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Google & Employee Incentives Essay

3123 words - 13 pages

There are very few companies in the world that are successful in two realms: its personnel realm and the business realm. It has become common knowledge that Google’s employees love working at Google. They don’t simply like it, they love it. Many of Google’s employees are computer programmers and coders, and it takes more than money to both motivate them and keep them content. Google’s original “campus” in Mountain View, California, otherwise known as GooglePlex, offers employees everything they may need or want – and more – leaving them with little reason to go home at all. It is abundantly clear that this costly approach has paid huge dividends to Google.

Google’s very ...view middle of the document...

Although being “happy” does not necessarily equate with “job satisfaction,” nor the ability to motivate an employee, this paper explores the common threads between them, and delves into what it takes to ensure that employees are satisfied with their roles so that they can be easily motivated, accountable, and in turn benefit the company as a whole.


Google was officially incorporated in 1998, and quickly moved to its current headquarters in Mountain View, California. Google was founded by Sergey Brin and Larry Page, two Stanford graduate students who would very quickly change the world. With some venture capital funds and a fantastic product, Google exploded within just a few years. Although it seems unfathomable, Gmail has only been around since 2005. However, Google’s ability to attract and retain top talent is what has kept it ahead of its competition for this entire time, helping develop products such as Gmail. On its website, Google states, in reference to its culture:

It’s really the people that make Google the kind of company it is. We hire people who are smart and determined, and we favor ability over experience. Although Googlers share common goals and visions for the company, we hail from all walks of life and speak dozens of languages, reflecting the global audience that we serve. And when not at work, Googlers pursue interests ranging from cycling to beekeeping, from frisbee to foxtrot.

We strive to maintain the open culture often associated with startups, in which everyone is a hands-on contributor and feels comfortable sharing ideas and opinions. In our weekly all-hands (“TGIF”) meetings—not to mention over email or in the cafe—Googlers ask questions directly to Larry, Sergey and other execs about any number of company issues. Our offices and cafes are designed to encourage interactions between Googlers within and across teams, and to spark conversation about work as well as play.

The reality is, Google offers even more to its employees. In November 1999, Google hired its first full time chef, Charlie Ayers, who was previously the chef for the Grateful Dead. Ayers won a cook-off competition with other contestants and what was then 40 employees chose him. Google now has over 30,000 employees around the globe.

According to Jordan Newman, a Google spokesman, Google’s goal is “to create the happiest, most productive workplace in the world.” In order to do so, it has created a workplace where there are massages, on-site dry cleaning, yoga classes, gourmet cafes, daycare, transportation services, car wash and oil changes, foreign language classes, and health care facilities – all for free. This doesn’t include the Lego play rooms, TGIF drinking days, secret rooms behind bookcases, and couches that consist of rowboats with cushions.

This also doesn’t scratch the surface of what is likely the most envied element of engineers’ jobs at Google: the 20% rule. This rule requires that engineers spend 20%...

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