In January, I will be hosting a seminar discussing “How to Create a Killer Culture,” and thought it would be apropos to start the mind working in that direction. I recently watched the “Best Practice HR Tips from Liane Hornsey, Google VP Operations”. Laine and her interviewer do a fabulous job of demonstrating how effective it can be when a company creates their “ideal” cultural values; lives by those values; and assesses performance based on those values. Ms. Hornsey describes the reputation of Google as a place where people want to be: “it doesn’t happen by accident, it is by design.” She went on to describe the ideal values within the Google culture, which seem complex at a glance… and it all begins with their famous lengthy hiring practices. Where Laine went through 14 interviews (across multiple countries), she has shored that up to now be between 4-8 interviews. They use 360-degree hiring tools which essentially allow for assessing how upper management, peers, and employees of that individual will all work together. A separate Culture and Change Management Survey conducted in 2013 showed that only 53% of businesspeople view culture as an important part of the leadership agenda at their company…yet only 35% agreed that their management does an effective job of managing culture. However, when listening to Laine, I was completely convinced that Google has Culture Management handled. They have a clear understanding of expectations (informal dress code and work hours, formal decision-making); which are evaluated and adjusted on a daily basis. She describes the approach to their management as “common sense” in how they balance management layers; allow for promotion rotation to develop skills and increase knowledge of the team; and create expectations based on time in a position. What resonated the most with me what how they focus on results (output) rather than hours worked in a day.
As my mind is decompressing the 11+ minutes I spent with Laine Hornsey, I do wonder what the employees think. Does Google really live this culture on a daily basis? Does your company have an outline of their cultural values? How do you keep that alive?
- Here’s why Google is building a robot army (io9.com)
- Startup Culture Matters: Q&A with SocialRadar’s Michael Chasen (tech.co)
- Questions I’m asking in interviews (jvns.ca)
- How to measure and improve your company’s culture (holykaw.alltop.com)
- How do I build a great ‘company culture’? (soshitech.com)
- Changing organizational culture – Part five: Which culture is right? (free tool) (eryceyl.com)
- Changing culture – Part one: What is organizational culture? (eryceyl.com)