Google’s reputation as a great place to work is generally based on playrooms and valet services, but employees also enjoy free gourmet lunches, car washes, massage rooms and on-site laundries, not to mention managers encourage Googlers to use scooters to cruise the long hallways in their offices.
But these superficial perks are just the tip of the iceberg. The web search giant boosts innovation by granting extraordinary freedom to its employees. A good example is the company’s “20% rule,” which states that every Googler is entitled to use one day a week (20% of their time) to work on a personal project of their choosing. Popular products like Gmail and Google News were born out of employee’s 20% time.
These policies not only yield juicy revenues –Google was born 10 years ago as a garage start-up and has turned into a $150 billion giant– but also prestige as an exceptional employer. For the second straight year, Google reigns at the top of Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list.
Google’s secret for success as a company and as an employer is based on three principles, according to Tim Armstrong, President of North America sales:
Hiring. Put your energy into hiring versus supervising employees after they have been hired.
Fostering Creativity. Cherish ideas and expand on the best ones.
Trust and Respect what people are trying to do. “If you can get yourself and your employees to come into work and think very positively about how people are behaving, it’s just a different culture and different manner within the company.”