We all know Google, the information/technology mega-juggernaut that has quite effectively changed the world and the way that we all look at our always useful friend “The Internet”. Google has brought us more in touch with so much useful information, in fun and interesting ways…so much so, that Google has become an actual unofficial “verb” in our everyday language. But why is Google so darn successful when other technology companies might fail? It’s not like other companies don’t have access to the same hardware, or that Google has a monopoly on the use of technology. It’s not as if Google has sole access to elite marketing firms. So why is Google so successful? I’ll tell you why……the people, and Google’s approach toward them.
People……not the product. Of course the product is important, but a company that understands that when you hire the best talent and let them do what they know best, they will produce the best quality products and services, and will usually continue to do so without argument. When management creates an air of fun, and community at work that ‘employees’ can look forward to on a daily basis…..they will enjoy coming to work, and not dread it. When your people know that your company is as invested in them as much as you what them to be invested in the company, they will go above and beyond to create the best products possible. Micromanagement just doesn’t seem to work anymore, people are too interconnected, to well-informed, and often just aren’t willing to have someone looking over their shoulder (no one really wants that, do we?).
Making your people feel ‘indispensable’ (even if both you and they know they actually are not) gives them the incentive to be ‘creative’, to do great things, to make sure to create bigger and better products that they are proud of! This will create an inherent ‘investment’ in the success of the company, not just ‘worry’ about the success of the individual.
So……let them do what they are best at, let them play! Successful organizations, especially the new ‘up and comers’, understand that people who enjoy what they are doing and the environment in which they are doing it, will do their job better! Long since past are the days when you could insist that an employee do any job, micromanage the heck out of them, and get a quality product. Technology has advanced too far, and products are too sophisticated to get quality from just anyone.
People often work best in a relaxed environment (especially in Tech Corporations), where they can be creative on their own terms, and not having to watch their backs all the time to see who is looking over their shoulders. Team work is about utilizing each others best skills, combining them with others to achieve optimal results……allowing creativity to flow, occasionally hitting some rough patches or stoppages, but eventually reaching their end goal. Google and other tech companies seem to understand this.
It is important to trust your employees to do their jobs, people like being trusted, it empowers and energizes them and gets them excited about coming to work. The more that people feel ‘they’ did a great job, in their own creative way, the more they will feel invested in the product and the company…..very often their creative potential skyrockets as a result. Of course, there are those rare individuals who will take advantage of this level of freedom and just ‘slack off’, this is where the role of the Manager or Supervisor comes in, and you need to get them back on track.
Why are Google’s people so successful (and therefore the company)?
• Comfort – No, I am not talking about the average Google programmer’s office chair. What I am talking about is that Google has taken the ‘worry’ out of the equation. Google has generated an environment of security. Knowing that everything you will need to do your job as efficiently as possible is an extremely comfortable feeling. Technology companies today have taken on the correct attitude that when you have little to worry about, and feel safe with where you are working that frees you up to focus on the job and not all the other stuff.
• Teamwork – The fact that Google only hires the best and the brightest gives its staff a tremendous collection of resources to work with! And, generally smart people find a way to work well with smart people. Of course I am sure there are creative disagreements, but this is usually the best method of developing superior products. And, the fact that Google is sooooo selective means that they can find people who will fit in to their dynamic environment.
Investment in the corporate team…..it isn’t always about the individual’s ability to achieve, it is about the ability of the corporation to achieve. Google’s people seem to be on a mission to make the best product possible because they believe in the corporation’s goals, an investment in the company means ‘Team First’, and that leads to complete success.
• You Have My Back, I’ll Have Yours – When a company makes its employees feel supported and important, nine times out of ten those employees will bend over backward to make sure that the company is successful! Trust is ‘key’ when it comes to an organization being a tremendous success. Hiring the right people, and then trusting them to do their jobs with a sense of maturity and fun results in a multitude of benefits. Being in a leadership position isn’t always about telling people ‘what to do’ and ‘how to do it’ (this does not inspire trust in you or your employee), it is about guiding your people toward the company’s ultimate goal, and backing them up when they need it but allowing them to figure out new ways of innovating and producing (this inspires trust all the way around).
As Multi-Billionaire Sir Richard Branson once said “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients”. A mantra (one of many) that has followed him throughout his incredibly successful career. Valued employees don’t want to be told ‘what to do’, they want to be allowed to do what they know how to do (that is why you hired them, for their expertise). They want to be guided in the direction that the company needs them to propel the organization, to be successful so they can make the company successful. They want to know they have the resources necessary to perform their jobs to the best of their abilities, in a place where they can enjoy doing it.