“If you’re comfortable with the amount of freedom you have given your employees, you probably have not gone far enough”. – Lazlo Bock (Work Rules!)
I recently completed the audiobook of “Work Rules!” by Laszlo Bock (I went back a read passages I really wanted to dig into in the paperback as well). For those of you who are unfamiliar, Laszlo Bock is the Senior Vice President of People Operations for Google. He shares a very interesting insight into how they apply programs, policy and practices that impact employees and surprisingly how much data they collect to understand if they are actually making any real impact to the employees or the culture at large.
Some of the mystery about what/how and why Google does some of the things they do were outlined in the book. A few of them were:
- Many of the services (like the haircut bus) provided to Googlers are at no cost to the company. It is often a brokerage between people operations and businesses for them to generate business buzz and customers. Many of things are often out of pocket for employees but adds a convenience factor for them to not have to schedule time to go and do these things.
- The “micro kitchens” famously known at Google that allow googlers to grab a snack, a coffee, water, etc are actually spaced throughout the campus with intention to stimulate “unplanned interactions” where people from groups that might not directly work together might interact or spark and idea in one another.
- Google has a performance management process and it gets scrutinized for effectiveness and adapted to bring the most value.
There are some really interesting ideas in this book. Not all of them are applicable to every organization but the underlying message is. If we have people focused on the operations of people and people are our greatest company investment, where is the downside?
The spirit of this book will hopefully inspire you to just think differently about how you can impact your culture in small ways and use data to determine if the “perks” you are providing are doing what you intended. I was so inspired by this book that I bought an extra copy so I could share some of this with our human resources, who are progressive thinkers as well.
I would highly recommend this book if you are leading a team, transforming an organization or maybe are part of people operations in your own company. It will definitely inspire you to think about what things that you might be able to do to enhance the work environment and how you determine if it is working.
Stay Agile! 😀