Google’s Human Resource and Global Labor Movement

The impact of global movement of labor on the company’s Human Resource management strategy

Owing to the firm structure and policy guidelines of the global labor movement, Google has also complied with labor requirements. For example, employees are allowed to join trade unions that can fight for their rights. Moreover, the company obeys the minimum wage requirements as stipulated by local jurisdictions. In any case, it is among the global firms that reward employees in the most competitive manner.

The Global Labor Movement spearheaded a set of legal attempts in order to change the social and economic order and improve the living conditions of the working population. Labor Day was initiated in the nineteenth century within industrialized countries. It is celebrated on 1st May in almost every country in the world. It creates a reminder of one of the most violent episodes in the history of labor movement. On 1st May 1889, anarcho-syndicalist militants who were demonstrating in favor of the eight-hour day were executed in the streets of Chicago. The following year, the trade union confederation was instituted followed by earmarking of this day for organized workers.1

The movement arose because of gross concentration of workers in large factories that were created during the era of industrial revolution. The labor movement struggled to improve the living conditions of the working population and even modified the institutional order in several countries. More radical organizations of the proletariat, inspired by anarchist and communist ideas historically led social revolutions which aimed at providing a new type of society that valued the rights of workers.

Before industrial revolution, the movements of the urban and rural protests were characterized by scarce ideological cohesion alongside violent and ephemeral characteristics. Class consciousness and the need to form permanent organizations to direct the workers’ struggle appeared as a result of new working conditions that the industrial revolution created from the late eighteenth century. In addition to the humanization of the work caused by the introduction of first machines, the hard gremial system was replaced by a free market working system.2

Thus, the extension of working hours, reduction of wages, employment of women and children in unhealthy operations, lack of health and safety measures in factories among other problems necessitated the formation of the movement. The UK was the first industrialized nation in the world. In the initial phase of the movement, industrial workers directed all their aggression against the machines even though the faced unemployment and worsening living conditions.

The Chartist movement that emerged in the heat of workers’ struggle, handed to the British Parliament a number of political demands in 1838 that included universal suffrage. This was understood as a means of achieving social improvement in the living condition of workers. On a parallel note, the cooperative movement was driven by some of the utopian socialists such as Robert Owen in the UK, and Charles Fourier of France. It sought to create a model of a new society, based on better working conditions and collectivization of other means of production.1

The influence of inter-country differences on the workplace

It is obvious that workplaces are affected differently depending on differences that exist in various geographical locations. The division of activities and services among many countries of the world is called the International Labor Division. Google practices division of labor due to cultural and economic differences in various countries. For instance, there are countries which export raw materials and cheap labor.3 Owing to late industrialization, some countries suffer from fragile economies and other several economic crises. On the other hand, there are strong economies. The latter are industrialized and their economic crises occur sporadically.

Fragile economies need to receive investments from the richest countries. In order to attract investments and improve ailing economies, some governments offer ample tax exemptions and allow weak environmental laws among other facilities. It is vital to mention that inter-country differences also affect workplace functioning of employees. As a result, the human resource management teams in different locations are very keen during the selection and hiring processes for new employees. Cultural consideration is a major area of concern for Google in the sense that employees are trained on how to work and be productive in a culturally diverse environment. The management of cultural shock is one of the capacity building and training modules that employees are taken through after being hired.

Improving global assignments

A number of ways can be employed by the HR team at Google to improve global assignments when selecting employees. To begin with, the company can opt to outsource its employees. In addition, some tasks can be done remotely through online portals. Hence, the company can select its employees based on the nature of work to be offered and level of experience. It is crucial to underscore the fact that the company may not be in a position to accomplish all of its global assignments by relying on workers based in physical offices. Some assignments can indeed be accomplished through correspondence as long as the contracted individuals are well endowed with requisite skills and competences.

Compensation plan for international employees

There are a number of considerations that the management at Google should take note of when formulating a compensation plan for international employees. First, the present promotional policy for employees at Google is very relevant in determining the strategies, structures and practices that the company can assume in attaining its goals. The management ensures that the firm recognizes and promotes employees who are performing exceptionally well. In fact, the reward program is very encouraging to employees owing to the motivation.4

Decision making is a crucial or major tool that assists businesses to effectively carry out their operations , solve arising problems and attain desired objectives. Nevertheless, there have been leadership challenges at Google for some time now. Some of the challenges emanate from implementing decisions that are not readily or fully supported by key stakeholders of the company.5

The company should empower its workers by increasing their autonomy and equally promoting their decision making capacities. In order to counter resistance to decisions, the management of the company should promote communication between the management and lower-level workers.

The management style at Google has remained steady since its inception due to its strategic framework and the ability to scrutinize the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats faced by the company and clients. Nonetheless, Google Inc. still needs a leadership structure that provides the necessary drive for the company to attain its goals and strategies.3

Challenges faced by immigrants

Immigrants face numerous challenges while working in other countries. Some of these challenges include language barrier, conflicting cultural beliefs and practices, unfamiliar weather conditions, and nostalgia. Multiple stakeholders such as HR managers and recruiting agencies should make sure that the incoming immigrants are well accustomed to the new environments either through training or other available means.5

Successful integration of talent may also require effective change management. The current success at Google may not have been realized in the absence of effective leadership and implementation of key change parameters. The presence of change has defined the intrinsic operational demand towards the company.

