What makes working at Google so great

What makes working at Google so great?
If millions are chasing the dream of working for Google, the reason is that working there can be the most rewarding experience of life. Its HR policies target employee satisfaction and empowerment. Employee loyalty is very difficult to obtain in today’s era. It holds true especially in the case of tech companies. If Google is investing more than average, then it is to retain its precious talent. The task would become difficult unless Google is ready to invest in each employee sitting inside its offices. So, apart from hiring great talent, focus is on talent management.

Google has created a work environment that fosters continuous learning. Employees get opportunities to continuously learn and grow. Google has special training programs related to presentation skills, content development, management and leadership. Free classes in foreign language and culture are also provided to Google employees. The group of engineers at Google is paid special attention for its important role. They are provided orientation and training plus mentoring by a special group called engEDU. These programs have been designed by the engineers for the engineers.

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Learning and development receive special attention at Google whose learning and development team has continued to expand. This team works on leadership programs for developing future leaders for Google. 120 hours of training and development every year is mandatory for all Google employees

Google Analysis
Google’s HR management uses different types of needs analysis, such as organizational analysis, work analysis, and cost-benefit analysis. Organizational analysis identifies new human resource needs based on the firm’s current situation. For example, in developing new products and investing in new businesses, Google conducts organizational analysis to determine the corresponding human resource requirements. Work analysis determines the specific requirements to fulfill work tasks. Google applies work analysis on new jobs, or when an organizational restructuring has just occurred. Cost-benefit analysis determines the practicality of training programs and activities. Google’s HRM objective in using this type of analysis is to maximize the benefits achieved through training programs.

Program Design to Fit Employee
Google’s HR management uses a combination of the relational model and the results-oriented approach for training program design. The relational model focuses on the relationship of the company with employees. Google maintains positive internal relations to foster employee participation in creative and innovative processes. The results-oriented approach focuses on training outcomes. For example, in implementing a training program, Google uses this approach to facilitate employees’ learning. Thus, the relational model optimizes relations among employees, while the results-oriented approach ensures that Google’s human resources are effective.

How Google Deliver the Training Program
Google’s human resource management delivers training programs in various ways, such as discussions, simulations and on-the-job training. Discussions enable Google to maintain rich communications involving employees. With rich communications, training programs also benefit through maximum feedback from the trainees. The company uses simulations to facilitate creative responses. Simulations empower Google’s employees to understand the details of work tasks, projects, and products. The company’s HRM uses on-the-job training to maximize the transfer of knowledge to new hires or interns. Many of these interns are absorbed into Google’s organization.

Evaluation on the Training Outcomes
Google has summative and descriptive purposes in evaluating training programs. The summative purpose is to determine the effectiveness of the program in developing human resources. The descriptive purpose of evaluation is to understand the effects of the training on employees. Google’s human resource management uses evaluation variables like trainees’ learning and reactions, and the results of training programs in terms of changes in human resource knowledge, skills, and abilities.

In Summary, Google’s human resource management practices cover effective employee training programs, as well as performance management to maximize human resource capabilities. The company uses appropriate needs analysis to design training programs aimed at supporting an innovative workforce. The training programs and their results are regularly evaluated to ensure that they meet Google’s human resource needs.

IKEA Corporate Culture
IKEA is known the world over, not least for its strong corporate culture. It has its roots in Småland and in the Swedish culture and is characterized by a number of values. In IKEA we talk about organizational culture as something unique. The so-called Ikea spirit as the founder of IKEA, Ingvar Kamprad is humility before the task and cost-consciousness, should permeate the entire company. As a bearer of culture to management to maintain and disseminate the IKEA culture’s values, which is essential for the company and its culture’s survival. The maintenance of an organizational culture based on co-workers. In order to attract new employees, retain and develop existing staff have the organization and culture is constantly evolving.

It is a problem for IKEA to maintain the organizational culture and achieve what you stand for in the organization of an international expansion. The IKEA culture is an informal type of culture that is based on a few core values. The values that best describes the IKEA culture is simplicity, cost-consciousness and humility. Their culture may be built around the values but the key is that the words are dressed in action. To IKEA, they mean nothing unless they are translated into action, as a manager you preserve the culture by being a good role model and act in accordance with company values. The values conveyed through symbols.

Example of the small power distance related to IKEA, the way in which IKEA managers’ hands-on participation in daily work. For example, go down to the warehouse and help when something goes wrong, this would be unthinkable for a manager in a high power distance index.

IKEA’s managers are of different nationalities around the world and use different, individual leadership styles, which is not necessarily resemble a Scandinavian leadership model. The key, again, is that it has “ikea” in the bottom and that one’s actions and leadership are based on IKEA’s values. The importance of managers working in accordance with the culture illustrates that for IKEA culture takes precedence over the short-term profitability.

Based on Hofstede’s (1991) dimensions can be IKEA’s organizational culture described by a small power distance. IKEA has a relatively flat organization where hierarchy is barely noticeable, the authority comes from knowledge and personality and not from the title and status. The informal clothing style that prevails at IKEA is another example of this low power distance. Managers and employees operate at the same level, eat together and park in the same place.

