Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Making the Workplace a Fun Place to Work


   Every business wants to find the best way to maximize their employees’ productiveness, and in some cases creativity and innovativeness, but one company seems to have a better (or at least more creative) grasp on how to make their employees more creative and innovative.  This company is Google.  For years, Google has been known for its innovative and creative workplaces that supposedly help encourage creativity and innovation within their company.  The company was even featured in a film called The Interview, where viewers were given a sort of inside look at all the amazing features inside Google’s buildings (I mean who wouldn’t want to take a nap in the middle of the work day in a nap pod?).  In Laird D. McLean’s article, “Organization Culture’s Influence on Creativity and Innovation: A Review of the Literature and Implications for Human Resource Development,” McLean states, “Social environment can influence both the level and frequency of creative behavior,” and that is dependent to some degree upon a company’s “deeply held assumptions, meaning, and beliefs” and “the manifestation of practices and patterns of behavior rooted in the assumptions, meaning, and belief that make up the culture” (or organizational culture and climate defined by McLean).  McLean also states that “organic [organizations] [facilitate] greater creativity and innovation,” and he defines organic organizations as having “fluid organizational design…teams that form to address new problems and opportunities… and communication flowing mainly laterally,” while some “centralized decision making [can] enhance… [implementing] innovations.”  This organizational culture and climate is what works, because it creates a “frequency of communication among persons with dissimilar frames” that helps support creativity and innovation. 


  The perfect example of this is Google’s organizational culture and climate, and they have it down to a science.  If their data states that employees will be more productive if the manager comes up to them on the first day and is engaging and welcomes them to the team, then Google will implement that strategy as explained by Lazlo Bock, the head of Google’s People Operations Department in a CBS News article written on Google’s unique workplace.  Google will paint their walls a certain color if it is proven by their data to help employees. They are looking to constantly better their work environment for their employees to help them generate creative thought and implement innovation with greater ease.  From unlimited meals (which had to be re-implemented due to health issues that arose) to allowing employees to creatively come up with the design of their own desk and office, Google is giving employees a certain autonomy that allows individuals to intrinsically motivate themselves to be more creative, productive, and innovative employees.  Employees can have standing desks or treadmills that allow them to walk and work (both are supposedly beneficial to employees’ health while working), and they also create creative meeting rooms that are designed like pubs or diners or any variety of locations as Google has seen that these help encourage creative and innovative behavior in their employees.  It has created such a unique and exciting work environment that employees such as Allison Mooney, who was interviewed for a New York Times article on Google’s work environment, seem to be so excited to be at work that they even end up there on their days off.  Maybe this is why Google was rated the number one best place to work by Forbes, and why they are such a successful technology company.
McLean, Laird D. “Organization Culture’s Influence on Creativity and Innovation: A Review of the Literature and Implications for Human Resource Development."

1 comment:

  1. Who wouldn't want to work at Google? I personally love that Google focuses on corporate wellness to promote creativity. Corporate wellness is growing in popularity in many small and large businesses as a way to encourage holistic health to ultimately produce more efficiently or creatively. In class we have explored mental health and creativity, and although there was no direct tie between the two, the two often coexist. This idea suggests otherwise. Corporate wellness suggests that if employees are healthier physically, mentally, and emotionally, they will be better employees. I personally believe Google is a trendsetter for this concept and it will only continue to spread among companies.

    However, the studies to support this is very subjective. "Google will paint their walls a certain color if it is proven by their data to help employees." How is this measured? The walls help employees how? This statistics may look great at face value, but they can also be easily discredited. Do they help efficiency? Creativity? Personal well-being? They are variables and are not consistent, but they can also be researched further for better statistics.


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