What is Google’s workplace culture and why does it work?

by Tom | May 01, 2021

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Google’s workplace culture is renowned for its success and many businesses look to the company as a model for their own workplaces. But what’s so good about it and should you implement some of their company’s cultural habits in your business? We’ll help you answer this question in this article…

What does Google’s workplace environment look like?

Google’s workplace culture is unique but incorporates many different features of a typical positive workplace culture. It’s this work environment that’s been attributed to Google’s immense success over the years. But what’s so special about it? We explore this below:

Great work perks

Google offers the gold standard when it comes to workplace perks. This includes everything from free haircuts and healthcare, to video games and subsidized massages!

Offering a wide range of benefits helps to increase employee retention and make your staff happier overall. The costs of these benefits usually outweigh the costs of high turnover and recruitment that you would incur in a poor work environment.

Data-driven work culture

Google uses a mix of qualitative and quantitative data to optimize their workplace culture. Clever, right?

They use company data to decide on details like the optimum paid time off, lunch table size, management style and more. This helps them to ensure that they’re providing the best possible work experience for their employees.

Using OKRs to set ambitious goals

Google uses the OKR method to set ambitious organisational goals and track progress. OKRs encourage team members to step out of their comfort zone to achieve these goals.

One of the great benefits of OKRs is that they give employees shared objectives to work towards. This can, in turn, help to improve employee performance by giving them a sense of purpose.

The benefits of a positive workplace culture

There are a whole host of benefits of a positive workplace culture that go beyond improving employee happiness and wellbeing. This includes advantages like:

  • Improving teamwork
  • Increased work productivity and efficiency
  • Better employee retention
  • Improving job satisfaction

All of these factors are needed to help you run a strong and successful business. Therefore, if your workplace culture needs an overhaul, it’s well worth implementing the changes that will improve it.

Alternative work culture examples

Whilst Google is one of the more common examples of a stellar organisational culture, there are countless other businesses out there that you can learn from. We’ve included some alternative examples below.

Twitter

Similarly to Google, Twitter places employee happiness as one of their number one priorities. To do this, the company provides on-site gyms, free food and encourages an open dialogue with company directors to help keep staff members motivated.

Facebook

Facebook’s workplace culture is based around collaboration. Therefore, they’ve set up their offices to make it easier for employees to bump into and collaborate with one another.

Adobe

Adobe has been recognised by Fortune Magazine as one of the ‘best companies to work for’ 16 times and it’s easy to see why.

The company instils trust in their employees to be as creative and as innovative as possible. As such, senior management doesn’t micromanage their employees and gives them the freedom to come up with their own ideas.

5 ways to improve workplace culture

Whilst Google’s workplace culture provides a great example of how a company should be run, it’s all about finding what works for your organisation.

If you’re trying to fix a toxic workplace culture or you want to boost employee wellbeing, there are a few things you can do to improve your organisational culture and reap the rewards.

1. Communication

One of the easiest ways to fix your organisational culture is by speaking to employees. Find out exactly what is and isn’t working so that you can make positive changes that will benefit the entire organisation.

2. Flexible working

Many employees cite flexibility as one factor motivating them the most when making a career decision. As such, offering flexible working patterns, working from home options, holidays and more can help you to encourage a more positive work environment.

3. Engaging employees

To make employees happier, you’ll need to find out what makes them tick. Whether it’s social events, regular meetings, or team-building days, encouraging employee engagement can help you create a healthy, collaborative workplace.

4. Setting organisation goals

Employees who have a sense of purpose tend to be more productive, happier and more motivated. One easy way to provide a sense of purpose is by setting objectives and goals.

This gives something for your team to work towards and will provide a sense of accomplishment when goals are hit.

5. Culture training

It can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to transforming your company culture. Fortunately, that’s where workplace culture training can help.

Here at There Be Giants, we can assist you in creating the optimum environment for OKR success. This can help your employees feel happier and motivated, thus giving you a better chance at achieving your company’s wider goals. Book a consultation with one of our Giants to get started!