“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.