Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

Google It: What HR Professionals Can Learn from the Internet Giant on Keeping Employees Happy

There’s a certain mystique that emanates from Silicon Valley–it’s not just about the wealth of funds and technology–it’s also about the happiness of those who work in its luxurious campuses. You hear stories of fun and creativity, free massages and gourmet cafeterias. After all, we ourselves wrote recently that Google was named the best place to work for 2013 and noted the appearance of several tech companies on the list. While your company may not have the resources to be the next Google (read: no dinosaurs or swimming pools in the office), the internet mecca can still offer valuable insight on employee happiness and a successful company culture.

One of the cruxes of Google’s company culture starts before an employee is hired. Candidates go through a large number of interviews, more than many companies conduct, to ensure that employees mesh well with the existing company culture. While it takes more initial effort and resources to put potential employees through a rigorous interview process, the end result is often a more ideal candidate that fits the company best. Long term, this can help increase happiness within the company and may cost less as employees who are happy and fit the company culture are less likely to leave. For reference, Google conducts four interviews, a number they settled on after much research.

Google also discovered that management matters. Specifically, middle management is key in a successful company. Having competent and inspiring managers leads to lower rates of attrition for those they manage. Those happily managed are more content, leading to a happier company culture.

Much of what Google’s research found is that small changes, even those related to reminding employees to contribute to their 401ks, can cause great shifts in company culture and employee happiness. Your company may not be able to afford to give female employees five months of paid maternity leave, plus a flexible work schedule, but you can tweak your interview process to help ensure you hire compatible employees. If you can’t add a tapas style cafeteria to your office, these other Google tips should help increase happiness in your company.

What do you make of Google’s employee procurement and engagement strategy? Do you do anything similar to hire compatible employees? Share in the comments!

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by MoneyBlogNewz

Jen Schiller

Jen works as a Marketing Project Manager for a restaurant, a kitchen assistant for cooking classes, helps with database management, does some freelance writing, and more. She received her B.A. from the University of Maryland in Government & Politics in 2011. Currently, she resides in the Washington, D.C. area and is an avid sports fan.


  • Thanks for sharing, Jen.
    I love your point about how Google does little things like remind employees to contribute to their 401ks. Employee engagement goes SUCH a long way in making colleagues fill valued and fostering a positive work culture.
    Good post. Keep writing.

    • @rorytrotter86 The little things really do go a long way, Rory. While a big perk like a tapas cafeteria would be incredible, sometimes all an employee really needs to be happy is the occasional gentle reminder that they are valued.
      Your comments are very much appreciated!