It doesn't matter whose report it is; Google has consistently dominated the lists of best company cultures. It's become so popular, that many think of nap pods, free food, and complimentary laundry services before they think of YouTube, Android, or Chromecast.

Although the perks are undeniably unique, they are all byproducts of the company's larger views. Which, unfortunately, have been called into question in light of recent claims concerning gender wage issues.

In an interview with the Society for Human Resource Management's John Scorza, Laszlo Bock (ex-SVP of People) said Google's cultural success boils down to three main guiding principles. Values that were not only critical to the company's rise then, but also now when searching for reassurance during times of tribulation.

1. Mission that matters

For those who haven't heard it, Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. With a commission like this, you can see why Googlers are connected to and passionate about their work.

Vision statements are much more than catchy taglines. When carefully crafted and articulated, they provide motivation and spur perseverance in times of doubt. They also help unify employees in times when sacrifices must be made to advance the organization's goals.

2. Transparency

Trust is reciprocal. If you expect employees to embrace leadership's direction and be completely bought-in to the vision, then you'll have to be transparent.

Google has faith in their employees and treats them accordingly. This includes access to board materials, product plans, company-wide goals, and almost their entire code base from day one. In return, Google sees less duplication of efforts, greater creativity, and increased collaboration.

3. Give everyone a voice

Everyone wants their voice to be heard and to feel like their opinion matters. At Google, not only are you encouraged to speak up -- you are accountable for playing a role in making the company a better place.

A Cleverism article revealed some additional ways that Google gives their employees a voice.

  • An employee forum on Fridays where the most asked questions throughout the week are addressed,
  • encouragement to use a variety of mediums to communicate and express their thoughts. This includes Google+ conversations, surveys, and emails to any of the Google leaders,
  • surveys like Googlegeist which elicits employee's feedback on hundreds of issues facing the organization,
  • and lastly, opportunities for Google employees to evaluate their managers.

Hiring a brilliant and diverse workforce is only the beginning. If you want to continue to realize their value, then you'll let them weigh in on important matters. It's to an organization's own detriment if their employees aren't included in strategy development and decision-making.

Although Google's amazing employee perks get most of the credit, its core components like these that lay the foundation for their award-winning culture. Even during times when companies are tested with negative news and events, reverting back to core values is key to navigating setbacks.

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Published on: Sep 21, 2017