This is solution of HND Business course's Google organizations behaviour Assignment describes what makes Google best employee favored company
Structure and Culture in Google
When we talk about the structure of the Google, some people say that there is no structure at all and people do what they want to do in Google. But, this is not the case. Although, there is no strict hierarchy of seniority, but Google works on a module based structure (Sharpe, 1992, pp. 17). These module might not be very big one and one module might be handling only a single project with 5 employees. All of these modules report to the managers assigned to them who are also technical people and not the typical MBA kind of managers. Even the CEO of the company works as Chief Operating Officer and not as Chief Executive Officer. In a nut shell, Google pays more attention in getting the work done creatively and efficiently instead of traditional managerial approach. The centre of power in Google does not revolve around a single person and they have Board of Directors who takes decisions on all the matters after discussing them in the Board Meetings. Once the decisions are taken, all the executives are made aware of that and also the employees at lower level who will be finally executing the work. Even if an employee at lower level, for example a tester or developer finds something not right with the decision, he could let the top level know about it directly.
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The culture of Google as we mentioned above follow the “Googley” way of working where employees are free to work on their own terms and conditions (Meyer, Loch & Pich, 2002, pp. 63). They do not have to adopt to the hierarchy of the company or the time schedule of the company. The only thing company asks for them is quality and creative work. How they are doing this is not the problem of the company. Employees at Google feel their college environment and people could be seen using the skate boards inside the office premises. Even the dogs are also welcome in the company. There is a common cafeteria where people get the food free and discuss their work related issues while having a snacks.
As mentioned above, the organizational structure and culture of Google lets the employees think that they are special and it is their work which makes them special. So they always feel kind of motivated towards their work. Also company has a very rewarding policy for innovation and creativity which allows the employees taking some risk for that. All these kinds of flexibilities make the employees love their work and the company (Edelenbos, Buuren & Klijn, 2013, pp. 143).
Advantages and disadvantages of Google structure and culture
The management style at Google is referred as Chaos Management Style and as the name suggests, it has some chaotic nature. Although everything is going well in the company till now, but anytime this chaos management style could turn into a nightmare. Giving the employees so much freedom might let them go in a comfort zone and the fluid style of working might be interrupted. The growth of the company is on run and revenues are very high, but the question is from where these revenues are coming. Most of the revenue of the Google comes from its online media marketing, Google search engine and AdWords (Fuller, Valacich & George, 2010, pp. 74). After the invention of the Internet and the search engine, Google has not come up with any other big business idea. Most of the new products of the company are the modifications and enhancements of the existing products which are already in the market. May be the employees are not able to concentrate enough on their work because of all the enjoyment they have in the office. Another issue with this chaos management style might be the absence of filtering when employees give their new ideas about something. It is not very easy for the top management to go through all of them which might be the reason of losing some good ideas. If there were a proper hierarchy for evaluating and filtering these ideas, it could provide something useful to Google to work on.
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Management style in Google
Although Google was founded by two persons, Larry Page and Brin, it is not entirely run by these two, instead they have the third person; CEO of the company Eric Schmidt who is responsible for most of the decisions. Larry and Brin come into the picture only when a big strategic or corporate decision has to be made, otherwise Eric is running the company just fine. But it is not only Eric who has the absolute power after Larry and Brin. There is an executive committee which is headed by Eric and all the decisions are taken by the shared vote of the members of the committee. Once the decisions are taken by the committee they are routed to all the senior managers and managers of the concerned departments. They go through the details and go for developing the strategic plan to fulfil these decisions. If they find something which is not suitable or feasible, they let the top management know about their views and management decides the future of that decision. As mentioned earlier, even an employ at the lowest level could give his opinion on any matter and if appropriate, a thought is always given to this opinion (Lacerda, Ensslin & Ensslin, 2011, pp. 134).
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There is also something special about the management in Google. They have the designations and people heading those designations which are totally different from the market. For example, Google has a CCO, which stands for Chief Cultural Officer who manages the chaos management style and let it turn into the favour of the company.
