Business owners and managers should take notes on the Work Rules according to Laszlo Bock, Senior VP of Operations at Google. As a rule, they operate under a “high freedom” mindset rather than a “low freedom” viewpoint. Employees are given free food, a fun workplace atmosphere and have the opportunity to use energy napping pods. Mr. Bock shared that anyone can get rich by treating people badly using the low freedom approach to the workplace. However, when you see people as generally good and not evil, you allow your employees to make good choices. You can give them more freedom in the workplace because you don’t think your employees are inherently evil and more prone to performing badly at work by cheating and stealing.
If you want to be able to sleep well at night knowing that you are treating your employees well, follow the Google model of employee management. Google has been able to keep their employee retention level extremely high. Consider the following reasons why you should treat your employees like Google does.
Employees Will Feel Valued
As a manager, would you be afraid to get evaluated by your employees? Google encourages their employees to evaluate their bosses twice a year. The “upward feedback surveys” list 10 – 15 questions that employees can answer regarding their boss’s management style and effectiveness. All surveys are anonymous so no one needs to fear repercussions for being honest about their feelings. That anonymity allows people to be genuine with their opinions. The results of the surveys are used for developmental purposes only. They aren’t linked to pay raises or promotions for managers. If you treat your own employees in this manner, they will feel valued and know that their opinions matter.
Google values their employees by offering an outstanding maternity and paternity leave program. They offer five months paid maternity leave, including a bonus called “baby bonding bucks”. This bonus helps new parents with expenses such as diapers, formula and takeout. The stock of employees on leave also continues to vest. When the company began, they offered three months paid leave, but found that the percentage of women quitting after returning from leave increased. New dads are permitted six weeks paid paternity leave. A similar program is also available for same-sex parents.
Management views this program as a win-win for everyone. The employee knows that they are valued and get to spend more time with their new baby before coming back to work. Management is saved from having to recruit new employees since the new parent is more likely to return refreshed and ready to work. When you can show your employees that you care about them by allowing them to invest time in their families, they will feel more valued—and then want to stay working with your company.
Employees Will be Motivated
Another reason to treat your employees like Google does is that they will be more motivated in the workplace. For example, Google provides free food and drinks to employees. Mr. Bock joked during his presentation of the Google Work Rules that no employee is ever more than 100 feet away from food. Employees can get a free drink from the coffee bar when they arrive to work in the morning. They could then get a free breakfast to eat at their workstation. Google has over 25 cafes offering a wide variety of food for employees to visit during lunch breaks or if they have to stay late past dinner time. Offering such perks to employees allows them to save time by eating on campus and not having to leave the building. When your employees are motivated in the workplace, they will be more likely to work harder and perform to their optimal ability.
The management at Google has worked hard to create a workplace environment that inspires creativity and innovation. This positive environment motivates employees to be more productive and perform well. Throughout their many global offices, they have created innovative environments such as the room with a ski gondola in the Zurich office. The Istanbul office has a sidewalk café, while the office in Dublin has a meeting room fashioned like a pub. Employees are motivated by the free atmosphere at the Google offices because management allows them to nap in energy pods. Each pod can be pre-set for the specific amount of time that an employee wants to nap. Then they wake up refreshed and ready to get back to work.
When you treat your employees like Google does, you will help to cultivate that same spark of creativity in their mindset which will drastically increase workplace productivity. Motivating your employees is a win-win situation for everyone involved.
Employees Will Have a Purpose
During his presentation on the Google Work Rules, Mr. Bock shared how their employees have a purpose. They know deep inside that their individual work has meaning. That work then becomes a catalyst for the success of the entire company. Management at Google realizes that “everyone wants their work to have purpose.” The employees have a purpose because they are working in an environment fueled by the high freedom management mindset.
They know that management trusts them to be genuinely good people who have a mission in life and work to their best ability. Having the freedom to make their own schedule and freely traverse the company campus without having to deal with a micromanaging boss, fuels their purpose. Employees at Google have a purpose because they have a positive and constructive working relationship with their managers. Annual reviews are important. Yet, daily personal development is considered to be even more vital. That mindset continues to cultivate their purpose.
If someone fails during the process of the high freedom management mindset, they are not automatically kicked out of the company. They are given a second chance to regroup, learn from mistakes and refocus on completing work of excellence. This mindset helps to cultivate the positive purpose of the employees. They are encouraged to collaborate with colleagues and managers so that they continue along the lines of the main purpose and mission of the company—to focus on excellence in everything they do. They are allowed to make mistakes and know that when they do, they are still valuable and have a purpose to pursue. These employees are encouraged to enjoy the daily process of working together in a team environment.
If you begin to treat your employees with the same respect and high freedom management mindset, you will develop individuals with purpose. Those people will become a force to be reckoned with and help your company to continue to advance to the next level of productivity and success.
As a manager, if you want to cultivate a positive workplace environment where creativity is encouraged to grow, you need to make your employees feel valued. They must know that you appreciate their hard work. Your company would not be where it is today if it wasn’t for their productive daily workplace performance. You must find a way to motivate your employees so that they actually want to come to work each day, roaring and ready to work. Motivation is a powerful tool and is vital to any company’s journey toward true success. You have to find a way to give your employees a genuine purpose. They need to know that their work is important and that each person’s individual job works together as a whole for the benefit of the company.
Have you ever considered offering any of the perks that Google offers to their employees, to your own staff? Let us know in the comments section below.