Google’s business model has hinged on their ability to constantly innovate. When Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded the tech company, they noticed that their best ideas didn’t come as they worked hours and hours alone at the desks, but as they talked over lunch and played games on breaks. They used this observation to build the culture that has made them one of the largest technology companies in the world.
Google now uses many techniques to spark innovation and to attract and retain their top talent. The following is a list of perks they offer to employees.
- Free breakfast, lunch, and dinner
- Healthcare and dental
- Free haircuts
- Free dry cleaning
- Subsidized massages
- Gyms and swimming pools
- Hybrid car subsidies
- Nap time (yeah, you read that right)
- Video games, foosball, ping pong
- On-site physicians
- Death benefits
In addition, if you have seen pictures or a documentary of the Googleplex, you know that it looks like a playground for adults. Notice that all of the perks that Google offers its employees saves time for them or reduces stressors. When employees aren’t stressing over issues or items on their to-do list that they struggle accomplishing before or after work-hours, they can be more fully engaged at work.
Many people are stunned to learn of all that Google offers its employees. While these perks come at significant costs to the company, management believes they are well worth the retention and innovation they promote. The key to Google’s success is creating an environment where employees don’t want to just come into work, run the clock out, and go home. Many things they provide encourages employees to stay on campus as long as possible.
Implementing the Model
This model should not be used as an exact blueprint for all companies. However, we can learn many things from it and implement them in effective ways. These strategies work precisely because employees are happy and enjoy coming into work—when that happens, productivity increases. So ask yourself, what do my employees look like when they come into work? How about when they leave? Are people generally happy or are they just running the clock out? These may seem like very simple observations, but they are often overlooked.
Consider trying some of these out. How often do you treat your employees to lunch? Do they feel nervous to take a break once in a while? As I have traveled around to different companies in Utah, I’ve seen cultures at both sides of the spectrum, and all in between. The happy ones are always the most energetic and innovative. Whether your company is a high-flying tech company or whether your company “just” manufactures part, there are elements to this strategy that could be helpful. Creative work benefits the most, but even making the work environment better for employees performing algorithmic tasks will help with retention.
At Preferred CFO we believe strongly that tone set at the top has ripple effects throughout the entire company. That’s why our outsourced CFO’s are highly experienced and trained to influence key management decisions. A CFO that cares about company culture is a CFO that is clued in to the total cost and benefit of doing business. Consult with one of us today!