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How great companies develop their staff – Google

Google is another company greatly admired and highly regarded across the globe. Their profit per employee of 240.000 USD is the highest of all companies. So, a great workforce must be central to their continuous growth. While there is little known on Google’s internal development, two features stand out in their staff approach: hiring and freedom.

Based on a strong brand and high desirability to work for them, Google is intend on hiring the smartest and highest-skilled workers in the IT industry. For this reason, they set a high entry barrier to attract only the best. Billboards with complicated mathematical riddles have become famous around Silicon Valley and aim at supporting the nerd-factor for Google as well as pre-screen only the best.

Once people join Google, there are a variety of perks – from free lunch and ice-cream over massages and all other kinds of amenities. But the majority of initiatives are not a part of pre-pefined plan. As Google VP of HR Anne Driscoll states: “The majority of initiatives come from Google population. We provide an atmosphere that says: Just do it”. This applies to laundry service, oil change, WLAN in buses, prayer rooms, and author series. And it extends beyond perks. Googlers are invited to spend one day a week on personal projects. So, 20% of the work time is dedicated to exploration, innovation and fun. Once these projects can convince their co-workers, they are introduced to management who might support them into new products (such as Google Wave, etc).

This approach of flex time fits well with the organizational value and kind of people Google attracts – innovators and experts who get motivated by solving problems. How sustainable this model is remains to be seen once the rising days of Google slow down.


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