Comparison of the management style at Google with more traditional management styles
People Management and People Operations are the two most important departments which make the Google stand at a higher ground in respect to the management style of other companies in the same market. For Google, its employees is the most valuable assets and to make sure that this asset of the company remains fine and okay in any condition, company has given all the facilities to these two departments. People Management is basically a Manager’s job where he has to take care of all the employees working under him. But in a big company like Google, there might be hundreds of employees under one manager. In this case, Google has divided the teams into different modules and every module has a module lead. This module lead reports to the manager regarding all the concerns of the employees and also about their work report. Now, The People Operations is the human resource management of the company but renaming it to People Operations gives a more familiar touch. People Operations takes care of all the aspects of the employee management from hiring the employees to the exit interviews of the leaving employees (Schijven, Nadolska, Boons & Barkema, 2013, pp. 17630).
HRs at Google use People Analytics to take their decisions when it comes to the promoting an employee, assigning an employee to a project, sending an employee to a training or changing the department of the employee. People Analytics is an approach where all the data about the employees is processed and helps HRs in making a decision. It provides the status of the employees in pure mathematical terms which makes it a very good tool for comparing the employees for a specific job. No other company in the world has a better People Analytics approach of the management than Google and that is why Google is doing well with its chaos management style.
Motivating and demotivating factors at Google
Motivation of the employees has always been the main concern of the organizations and in the current days when competition is so tough in the market, only a heavily motivated work force could help an organization in making a difference. Google has successfully made this difference by choosing the chaos management style and working in the “Googley” way (Jin & Shapiro, 2013, pp. 16593). Although there might be some demotivating factors in the company, but their number is so less that they do not affect the company much.
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Google is not paying blindly. Hiring at Google is a very important approach and tedious also. If a person gets through the hiring process of google, he deserves the pay what Google is going to pay him. As there is a saying that talent does not come cheap, Google has the talented work force and paying them accordingly. Another factor of motivation is the working environment in the company. If an employee at Google is finding an environment which is like the college environment where he could use the skate boards and cycles as the mode of transportation, he would definitely be happy and motivated. The way people eat in the cafeteria without paying any money and discuss their thoughts is really amazing. (See here Working with Leading People Assignment)
Application of Motivational theories in Google
As explained above, keeping the employees motivated is the most important factor for the success of any organization. There are many motivational theories and every company has customized these theories according to their requirements. If analysed deeply, all the motivational theories has the one common element which is “The needs of the Employee”. If company is able to satisfy the needs of an employee, he will definitely be motivated. McClelland (1940) has given his theory of motivation which is known as “Acquired Needs Theory”. Google has applied this Acquired Needs Theory in their chaos management style perfectly. The main points of Acquired Needs Theory are explained below:
Acquired Needs Theory
According to McClelland, every person has his motives which are associated to his internal positive or negative feelings. When these internal feelings come into contact with the external environment, the needs of the person are generated. These needs or motives are acquired by the person along with the progression of his daily life. The following three types of needs on which Google focuses are part of the Acquired Needs Theory:
- Need for Achievement - : Every employee at Google is very highly motivated to achieve something which no one has ever achieved before. To fulfil the need for achievement, Google has different programs where employees are given opportunity to prove themselves. Due to the participation in these programs, employees strive for excellence and achievement, which makes them learn new skills or sharpen their existing skills (Zhang & Bartol, 2010, pp. 111).
- Need for Affiliation -: Need for affiliation is a social need of every person. There are many activities which could be used to assess the affiliation need of a person. These activities shows how social a person is and how this person might be a good team player.
- Need for Power : - Need for power is a very common phenomenon in today’s competitive world where everyone wants to be able to control or influence other people. Sometimes people takes this desire as dictatorial desire, but in Google, employees take this as respect to the people who are at higher level. People in power like managers do not exploit their subordinates and always maintain a peaceful environment.
