Google incorporation is a U.S. based company that concentrates on the delivery of Internet related services and products. Although the company was originally formed to be a search engine, it has expanded its services over time to include other services such as online advertising, cloud computing and social networking. Google also provides users with applications for browsing the web, photo editing and instant messaging.
Google was founded by Larry Page and Sergei Brin while working on a joint project to build a search engine at Stanford University (Manimala & Wasdani, 2013). Both were doctor of philosophy students at the university. The company was later registered on 7th September, 1998 as a private entity.
As a newly formed company, Google slowly grew and gained the confidence of both users and investors as a reputable source of reliable information on varying topics. From handling only a small number of queries every day, the number of queries handled on a daily basis continued to go up incrementally.
The popularity of Google as a credible search engine continued to grow and soon it started receiving awards and recognition for exemplary performance in offering internet related services and products. At the moment, Google controls more than 50% of the total search market in the world and is quite effective in providing relevant and reliable information for individual users, corporate organizations, and even other search engines (Manimala & Wasdani, 2013).
Because of its unique innovations, the company is setting the pace for other search engines and information technology professionals with a keen interest in search engine optimization. Initially, Google relied heavily on funding by its founders to survive and meet its operating expenses. Today, the company is capable of supporting all its operations and provides employment to thousands of its employees scattered around the world.
Human Relations Operations at Google
Google is in competition for top employees in the sector with top companies like Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook. As a result, the process of recruiting a new employee at Google is often a daunting and very costly undertaking (Manjoo, 2014).
At some point, Google lost a number of its female employees to other companies and this eventually created a higher population of male than female employees in the company. In dealing with this negative development, the company decided to work out strategies of increasing the population of female employees.
Allegedly, the company’s greatest undoing was its strictness in monitoring the performance of employees. The monitoring process has been cited as the main reason for employees leaving the company. Unlike other companies, Google has been accused of monitoring employee performance to a level that leads to so much unhappiness.
Sadly, female employees are the ones who were mostly affected and left the company in big numbers. Considering that Google has to compete with other top companies for the best talent in the market, the recruitment process is often quite costly and involving. Typically, so much time is wasted during the recruitment process and this leads to loss of productivity and reduced profits.
At Google, it is the responsibility of the human resource department commonly referred to as the people operations department to ensure that all employees are satisfied and remain loyal to the company (Manjoo, 2014). The critical mission of the people operations team is to establish the source of problems that affect employees and to ensure that they are dealt with in the best way possible.
At the moment, the people operations department is spearheaded by Laszlo Bock. On assuming office, Bock embarked on a change of existing policies that led the company to start dealing with women affairs differently. Notably, all women immediately became entitled to a 5 months maternity leave that was fully paid. This was a drastic move considering that women were originally allowed to only take a few days leave after giving birth.
In addition, all new parents became entitled to seven weeks of leave. As noted by Vorhauser-Smith (2013), employees at Google are entitled to a number of other benefits not seen in any other company. In the event that an employee at Google dies, for example, the company has a scheme under which the employee’s spouse is paid half of his or her salary per month for ten years. All employees at Google are also entitled to free food and on-site laundry services.
At a glance, what Google is doing may appear quite costly absurd to many. Although the company incurs huge expenses to ensure that its employees are well taken care of and happy, this has come with great rewards. Recently, for example, Google was ranked by Fortune Magazine as the best company to work for in comparison to its top competitors namely Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook.
While Microsoft was listed at number 75, the other three companies did not feature anywhere in the listing (Manjoo, 2014). According to Vorhauser-Smith (2013), it is the company’s way of doing things that has made it stand out as the most preferred employer among many others.
To a large extent, the strategy used by the people operations department at Google reduces stress among employees and motivates them to give their best in all they choose or are assigned to do. In the modern day business world, the ability of a company to provide a comfortable and flexible work environment for its employees serves as a good motivation for attracting and retaining employees who are talented.
Google hiring and management practices are widely recognized many practitioners in the field of management. Clear communication of the company’s vision and the ability to grant employees the freedom to innovate and implement has been singled out as the greatest strategy that Google has used over the years to move ahead of the rest (Manimala & Wasdani, 2013).
