Google Inc. is a technology company that was founded in 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, it has products such as Google search, Google mail, and YouTube and most recently the Android open source mobile phone operating system. (Google)This paper seeks to examine the management practices at Google in line with the four primary functions of management.
The four primary management functions include: planning, organizing, controlling and leading employees.
Planning involves development of company goals be they long term or short term, this is normally an ongoing process as the needs of the market keep changing. A company has to ensure that its goals are in tandem with the needs of the market if it is to remain relevant and successful.
At Google their mission is to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”(Google) This is especially true for their search engine which they have always endeavored to refine through constant updates and tweaks which has always been in line with the needs of Google customers.
“Google CEO Larry Page envisions a future in which computers plan your vacations, drive your cars, and anticipate your whims” (Helft) This statement shows that Google is a very innovative company that is always thinking about the future which means that Google is very serious about planning. The most unique aspect about Google’s planning is that it anticipates the future needs of its clientele and seeks to develop products and services that fulfill these needs, this is very commendable and I would recommend this approach to planning to any other company that wants to remain relevant in this highly competitive business environment.
It is not enough for a company to just have goals and plans execution of these goals and plans is essential if success is to be achieved. This is where organizing comes in because it entails the how, where and with whom the goals will be achieved. It involves identification of roles and delegating of duties to qualified people who can carry them out well.
A look at Google’s website in the management section shows a large number of departments such as Android, Chrome and Apps and Ads and Commerce each with a Senior Vice President, this is because Google offers a wide range of products and services some of which are totally different and others are inter connected. The departmentalization of Google allows for specific aspects of their goals and plans to be handled by people who understand that section and are able to delegate duties to other qualified people who work under them.
However all these departmental heads report to the CEO who is in charge of all the day to day activities, this ensures that everyone in the company is aware of the larger vision and mission of the company that all similar throughout the various departments at Google such as quality.
For planning and organizing to work, the leadership of a company should be impeccable. This is because the employees of a company are the ones that actualize the goals and aspirations of a company and also carry out the tasks delegated. They therefore have to be properly motivated, inspired and communicated to so as to increase the productivity of the company.
Google has been constantly rated as one of the best companies to work for in the world. This is because of its excellent working environment that ensures that its employees are in their best shape and form which allows for the maximization of productivity and innovation.
The perks offered at Google include a car wash, laundry services, hair salons and day care centers. In an effort to retain employees Google offers 18 weeks of maternity leave and 6 weeks of paternity leave all of which are fully paid for. Google also offers its employees 20% of their time at work to pursue personal projects such as pet projects that might lead to innovation. Recently Google revealed that it pays the spouses of their deceased employees half of their salary for 10 years! (Casserly)
This culture at Google is highly effective as employee retention rates are high and productivity is also high as is evidenced by the high profit margins at Google. It is refreshing to see a company that is not only focused on bottom lines but also cares about its employees.
After planning, organizing and leading have taken place, companies have to take stock so as to find out if their goals have been achieved. Controlling involves comparing the results of a company to its goals; it means evaluation of performance and setting performance standards.
In 2009 Google embarked on a project named ‘Project Oxygen’, this project wanted to find out what were the characteristics of the best managers at the company. The company integrated the findings of the project into its management team and this lead to an increase in manager satisfaction in the employees. This project created performance standards for Google managers. Google does employee reviews quarterly rather than annually like most companies giving it the ability to spot problems early and therefore correct them soon. (Bryant)
It is this approach that has led to the huge success of Google, taking management seriously.
Helft, Miguel. “The future according to Google's Larry Page.” CNN Money. Fortune. January 3, 2013. Web
Bryant, Adam. “Google’s Quest to Build a Better Boss”. The New York Times. Business Day. March 12, 2011. Web
Casserly, Meghan. “Here's What Happens To Google Employees When They Die” Forbes. August 8, 2012. Web