Herzberg’s Motivational theory and its application in Google
Herzberg’s motivational theory is based upon the two factors and states that job satisfaction and Job dissatisfaction are two independent characteristics of the employees and the factors which causes job satisfaction or dissatisfaction are completely different. Herzberg says that the lower level needs as explained by the Acquired Needs Theory and Maslow’s Hierarchy Theory are not the actual factors which affects the satisfaction levels of employees. Instead, the other factors such as recognition, appreciation, responsibility and future prospects are the main deciding factors. The two factors given by Herzberg are explained below:
- Motivators : - Recognition, Responsibility, Appreciation, Respect and bright future prospects are the factors which provides satisfaction to the employees. When it comes to Google, it is one of the very few companies in the world which is able to provide all these to its employees. Google is a company where every human resource is responsible for the work assigned to him and on the successful completion of that work it is the employee who worked hard gets the appreciation and recognition instead of a Manager.
- Hygiene Factors : - Hygiene factors such as salary, Job security and other benefits are not considered to be very motivational and explained by Herzberg as the factors which are not of much value when it comes to the employee satisfaction. But these are the factors which do cause dissatisfaction if not taken care of. Although Google takes care of the motivators but it also keeps in mind the Hygiene factors. Salary, Job security and other benefits like free lunch and flexible timings have always been the priority of the top management of the Google and they are able to maintain these hygiene factors.
Role of teams and team-building in Google
Every organization has many teams to perform the different tasks. A team is a unit in which there are more than one members who work together to achieve a common goal. Whether it is a small company or a large organization like Google, every company needs team. There are many talented individuals in every company but no matter how talented they are, one individual cannot do all the work by himself (Griffin & Moorhead, 2011, pp. 87). The individuals with different talents are needed in almost all the projects. For example, if Google has to build a web application they would be needing the following resources:
- Project manager
Organizes the team and chooses the right candidates for the project
- Team Lead
Work with the team given by the company and lead them to achieve the goal
- Technical Lead
Helps team members in case there is any error in the application and developers are not able to solve that by themselves.
- Business Analyst
Requirement analysis and documentation
- Web Designer
Development of the User Interface
- Database Administrator
Maintains the Database for the Application
Code the application and unit test the modules
Hence, the development of a small web application needs at least 8 team members as mentioned above. But there are big projects in Google and team size vary from 2 members to 200 members which means a very strict approach for the team management is required.
Now, the role of a team in any company is explained and the next part is the application of the team in the company. Implementing the team model is a very difficult task. There are many individuals with different talents and different natures. To assemble a team like this and lead them to the team goal is always a concern for the Manager. The first and foremost thing of preparing a team is having the good communication arrangements. Communication is very much essential in the team work and the lack of communication could lead to unmanageable disaster. The different communication Channels are used for this purpose. Having a daily or weekly team meeting as required is a good way of interacting. In the team meeting, every team members could speak for his work and the problems he might be facing in completing the work. Manager then ask the concerned team lead to resolve this issue and team lead may assign some help for that individual. Other channels of communication are emails, team forums, internal messenger, and obviously the cell phone (Greer, Hoogh, Kleef & Dreu, 2013, pp. 12875).
In Google the team building starts with the Project Manager when a new project is assigned to him. It is mandatory that manager is a good leader and has the required experience to lead a team. Once a manager is appointed, he starts the process of building a team by sending the requirements to the HR department. The HR department then looks into their database and see if they have any employee who matches the requirement and does not have any assignment pending. If needed HR may recruit new employees and sometimes may include the manager in the hiring process so that he could pick up the best resource according to his needs.
The structure and culture of the Google is very much employee friendly which makes Google different from its competitors. Having a talented and highly motivated work force always pays well. The type of flexibility and facilities Google has provided to its employees motivates them for hard work. Google also reward the employees for the exceptional work and Innovative ideas. In a nutshell, the “Googley” way of working has been doing well for the company for years. Though experts says that this type of chaos management styles is bad for the companies, but till now Google is able to handle this and their shares are holding the good position in the share market.
Employees at Google are very talented and the only thing Google has to do is to show the right direction to them. Once they have the right direction, there is nothing which could stop them from achieving the goal. There is only a slight problem with Google is the lack of any big business idea after the launch of Internet and the search engine. Although Google is earning a lot via its online media marketing and advertisements, but to move further and for the sake of growth, they need something new very soon else the companies in the market might replace the Google’s old products with their innovative and creative products.