I got a new girl now
And she's a lot like you...
You know and love Google.. You use their products every day. You've read about their culture and longed for the day that your company could be like them.
Turns out, you're more like them than you know. They're a lot like you, and that doesn't make them less special. It just means that even at the pinnacle, the issues you have to deal with as an HR leader are the same.
Don't believe me? Check the news - Google is giving all employees across the board a 10% pay raise to try to solidify the base against turnover and retention issues. It seems that a rising company in their space (this little thing called Facebook, you'll hear about them in the next year or two) is picking off their employees like a hawk picking up field mice.
The Google culture is deemed as special. No doubt you've written and suggested your culture is special. Still, people left you, just like they're now leaving Google.
Google tried to do other things to stop the turnover. They didn't stop the bleeding. So they did what more pedestrian companies do.
When push came to shove, Google attempted to do what your company either 1) has done, or 2) would do if you had the means:
1. You would try and buy your way out of a retention problem by giving everyone an across the board raise. Turnover is hard to figure out and stop. Sometimes you just have to throw money at everyone and hope that the turnover stops. It rarely does.
2. You've fired people for breeches of confidentiality. So has Google.
Here's the text of the memo from Google CEO Eric Schmidt courtesy of Business Insider:
"CONFIDENTIAL: INTERNAL ONLY
GOOGLERS ONLY (FULL TIME AND PART TIME EMPLOYEES)
I'm pleased to share some very, very good news with Googlers worldwide. But first let me say, on behalf of everyone on the management team, that we believe we have the best employees in the world. Period. The brightest, most capable group of this size ever assembled. It's why I'm excited to come to work every day--and I'm sure you feel the same way. We want to make sure that you feel rewarded for your hard work, and we want to continue to attract the best people to Google.
So that is why we've decided...to give all of you a 10% raise, effective January 1st. This salary increase is global and across the board--everyone gets a raise, no matter their level, to recognize the contribution that each and every one of you makes to Google.
There's more. We've heard from your feedback on Googlegeist and other surveys that salary is more important to you than any other component of pay (i.e., bonus and equity). To address that, we're moving a portion of your bonus into your base salary, so now it's income you can count on, every time you get your paycheck. That's also effective January 1st. You'll be receiving an email shortly with further details about these changes to your compensation. And one last thing...today we're announcing that everyone will get a holiday cash bonus, too.
Googlers, you are what makes this company great, and our goal here is to recognize you for your contribution, in a way that's meaningful to you. Thank you for all that you do, and for making Google a place where magic happens.
Translation: It's a hard knock life, y'all. We've got the best culture and workplace in America in terms of trinkets, and we still have a turnover issue. We can't figure out who's going to leave, so we're going with straight cash to everyone. This proves that motivation and satisfaction are tricky things.
I love Google. But she's a lot like you.