When you google “best places to work,” you’re sure to find a link to Google itself. The search engine giant—91 million lookups per day—is a perpetual contender for the No. 1 spot on lists that rank great employers.
Google is well known for generous benefits and work/life policies—free meals, on-site dry cleaning and car washes, the freedom to bring Fido to work—but those perks have little to do with the company’s success in attracting and keeping the best employees, according to Laszlo Bock, Google’s vice president of “people operations.”
Instead, it’s all about freedom and transparency. “We have an underlying market ethic that access to data, access to information makes people powerful,” Bock told HR pros Monday at the SHRM Annual Conference. “And we try to do that with our employees as well as our customers. If you give people freedom, they will amaze you. This isn’t touchy-feely.”
Bock directly attributes Google’s success to its hiring and retention practices. “Hiring the best people is absolutely the most important thing a company to do,” Bock said. “If you mess that up, you really can’t do anything else.”
He said seven principles guide the company’s practices:
Hire learners. “When those people fail, they’ll ask what they can do better,” Bock said.
Trust people. Tell them what’s going on so they have the info they need to collaborate with peers.
Work on small projects in small teams. “We’ve found teams of four to seven is about the right size to get things done,” Bock said. Any larger, and team process starts to steal from team progress.
Keep your structures flat. Fewer layers of bureaucracy mean better communication. “You need info to flow upward as well as downward,” Bock contended. Even with 19,000 employees, Google’s org chart prints out in landscape format.
Discuss everything you can in public. The company uses intranets, wikis and other web tools to make information widely available. It promotes innovation and collaboration. “We copy lots and lots of people on e-mail,” Bock said.
Be meritocratic. Bock advised, “Be merit based and performance driven.” The company uses a peer-review system to appraise everyone’s performance on a quarterly basis. Valuable stock options are Google’s most obvious reward, but Bock said the chance for rapid advancement is one of its most valued benefits.
Reward success but don’t penalize failure. “If you’re hitting about 70% of your goals, that’s about right. We expect people to screw up every now and then.”
While Google refuses to disclose its retention numbers, Bock said he knows these seven principles work. “Our turnover numbers are a fraction of the industry standard,” he unabashedly bragged.
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/5208/google-it-7-hiring-and-retention-tips-from-silicon-valleys-best "