Tag Archives: Corporate Culture

How to create a company culture like Google’s & have fun while doing it

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Is it possible to run a successful business and still have fun?
In this modern business culture, having fun might be the only way. Too many companies out there have uninspired employees. There is no enthusiasm about work, innovating, or connecting with the others at work. Try being a customer of a company like that! No thanks! I’ll pass.

Google invests heavily in its culture, having the right offices formatted the right way, and paying people to work on their own little projects. What is the result? A job that means something. Most people find no satisfaction at work, but Google employees work in a stimulating atmosphere where it is hard not to find meaning in their work.

1. Start by hiring the right people
If you hire people who have no enthusiasm, you will not be able to create a culture around them. Even one toxic or boring person will ruin your culture. Culture is a hard thing to build and a lot can go wrong. You might be advised to find people whose last job was in a cool culture. But, if they were in such a cool environment, why would they quit unless they were forced to move?

2. Some companies out there are learning that the most dynamic conversations happen when people bump into each other in the hall way, or by accident somewhere. Some companies are designing their offices specifically to engineer more of these spontaneous combustion type conversations that lead to innovations. It might be hard to rebuild your building, but I’m sure there are things you could do to keep people bumping into each other by accident.

3. Many call centers who do BPO outsourcing do Google type things like having contests, prizes, and winners to keep the excitement going. Call center work is not quite as innovative as being part of the Google culture, but by keeping the momentum going, they do create a positive culture at some of the more successful call cneters. Remember, that they have the highest burnout rate of any profession, so they have to keep the environment positive.

4. Fitness counts, but try getting your employees to the mountains or beach. Google offers on-site fitness like swimming pools, gyms, and more. Nothing builds that winning feeling like working out. Fat, unhealthy workers might not contribute much to a vibrant culture, but if you get them moving, you might be surprised. I have an innovative job, and I need to keep my life exciting just to function. I go hiking, walking, and try new restaurants in my area. That is how I personally maintain a positive one-person culture if there is such a thing!

5. Do more for your employees to make them feel special.
I drive to my employees homes to give them a check on a regular basis. Perhaps they take this for granted, but no other boss would do that. It personalizes the work. Giving people unique birthday celebrations, or celebrating special occasions in an unusual way is another way to foster a positive and innovative culture.

6. Google has a billiards room, a slide, a rowboat, table soccer, and other unusual objects. At Google, work is designed to be mixed with play. After all, you won’t be at your smartest or happiest if you never have any fun.

7. Google hires people who are from all walks of life, speak dozens of languages and who pursue a wide range of interests including beekeeping, frisbee and fox-trotting. It might be a good idea to find out what types of hobbies your applicants have before hiring them if you want a lively job atmosphere. And if someone doesn’t have a hobby, you might try having a program to help incubate new hobbies.

8. The Google culture is associated with a startup culture, but Google has thousands of employees. The secret to maintaining the startup culture is to maintain an environment where employees can communicate freely with higher ups, and people in other departments in a casual way in the cafeteria, gym, or other parts of the company.

9. Do things outside of the office as a team. Google employees often go hiking, skiing or have picnics together. Building the bonds of a recreational culture in the workplace create strong bonds and good feelings. Personally, I think that rock climbing builds the healthiest relationships between people. Rock climbers are the coolest, not to mention the fact that you are putting your life in someone’s hands if they belay you which builds trust in the work place (assuming nobody dies.)

So, you can be more like Google. It’s easy. Just think of things you can do. But, if you think it is too hard, then you’re probably a boring defeatist and aren’t up to Google’s cool standards anyway — so give up! You’ll never make it! But, for the rest of us — we can — and success starts with a short brainstorming session and a few quick actions.

How to create a new corporate culture in 3 easy steps!

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Creating a new corporate culture is easy with our new powder. Mix with water, get a new corporate culture. It is actually, not that much harder than that, but you need good analytics and cooperation from higher level people at your company to pull this off.

Sometimes, to succeed in a particular market niche, or to be efficient in your company, you need a particular type of corporate culture. If you have a few anti-social types, lazy people, or uncooperative people, that can throw the entire corporate culture off. It is much worse than the fact that those individuals are not producing the types of results you want, they INFLUENCE others in a negative way — and you can’t have that!

Or, maybe the corporate culture you have is uncultural. Let’s say that you can not talk to your employees about Mozart or the finer points of Hungarian literature. Maybe those attributes are important to attracting better future staff members, or perhaps attracting more cultured clients. Remember, high class people are impressed by people who are cultured. On the other hand, most rich people in the United States are culturally illiterate, so maybe culture doesn’t matter.

Putting aside what types of attributes you want in your new culture, you should have good reasons for whatever attributes you want, and a sensible way of gaining them.

If you have a corporation with 300 employees, you might find that people fit your new cultural model to a greater or lesser extent. If you have clearly defined attributes written down, you might find that 100 of your employees fit the model well enough to keep. Perhaps another 100 have a few of the attributes you like and would be worth it to TRAIN to meet some of your other attributes. The remaining 100 employees should ideally be let go — but, not all at once.

Step 1: Start firing the worst 33% of your workforce that doesn’t match your new model

If you have to get rid of 33% of your workforce, you need a timetable for doing so. You need a plan of which types of workers to get rid of first as well. You create an algorithm which takes many factors into consideration. How well someone fits your corporate cultural ideal would account for several of the factors, how well they do their job and contribute in general would account for the other factors.

If you fire roughly 1.5% of your least favorable employees per month, over a period of two years, and rehire people who fit your new corporate cultural ideas to a tee while doing great work as well, you have accomplished much of creating a new corporate culture.

Step 2: Hire new people who meet your cultural and work model to a tee.

Step 3: Culturally mold the employees that you didn’t fire, as well as your new hirees to see if they can match your new model perfectly

Training is the second and potentially more difficult part of the cultural change. You need to INSTILL new corporate values into the workers who you are not going to can. If your new values include being knowledgeable about Mozart as you plan your takeovers, then play Mozart all the time. Give lectures about Mozart to your people. You can write lyrics to Mozart string quartets too.

“We’re going to seize your assets…. I’d like to see you try… Your corporate debt…. It makes me cry… We’ll take you over….. You will see… and in the end…. you’ll understand our decree.”

“Oh no you won’t… we’ll call in the calvary… we know investors… that can turn this around… never mind that our lyrics do not rhyme… you will see that we will save our corporation in thyme!!”

You can play Mozart piano concertos in the morning, sonatas during lunch, string quartets in the early afternoon, and then test employees on their knowledge. Those who can’t deal with the new corporate culture would need to be weeded out slowly over time.

Step 4 (of 3): Continue the process for around three years with any necessary refinements.

The end result after about three years, is that you would have successfully converted your uptight and stuffy corporation into a bunch of music loving nuts who do corporate takeovers and sing silly lyrics to Mozart string quartets. All you need is a vision, a very capable HR department who understands algorithms & counter-harmony, plus a really good corporate training division which hires Russian dissidents who know how to teach music (and chess) really well. A good sound system wouldn’t hurt either.

Good luck!

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How to create a company culture like Google’s and enjoy doing it

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