IKEA managers’ way of hands-on participation in daily work illustrates the low power distance that exists at the company. Contributing down on the floor if something goes wrong is natural for managers at IKEA, it would however be unthinkable for say a director of an Indian or Chinese or French company.

At IKEA, establishing a strong group cohesion with its employees is stressed on from the induction itself which is generally applicable in collectivist societies. At IKEA the attitude is to say “we” rather than “I”. I believe this is a clear proof that the IKEA culture is collectivist.

IKEA culture is described, however as a feminine culture. What should characterize the relationship between manager and employee is an open, honest dialogue. Cooperation between colleagues to work well. Managers in feminine cultures are more intuitive than the firm which fits well into IKEA, which is, as mentioned earlier, applying the decentralized decision-making.

IKEA is characterized by low uncertainty avoidance, which is mainly manifested in the decentralized decision-making. Employees at IKEA are encouraged to make their own decisions, they are given freedom with responsibility and is expected to take initiative.

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Carlos Ghosn Save Nissan from Danger!
Nissan Biggest Carlos Ghosn joined Nissan at a time where the company had suffered huge losses. Against all odds he manages to turn Nissan profitable within two years, despite huge cultural differences. The main instruments used forthis turnaround was engagement, communication, structural changes and change of some cultural areas that have been holding the company back.

I believe that Ghosn’s success with the turnover was mainly due to his excellent approach, characterized by a great deal of modesty and a willingness to understand and respect the Japanese culture, before trying to change the organization. Further he made a clever choice by claiming that he would turn the company profitable within two years or step down, and at the same time give the employees a great deal of responsibility in achieving this profitability. This way he put himself in the same boat as the employees and consequently they would either succeed together or fail together. His ability to get people engaged and motivated in the project was one of the key factors of success along with his honest and direct communication.

Ghosn Clear Communication
From the very beginning Ghosn was focused on communicating clearly with the organization. He took a number of steps to ensure that communication both from him to the organization but also within the organization would be direct and true. Very early he stated three principles (Transparency, Execution and Communication) of management that I think shined through in all his communication. It was a very clear statement of “how we do things in Nissan” and it was aimed at changing the culture of the company. Below I will go through what I see as the main communication contributions Ghosn made.

Unlike any prior manager, Ghosn practiced “management by walking around” which must have been a very effective way for Ghosn to understand the employees at the lower to middle levels of the organization and vice versa. As a consequence of this, a good foundation was created for further interactions. At the same time it served as a way for him to set a good example for other managers. Further, he discussed ideas for turning Nissan around with several hundred managers which had two positive outcomes; one that he got a lot of relevant input for the strategic changes needed; two that the problems regarding the vertical communication in the organization got addressed. This way, Ghosn was able to initiate an organizational culture change where employees from top to bottom got more in touch with each other’s work and issues. The disadvantage of these two actions is that it is very time consuming, but when it comes to building trust and respect there are no shortcuts and I think he made an excellent choice in doing this.

Ghosn Management in Foreign Culture
Ghosn had a lot of experience in managing many different cultures before coming to Japan and seemed like the right man for the job. Maybe this was why he decided to come to Japan with very little knowledge about the culture but with an open mind, ready to learn. I agree very much with this approach, it is always a good idea to seek first to understand, then to be understood.
It is quite obvious that Ghosn encountered a lot of cultural differences between his and the Japanese culture. The concept of consensus decision making the promotions based on seniority and education, the extreme risk-aversion and the lack of accountability was probably far from what he was used to. However, he felt that the cultural differences could work as a catalyst for rapid innovation. He laid out a very respectful principle that no leader should try to impose his/her culture on another person who was not ready to try it with an open mind and heart. This was part of his strategy to turn the company around not by using his formal power, but rather by understanding and working through Japanese culture. However, it is a good idea to talk frankly about the cultural aspects that needs to change and follow up with action quickly.

Ghosn laid out the three principles of management mentioned earlier, which was very much in line with what you would expect from a western culture, and started practicing them from the beginning. Further he sought to remove the parts of the culture that was holding the company back. It actually seems that he was removing most of the cultural. I think this was a wise and bold move, since these were the underlying causes of many of the problems within the organization. One culture, however, he didn’t want to change was the Japanese culture of being well-organized, making the best of things and being very respectful to leadership. Rather, he used this to implement his strategy quickly.

My opinion of Carlos Ghosn’s approach to turning Nissan around is that it was the right way to do it. Ghosn knew that he had to respect the national culture, and he knew that he had to lead the employees being heard. The latter is often a reason why resistance occurs, because it is the employees that know the day-to-day operations and know what can be done

In conclusion I would say that the cultural differences between Ghosn and the Nissan organization were very pronounced and the culture was a hindrance more than a helper for Ghosn and he had to change quite a lot. However, Ghosn took his time to understand it and tailored his strategy so that it would fit the best parts of the Japanese culture, this way Nissan was able to change fast. The way Ghosn approached the Japanese culture were with humility and respect, this was necessary in a country where culture is as important as in Japan.