The aspect of change management at the Google Company has been closely intertwined to the firm’s core objectives that focus on the internal and external limits for key change management processes. In addition, management of change at Google is a core operational platform at the company since employees are usually affected by any bit of implemented changes. Therefore, the proactive culture of the change processes usually dictate the overall ability of Google to address the stumbling blocks and hence execute swift management of change.

The main considerations in repatriating employees from abroad

Employees who fail to perform as per the expected standards of the company are highly likely to be repatriated from abroad based on the following considerations. There is something else behind the colorful furnishings and benefits that are usually seen in Google offices around the world. The parts and the flexible hours and mode of operation are in line with a model that challenges the standards of human resources. Due to this work philosophy, Google has been severally nominated in various locations across the world as the best company to work for. The company turns reference in HR because the management is not afraid to challenge traditional models.4 The same belief is held by all the HR managers working at Google throughout the world.

According to HR pundits, the flexible model adopted by the company works because there are clarity of values, goals and objectives. Google believes that it is important to let employees develop initiatives and define how they should achieve their goals.

Why has Google Inc. become a reference point in HR? To begin with, Google is not a conventional company and does not intend to behave like one. The turned reference in Human Resources is evident because the management does no fear to challenge traditional models of management. The company focuses on what can be done to meet the needs of their employees in the best possible way. The latter approach also supports the firm’s business strategy. Google invests in an HR team with diverse experiences and highly qualified professionals. Regarding HR practices, it is vital to highlight the flexible policies of the company that enables it to work with new models alongside opening room for innovation.

The company has some kind of indicator that measures the effect of the flexibility of time and perks such lounge, games, food and drinks on productivity. It is a fast growing company set in a very competitive environment and in full transformation. It always attempts to keep the focus on innovation and, above all, customer and employee satisfaction.

Google also boasts as a very dynamic company without formal schedules, few hierarchical levels, flexible schedules, and open communication. For this type of work organization, it is necessary for the values, objectives and goals to be very clear. It is also equally important is to allow employees to have initiative and define how they will achieve their goals. For this reason, free access to information is vital. If the targets are met, employees can work the way they feel to be more comfortable.

The company does not have a specific profile. It seeks professionals with strong academic background who have an excellent history of dedication to their academic and professional development and have genuine interest to be part of a team. Entrepreneurship and cognitive ability are some characteristics the company looks for in candidates for a position on Google. The latter may be constantly challenged by activities and complex projects. In addition, fitting the company’s culture is a key factor towards success during the selection process of employees.5

Google’s Human Resources model is based on an internal culture, strategy and industry type to which it belongs. This means that what works for Google does not necessarily work in a company of another segment or industry. Better still, it is important to note that professionals in the field of Human Resources ask more questions regarding the traditional models of Personnel Management and contemplate what can be done differently in their companies in order to value employees and inject flexibility at workplace.

At Google, HR managers are very close to employees. The company exercises an open door policy and direct communication. Some top executives do not even have individual offices. They sit in an office next to everyone and if any employee has a confidential topic to discuss, it is carried out in a meeting room. This facilitates interaction and an easier approach to the HR staff. Google as a company focuses on performance and delivery. If an employee demonstrates difficulties, the management designs a plan to assist the employee to work out individual weaknesses and eventually perform as expected.

The current trend led by Google is the creation of a new area within the HR Department, referred to as People Analytics. The objective of this group of professionals is to help the business in decision making from the initial point of contact with employees. This will be attained through studies and data analysis.

The corporate world is experiencing a period of transition in the form of administration of the workforce. The Hipster style of personnel management, first practiced by technology companies, like Google, is not just a fad. David Ulrich, professor of Management at Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan observe s that this transition has not come back. 2

The basis of this whole movement would be in the final incorporation of technology in hand-to-work and work routine. Technology and mobility are at the center of the adjustments that companies need to do to adapt in the labor market.

Another key issue is the balance between personal and professional life.

Talent at Google Inc

The role and influence of international talent at Google Inc. is immense. During most of the recruitment and selection processes, the HR department mainly dwells on talent besides the acquired knowledge and skills. Talent encompasses several elements in an individual. Although the appeal of these elements is universal, Ulrich points out that “no tool works everywhere.” Similarly, human resource policies tend to be less and less general.

The teams that record best performances usually embrace very diverse practices. However, values ​​and company’s culture should permeate the entire team. In other words, there should be an eliminatory criterion in choosing candidates even in times of shortage of talent. It is possible and permissible to teach processes and techniques, but values ​​and culture should emanate from a person. On the same note, Ulrich believes that leadership skills should be well endowed among professionals.

Reference List

Zweig M. Working for Global Justice in the New Labor Movement. Working USA. 2014; 17(2): 261-281.

Mitchell R, Obeidat S, Bray M. The Effect of Strategic Human Resource Management on Organizational Performance: The Mediating Role of High-Performance Human Resource Practices. Human Resource Management. 2013; 52(6): 899-921.

Collombat T. The international labour movement and the Global Social Protection Floor. Global Social Policy. 2014; 14(3): 432-435.

Tan J, Tan A. Business Under Threat, Technology Under Attack, Ethics Under Fire: The Experience of Google in China. Journal of Business Ethics. 2012;110(4):469-479.

Cosby D. Sustainability Program Leadership For Human Resource Development Professionals: A Competency Model. Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications & Conflict. 2014; 18(2): 79-86.

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