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Want to emulate Google’s company culture? It’s not about free snacks

Want to emulate Google’s company culture? It’s not about free snacks

“Company culture” has become a buzzword in recent years. This Forbes article has gone as far as to assert that company culture is “everything”, and probably rightly so– The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has revealed that a positive culture would boost a company’s bottom line as employees are engaged and motivated.

First off, what is company culture? According to WSJ, it refers to “the way that the values and actions of managers and employees create a unique business environment.

And no company knows about creating a positive culture better than Google. This global giant is been named the “greatest company in the world” by Business Insider and has ranked number 1 on Fortune’s list of 100 Best Companies To Work For.

 

The truth about Google's culture

But contrary to popular belief, Google’s culture goes beyond having fancy offices and free food (though we won’t say no to those, of course). Google’s appeal as a model employer stems from their people-centric policies, which reflect a genuine care for their employees.

In a world where “hustle” is a catchphrase and working overtime is a misnomer for productivity, policies such as 5 months of paid time off for new mothers would seem crazy to most employers, but not to Google.

With the bottom line being the key priority for businesses many of Google’s policies could seem counterproductive at the first glance. Except they’re not.

Google’s policies are backed by research, and they’ve analysed pretty much everything you could think of, right down to the optimal number of minutes their employees should spend queuing up for lunch. (TL;DR: 3 to 4 minutes is ideal to give workers just enough time to network with new people and not get too 'hangry'.)

 

Building a company culture

The lesson? Building a positive culture takes deliberate effort. It’s way more than just putting together a snack bar, or throwing some beanbags in the corner to make a pseudo breakout area that no one uses. And yet, companies are mindlessly doing these things in an attempt to attract the millennial job seekers, thinking that it makes them a fun workplace, at least on the surface.

Creating a place that people want to work at requires companies to show genuine concern for their employees’ welfare, not just providing some snacks and calling it a day.

It requires putting yourself in your employees’ shoes and thinking about issues that could be causing them to dread going to work or feel unmotivated at their jobs. Are they leaving because of the lack of work-life balance? Are they unhappy about the unfriendly office culture?  

Taking a leaf out of Google’s book, the changes required to make your employees more happy and productive might not even cost a cent; it might be as simple as making sure to greet them warmly everyday– who would’ve thought?

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