In addition, Google presents employees with an environment that enables them to fully concentrate on their work and deliver as expected. According to Anthony (2009), the leadership style at Google has inspired many leaders across the world. Rather than following the traditional bureaucratic way of managing the affairs of the company, Google deals with its employees in a very democratic way.
To a large extent, the leadership strategy used by the management team at Google permits employees at all levels in the company to be creative and to participate in growing the company. Employees are required to spend their free time to think about new ideas which are then funded by the company in case they are seen to be profitable.
Usually, teams are formed based on the ideas that come up and employees tend to be associated with attractive innovations by colleagues. Ordinarily, the management team at Google plays almost no role in the formation of the working teams.
In turn, the company uses a market based theory to decide on the best ideas that should be funded (Anthony, 2009). Every outstanding idea receives attention from management and employees get a reward for implementing their ideas. Essentially, this acts as a motivation for employees to keep innovating for the benefit of the company. The eventual outcome is a competitive advantage for the company.
According to some researchers, the founders of Google have influenced the prevailing management style right from the time the company was formed (Manimala & Wasdani, 2013).
Being independent thinkers, it is alleged that Page and Brin must have created an environment that for a very long time has promoted independence among individuals in the company. Employees are thus encouraged to be innovative and to come up with new ideas that they can implement with support from the management team at Google.
Rather than recruiting less talented employees, the company has a culture of going after talented employees at whatever cost and presenting them with an environment that permits them to be creative thinkers. Despite the fact that Eric Schmidt joined Google with a wide experience from the corporate sector, it is widely believed that he was effective at the company because his approach to leadership was quite similar to that of Page and Brin.
The company uses a 70-20-10 policy to determine how employee time at the company is spent (Manimala & Wasdani, 2013). Based on this policy, all employees at Google are expected to spend 70 percent of their time on the core business of the company which focuses on searching and advertising.
Twenty percent of the time allocated to every employee is utilized on projects that relate to the company’s core business and the remaining 10 percent is reserved for employees to use in pursuing new ideas depending on one’s interests or competencies.
To strengthen the culture of innovation, the company has a scheme for rewarding individuals who innovate and go on to implement new ideas that are beneficial to the company. Ostensibly, most products by Google are as a result of employees making good use of the free time allocated to them.
Beyond any reasonable doubt, the decision by the leadership at Google to empower its employees and to facilitate what they do is largely responsible for the tremendous growth that the company has witnessed since its inception several years ago.
In providing leadership, Schmidt had a number of priorities in place including creating time to know employees, recognizing excellent performance through rewards and awards, ensuring that the company’s expectations were clearly communicated to employees in order to avoid confusion, creating a free environment that would encourage employees to be creative, and reviewing the performance of employees with the help of respected individuals who are both objective and impartial.
Although concerns have been about the strict nature of monitoring employees by Google management, employees are generally satisfied by the way the company is managed and this urges them to work hard to meet or even surpass the company’s targets.
As explained by Bock, good management motivates employees to be their best at what they do (Manimala & Wasdani, 2013). Good management is a key ingredient for the happiness of employees and makes them loyal to the company. As a result of good management, leaving the company is never an easy option for most employees.
Communication, Conflict and Credence
Due to increased competition in today’s business environment, business enterprises are compelled to work out strategies to enable them attract and retain excellent employees. Ordinarily, companies that can fully engage employees tend to perform better than those where employees feel alienated. Google understand the importance of effective communication and encourages dialogue with employees.
The company has a culture of meeting employees every Friday to listen to them and respond to any concerns raised. Google solicits issues from employees during the week which are later used to generate discussions with employees. The company endeavors to provide critical information to all employees so as to ensure that every individual understands what is expected of him or her.
In case of a conflict, the company makes every effort to arrive at a consensus through negotiation. Although reaching a consensus takes much longer, it is nevertheless an important process that ensures the happiness of every employee involved in any form of conflict in the company. Google management also encourages conflict resolution through collaboration and mediation. The company also has a well developed code of conduct that comes in handy during moments of conflict resolution.
