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Monthly Archives: January 2013

“What we try to do is bring the same level of rigor to people decisions that we do to engineering decisions. Our mission is to have all people decisions be informed by data.” – Prasad Setty, head of Google’s “people analytics” group

The People Operations (POPS) at Google, also known as the HR Department, monitors its people’s well-being on a scale that may seem overbearing and unreasonable to many other companies. Run by Lazlo Bock, POPS is more like a sophisticated science lab than your typical HR Department. Aiming to gain empirical evidence about every aspect of Google’s workers’ lives, the legendary perks and benefits that separate Google’s culture from its competitors are largely based on data. They turn tangible facts into reasons people should stay.

This attention to employee welfare proved beneficial when Google took a deeper look into the high attrition among female employees. They found that those leaving were predominately new mothers. At the time, Google offered new parents in its California offices 12 weeks of paid time off, but despite this industry-leading maternity leave plan, women were still leaving the company at an alarming rate. So Bock changed the plan. New mothers now get five months off with full pay and benefits and can split up their time as they see fit. After implementing the new plan, attrition among new mothers dropped by 50%.  Keeping in mind how much Google saved on attrition costs, five months paid leave didn’t cost them any more money.

Bock is revolutionizing people practices, from the size of plates in the cafeteria and length of lunch lines, to training and development. Click here to read more about how POPS is helping to make Google the country’s best employer, without affecting its bottom line.

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“Brogrammer” is the sarcastic term recently used to describe the new breed of Silicon Valley computing professionals. A mash-up of “programmer” and “bro,” the stereotypical fraternity house salute, this term insinuates a testosterone-driven industry that favors youth over experience and men over women. Although the technology industry has always been male-dominated, companies that recruit with this “brogrammer” mentality will be sure to lose in the war for exceptional talent – especially when it comes to recruiting women. Click here to read more about how companies that build an inclusive, welcoming work environment will end up hiring the best people.

In 2012, travel site Expedia wanted to create brand awareness in an original and engaging way.  They did this by launching “Find Yours” – a series of videos that followed the emotional journeys of real people. From Maggie Cupid’s flight to St. Jude’s Research Hospital to share her story of battling cancer to Artie Goldstein traveling across the country to attend his daughter’s same-sex wedding, Expedia aimed to tie their brand to feelings of boldness and discovery, rather than simply finding the best prices on air travel.

Qualcomm Spark, a technology company that makes the chips inside most of our phones, created a content marketing campaign when they realized many people had no idea what they did. By launching “Spark” – a blog with contributors such as Harvard technology professor Christopher Dede and Gizmodo/Engadget/GDGT founder Peter Rojas – they not only became a platform for stimulating conversation and a source for technology news, but they also exposed themselves to a whole new audience of “techie” talent.

Click here to find out how other prominent brands such as Red Bull, Coca-Cola and Intel are beginning to create content-focused marketing campaigns to create an emotional connection to their brand that people will want to share.