At first glance, one might wonder if the employees in the Googleplex, the headquarters of Google located in Silicon Valley, California, actually did any serious work, or were they hired to simply loft around the complex. The company doesn’t seem to run the place like any other corporations I am aware of, much more organization order is something which does not reveal itself at Google.
The employees, most often referred to as googlers; seem to have no problem in the way the company is run. In fact, it appears that if we look closely, the chaotic atmosphere, that may be very bothering for other companies, is exactly why people choose to become googlers. What we have in Google, is company whose way of going about things coincides with its goal provide its patrons with fast (as in get them off the website as soon as possible, fast) service. As such, it demands its people to work in the same manner, fast-pace thinking, even pleased at the higher possibility of acting despite risks.
Google states that its mission is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”; this is anchored on the fact that Google itself grew out of one product/service, its search engine. Consequently, this is strengthened by the philosophies the company holds true, and promotes throughout its staff of techie and non-techie employees.
The focus it appears is not the technology, rather CEO Eric Schmidt, co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, centered they’re attention on the people involved, user and googler. These individuals appeared to have mastered the concept of motivation for its people as well as customer satisfaction. The company works, as imbibe with its values, by letting these two elements work together.
“Google puts users first when it comes to our online service; Google Inc. puts employees first when it comes to daily life in our Googleplex headquarters. There is an emphasis on team achievements and pride in individual accomplishments that contribute to the company’s overall success” (ten things Google has found to be true, 2007).
No matter what theory of motivation one would apply to Google, we’d be able to see that it passes with flying colors. In emphasizing that Google’s aim is to provide something for the people, its users, it sends its employees a positive message and notion of what they’re doing. The heads of the company, exhibits how its end is always to keep its users happy and in turn make some profits; rather than prioritizing the latter, and hopefully make the customer satisfied.
When employees are successfully able to grasp this, they can be motivated to do their jobs well. They can also find sincerity in the company’s concern for the wants of internet users, when they can feel this same care being projected to them by their company leaders. They know it’s not just a spiel for good publicity; values are indeed being placed in Google with the numerous perks that work to guarantee that each worker would be in the best working conditions that are appropriate in addressing the ends of the company. A person, who sees affirmation in the goals of the organization he is in, would more likely move to give back and imbibe such standards as the fitting way to work within.
Now, let us see the effectiveness of Google job precept parallel to the job characteristics model, in order to see whether or not the company is able to set par. Hackman and Oldman purports that we should design jobs in such a way that the work itself can be a motivation to strive for better performance. We must for example pattern the development of job specifications based on core characteristics that would uplift three significant psychological states (meaningfulness, responsibility, and knowledge of the results) that are significant in producing a positive working outcome.
Google places emphasis on their goal of providing users with useful and effective services, and they disseminate this to their employees in such a way that the latter sees themselves as part of a something that does something good for the people. This techno-altruistic fabric Google is enveloped in, makes being one of the weavers a worthwhile project for the self, its not just being part of a corporate tycoon, but doing something meaningful while satisfying the urge for a good paying career.
One of the company values Google upholds is the care and trust it gives to the capacity of its people. It attempts to get tasks done with the least amount of managerial supervision as much as possible. It fosters a working atmosphere wherein regardless of what one’s rank in the corporate structure is; his/her ideas would be heard and valued. This also manifested in their belief of democracy in the web; in such a way that they allow users to really say their piece of what they want to see in a web application.
Working in Google, allows inner growth, the latter makes it a point not to tie you up to the specifications of your job. In fact, they even order their engineers to devote 20% of their time pursuing their own ideas. This is hitting two birds with one stone, something which Google has been shown to be a master of. For one thing, it allows the right motivation that would allow the person enough leeway for individual growth. The employee sees himself not only as a worker but a potential leader; he is able to harness the feeling of being an influence. On the other hand, the corporation gains from the possible innovations its employees can cook up, amidst this network of brainstorming (individual and organizational levels), an idea as great as its search engine may arise.
Through these means, Google is able to meet the googler’s expectations; it provides the same consideration in the people involved in the company in the same way it promises to deliver quick and reliable access to information on the internet. As such, the ambience in the Googleplex is also laid-back, convenient for both creative problem solving and challenging the notion of being the best; by asking for better than the best. The ordered chaos also personifies the demand for fast-pace thinking, action, and progress.
The benefits given to Google employees is beyond motivation, its bound to make those working for its competitor drool with envy. As such, Google can expect only the best, when it keeps the people that work to keep it afloat happy at all times, the effect is an effort to not let down the company. This could be to ensure that working conditions would remain the same, but as well as prove that one deserves to belong to such a corporation.
If we turn to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs we’ll be able to see just how Google is able to produce great outcomes from its googlers. Physiologically, no googler has to worry about not being able to eat lunch due to work pressure; they can in fact discuss business in the numerous cafeterias that offers free food. Craving to eat something (which I can assure can be distracting) would not have to worry a man/woman of Google. Services are also offered within the complex to guarantee that a googler need not put all other things on hold in order to work for a major corporation.
Social needs are met, by making sure that everyone gets the chance to mingle and socialize through various activities that makes employees have fun, keeping them in a happy disposition to work. Self actualization and esteem are kept high, with Google heads making sure that everyone gets to do something the way they want it done, and yet pushes them to realize that they need be confined to the typical list of duties assigned to them.
Googlers have a say of how the company will run its course for as long as it coincides with the values and philosophies upheld. This is perhaps, what makes Google the best company to work for… the fact that working for Google always merges fun and personal growth to become more than just the best.
Lashinsky, Adam. “Chaos by Design”. In Fortune Magazine. October 2, 2006. money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2006/10/02/8387489/index.htm. July 27, 2007
Ten Things Google has Found True. In Google Corporate Information: Our Philosophy. (2007). http://www.google.com.ph/intl/en/about/company/philosophy/. July 28, 2007.
Notes on Employee Satisfaction Model. (2007)
Notes on Theories of Motivation. (2007)