Innovation is an Inherent Corporate Trait With Google; The Way They Treat Their Employees is no Different.

Forrester Hinds    October 12, 2015

Organisation name: Google

Industry: Internet Information Provider.

Employees and adaptive management techniques are what drives a business’s success, one concept Google understands.

Google workers, dubbed Googlers, are graced with the ability to work on important projects, meet the company’s leaders, and collaborate with other employees. Take Google Employee Noah Levin; working in interaction design with the company, he was approached after only being an employee for three months. He was asked, very simply, “What can you do to make it better?” You can see how Noah and his team made a user interface upgrade to Google Search here:

“20% time” – Originally referred to any side project employees wanted to work on; now time allotted to projects that fall under 3 rules:

1) Urgency without alignment is wasted energy.

With the plethora of Google projects that came from the initial roll-out of “20% time,” Google CEO Larry Page imposed this rule to focus the work being done onto projects that had in the main direction of the company; focusing the scope of projects rather than broadening it.

2) There is room to explore and power to be generated from those, “intrinsically interested.”

By allowing their employees access to the infrastructure and tools, Google allows those who are interested in working on projects outside of their current workload the ability to be substantially more productive than if they were working without the resources. Google allows those who are interested in current projects, innovating current products, or have an idea that could benefit the company, the opportunity to be productive in these areas.

3) Focused free-thinking builds a, “change engine,” into the culture.

Rather than allowing employees to work on anything they fancy, after the demise of Google Labs, this rule focuses the employees and facilitates innovative change in how the company, or a product, operates.

“20% time,” has been colloquially referred to as, “120% time,” by Google engineers lately as their workload on assigned projects increases; but the premise still lives and they are allowed the ability to lead innovation in the company and produce based on interest as opposed to orders.

On top of encouraging employees to spend 20% of their time on side projects, google employs the philosophy, “Create the happiest, most productive workplace in the world.” Google offers their employees the ability to suggest new amenities, offers professional chef-crafted meals, on-site doctors, hair-cutters, and even allows employees to design their own workplace as they see fit. An interesting look at the hiring process used by Google and how they approach employment uniquely can be found on the Ventured Podcast:

Lessons for other companies: Google’s constantly adapting and changing workplace should be a model for other businesses, be they start-ups or already solidified in the market. Referring to Human Resources as People Management and offering a unique workplace experience has allowed Google their pick of employees and produced one of the most lauded and sought-after workplaces in the world.

Author: Forrester Hinds, Social Media for Business Performance Student, University of Waterloo – To contact the author please direct any questions or comments to:

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