According to Blankenhorn (2013), Google is a credible company and its credence among investors is obvious. Users are, however, concerned about the company’s credibility. Apparently several users have complained bitterly about the cancellation of popular services by Google. Consequently, some users have lost trust in the company.
Ethics and Social Responsibility
Google has been accused of assisting the Chinese government to perpetrate evil. Being a U.S. based company it got into trouble when it decided to set up its servers in China in order to tap into China’s huge market. While software piracy is totally unacceptable in the United States, illegal access of software and other programs is permitted in China.
On realizing that firewalls in China prevented users in China from accessing content from black listed servers, Google decided to proceed with a move to set up its servers in China. Although this would have made business sense at the time, the government of the United States refused the move arguing that it would open an avenue for Google start collaborating with what it regarded as a repressive regime (Miranda, 2014).
Ostensibly, the fact that China censors content distributed to the public as a political strategy to control its citizens was contrary to Google’s policy of encouraging every person to prioritize doing what is good rather than what is evil to other people. As a result, the company got into trouble with the U.S. government as well as some of its ardent supporters.
After carefully examining the strict conditions under which the Chinese government expected it to operate, Google threatened to pull out of China. The matter was further worsened when Google made claims of an unfair cyber attack by the Chinese government on its servers. The choice by Google to eventually leave China was a clear indication of its responsibility to the society. Although staying in China would have benefited the company in many ways, the decision to leave helped it to protect its image in the face of the public.
While critics have argued that moving out of China was an act of cowardice by Google, the company was determined to ensure that its actions were guided by its policy of not doing evil to anyone. In addition, accepting the conditions set by the Chinese government would make the company lose credibility among investors and users leading to unbearable loss. This is besides coming into conflict with the government of the United States.
Diversity and Globalization
Apparently, the globalization of Google took place in 2006 when Page and Brin decided to establish its presence in many other countries across the world. The move by the company to integrate its technologies all over the world further made it possible for the expansion to proceed smoothly. Presently, the company has branches in many countries across the world and is recognized by many as an authoritative search engine.
The company’s diversity can also be seen in its ability to present users with content using a variety of languages. Google translate is one of the most critical services that are offered by the company to users. In the event that a person finds himself or herself in a foreign land, it is possible in some cases to learn the local language using Google translate. Certainly, this feature makes it easy for someone to fit into a foreign land.
Google has also enabled business enterprises as well as users to take advantage of the Internet to reach different parts of the world quite easily. By using the Internet, the company has presented business owners with possibilities of extending business operations beyond geographical limitations.
This is besides being able to access massive information useful for meeting information demands in organizations. Undoubtedly, ease of use and high speed of execution are two vital features that have made Google the search engine of choice for most users and organizations throughout the world.
Since its inception, Google has greatly revolutionized the way search engines operate. The ability of the company to offer users with a reliable means to access content quickly is one of the reasons for its tremendous growth as seen over the years.
As explained in this paper, Google has a unique strategy of dealing with human relations that enables it to stay ahead of its competitors. Because of how the company deals with its employees, it has been able to attract many talented employees in the sector. The company is generally regarded as the best employer by many employees and as such, recruiting talented employees is not a big problem.
To a great extent, the growth of Google is linked to the effective management style that has been in place since its inception. Through its democratic approach to leadership, the company is able to motivate its employees to give their best. In dealing with some its challenges, the company has been able to demonstrate that it is socially responsible and cares about the society.
The company has experienced tremendous growth and is currently well represented globally. Despite the fact that the company has lost trust among some its users, it is still the most preferred search engine and source of credible information for various requirements. The company is still focused on being the best in the industry and continues to encourage employees to give their best all the time.
Anthony, S. D. (2009). Google’s Management Style Grows Up.
Blankenhorn, D. (2013). A Google Credibility Gap?
Manimala, M. J. & Wasdani, K. P. (2013). Distributed Leadership at Google: Lessons from the Billion-Dollar Brand.
Manjoo, F. (2014). The Happiness Machine: How Google Became Such a Great Place to Work.
Miranda, G. (2014). Social Responsibility and Ethics the GOOGLE Case.
Vorhauser-Smith, S. (2013). How the Best Places to Work are Nailing Employee Engagement.