, and by extension Google’s company culture, has turned things on their head, and continues to be one of the most sought-after companies to work for.
>> Recommended reading: The Importance of Onboarding in Attracting and Retaining Talent
What Google’s company culture is doing right
So what is the basis of Google’s desirability as an employer? What is Google’s company culture doing right that both employees and industry players recognize they legitimacy of how they manage their workplace culture?
1. Recognizes the value of giving people creative freedom
Micromanagers are the worst. They stifle creativity, and basically unduly pressure employees. As a result, output is mediocre at best. There’s no passion, no creativity. And creativity is a major part of what drives a company forward. Especially in tech, that kind of workplace culture can be frustrating. But not at Google. The company gives its people the freedom to work at problems while offering them every resource to help them with their task. It’s made working in tech fun again. As a result, employees are happy, and thus, are immensely more productive.
2. It puts trust in their employees
Google’s company culture is one that trusts its employees. Some may argue that an approach like that is dangerous, but from an honest employee’s point of view, always being suspected or expected to do something untoward is demotivating. Google recognizes that, and puts more trust on its employees. The freedom to be more creative and more flexible also stems from that trust, and we know that creative freedom is generally a good thing. Sure, there are bad apples — but there always are, EVERYWHERE — but Google’s willingness to trust has resulted in a large part to its employees being more productive, more trustworthy, and more satisfied with their jobs.
Another thing, there’s also the famous 80/20 rule, where employees can devote 80% of their work time to assigned and regular tasks, while the remaining 20% can be used for any pet projects that could also benefit the company. Now THAT’S trust.
3. Recognizes and acknowledges the importance of a better work-life balance
Another great thing about Google’s company culture is that employee needs matter to the company. Unlike many others that put a premium on employees who slave away at their workstations without a thought to their life outside the office, Google takes the opposite tack. Googles facilities and amenities are geared towards meeting employee needs and wants. Employees also have a larger leeway to adjust their schedules to fit their needs.
Thus, they come to work better prepared — mentally, physically, emotionally — and thus generate output that has better quality compared to many other employees who trudge to work only thinking about how to get through to dismissal time while doing as little work as possible. Employees with dogs can also bring their special partner to work, and again for those for whom that is important, motivates them to do better. In a nutshell, Google’s company culture encourages employees to have fun — reasonable and within boundaries, of course — with the goal of motivating them to perform at their highest levels.
4. A drive towards excellence coupled with a quiet, modest mindset
“Modest” might not be the first word you think about when Google comes to mind, but think about it. Compared to its peers, Google is relatively quiet. It does not court controversy, nor do its employees. And despite that, it’s developing by leaps and bounds. Instead of being arrogant like many other large companies, Google’s company culture is that of working towards a goal, then surpassing it; but they never brag about it. You won’t see full-fledged headlines about their latest achievement, you’ll very rarely see their executives and officers make big publicized statements.
>> Recommended reading: 360-Degree Feedback: A Great Ally In Your Companies Management
Lessons from Google’s company culture
Google’s success in establishing a great workplace culture has been so significant, and due to its positive effect on the company’s bottom-line, many other companies are catching on, and are trying to emulate Google’s example. The Guardian reports that many companies throughout the United Kingdom are starting to put up more break areas and sprucing them up, so that employees can better unwind during downtimes and breaks.
1. Encourage independence and foster creative collaboration
Most employees work well and at their best when bosses and supervisors are not breathing down their necks. Successful brands and businesses are those that give their staff and employees the freedom to be creative — the bosses don’t have a monopoly on good ideas. According to the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Psychology, “Creativity at work has long been acknowledged as a source of distinct competitive advantage.” Furthermore, the publication states that “more recent developments in the field suggest that creativity could best be captured as both a process and an outcome of employee endeavors to improve their own work roles, team processes, and outcomes, and as a result, the overall organizational effectiveness.”
Once an organization shows that it values in input, talent and skills of each of its employees, that’s the time it will see an unprecedented increase in productivity and continued success down the road.
2. Learn more about your talent pool
On the same vein as the first point, Google’s company culture values individual talent and creativity, which is why the company makes it a point to know its talent pool. A resume usually isn’t enough to convey what an individual is capable of. So Google invests in not only knowing its workforce better, but also in enhancing their current skillset.
3. Foster better channels of communication
Part of a positive workplace culture is establishing good channels of communication. At Google, employees were encouraged to be open with their career goals and paths, and their managers and supervisors were supportive of them. This lessens disgruntlement and needless negative competition among colleagues. Furthermore, this kind of dynamic also generally translates into a smoother workflow and better cooperation among individuals and teams. Better channels of communication and a good workplace culture also result in lesser biases, leading to better relationships among employees.
The benefits of establishing a good workplace culture
1. You get the cream of the crop
Companies with a good workplace culture are sought-after. This means that they have the benefit of having a much larger talent pool from where they can select the best and brightest. That means brighter, more intelligent, more passionate people to work on tasks and contributing to the betterment of the company.
2. Workers respect each other
Establishing a good workplace culture also promotes mutual respect amongst colleagues and co-workers. This means less office drama (and less HR issues to deal with), and given the high level of skills and expertise the workers and staff will have, this meeting of great minds also drives everyone in the workplace to do their best and constantly seek to perform at their highest level and put out their best work possible.
3. More loyal, honest, and passionate employees
Simply put, the better the job, the more motivated people will be to keep it. A positive workplace culture is an excellent motivator to keep employees engaged, loyal, and honest. Passionate employees also will do their best to contribute to the company and will always act in its best interest.
4. Good leaders and teams are developed
Naturally, a positive workplace culture, considering all its benefits, will give rise to a number of exceptional individuals and teams. The high performing environment is the perfect training ground for exceptional leaders. Leaders who know the ins and the outs of how things are done, and can lead the company to greater heights in the future.
5. Your company works with the best partners
In the same vein, having a good workplace culture and top talent lends to attracting better partner companies to work with you. Companies like Runrun.it especially work well with organizations with a good workplace culture, allowing them to maximize their resources and staff through its various workflow and task management applications. And being a company that seeks to create a positive workplace culture, Runrun.it has what you need in order for your company to achieve a results-oriented culture, keep employees and staff motivated and boost productivity. Want to see how it works? Check out the free trial now.