Google’s always believed that the right people can do big things. That’s why we treat our people so well : so they can concentrate on innovating and collaborating.
– Stacy Sullivan, Chief Culture Officer
Google has frequently topped the Fortune 100 list of “best companies to work for” and the company is known for their fun and unique workplace culture. I will be using the Expectancy Theory of Motivation for my theoretical framework to conduct an ideological analysis of the productivity of Google employees, as a result of Google’s high employee engagement and incredible corporate environment. I will analyze interviews/articles about Google’s HR team (a team titled “People Operations”) and videos that exhibit a day in the life of Google employees such as “The Google Life”.
Employee engagement is very important to an organization because engaged workers increase profitability, are less likely to leave an employer and they are more likely to be motivated and advance their careers (Christensen, 2013). In conducting my research about the company, I wanted to apply for a job at Google! The perks and benefits are just unbelievable! Google makes their workplace not feel like work and make their employees feel right at home (literally, with dinner and PJs) which is what we all want, right? How many of us have said: “I would be so happy and get all my work done if I could just work from home” or “I wish I had one day a week at work in which I just do what I want.” I know I have said it (almost everyday) and Google provides just that in their corporate office in Silicon Valley, CA.
The topic of Google’s relaxed and nontraditional organizational structure has been very popular among researchers. According to Kuntze and Matulich, Google’s fun workplace environment may be considered a con for some employees ( Kuntze & Matulich, 2009). It can be looked at unstructured and unfocused environment whereas some employees would prefer a more professional and structured organizational environment to stay motivated and productive. However, Lunenberg believes that a workplace environment should honor the valence of rewards and in Google’s case, excellent benefits. Lunenburg also states that leaders should select workers with the required skills and knowledge, clarify job requirements and provide required trained to alter the effort-to-performance value in the expectancy theory (Lunenburg, 2011). Cook agrees that Google’s key to success is the employee’s work process. Because Google employees have freedom and creative expression, the company’s “method of job design is staying away from monolithic hierarchies that stifle and distract creative ideas.” This method provides “psychological benefit to encourage employees to be more committed, more creative, and more productivity.” (Cook, 2009). Although there has been much research on Google’s culture and their employee productivity, researches have not yet aligned the Expectancy Theory of Motivation to Google’s organizational goals to motivate employees, which is the purpose of my paper.
Theoretical Framework: Google Employee Engagement
Here is a video that shows how Googlers work and play. Warning: may cause workplace envy!
Christensen, C. (2013). 4 reasons why investing in employee engagement matters. Retrieved from http://www.govexec.com/excellence/promising-practices/2013/03/4-reasons-why-investing-employee-engagement-matters/62098/
Cook, J. (2009). How Google motivates their employee with rewards and perks. Reteived from http://thinkingleader.hubpages.com/hub/How-Google-Motivates-their-Employees-with-Rewards-and-Perks
Lashinsky, A. ( 2012). Larry Page: Google should be like a family. Retrieved from http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2012/01/19/best-companies-google-larry-page/?iid=F_F500M
Lunenburg. F. (2011). Expectancy theory of motivation: motivating by altering expectations. International Journal of Management, Business and Administration, 15, 1-6.
Matulich, E., Kuntze, R. (2009). Google: searching for value. Retrieved from http://www.aabri.com/manuscripts/09429.pdf