Google and Open Communication
BBA 2026: Organizational Communication
Google and Open Communication
Google has set the tone for the future as far as communication strategies and innovative ways to make their employees successful, happy, and eager to go to work everyday to grow the organization. The “Google Effect,” is the culture that Google emulates and makes that organization the biggest go to company to work for. Many people apply to google every day, just to be in a job that employees are appreciated, heard, and can easily voice their opinions on how the company can better themselves. One of these ways that Google achieves this is through their open communication techniques between management and employees. Through surveys, reviews, performance reports and open feedback, Google was able to compile a set of “Google Rules,” that would show what management should do to become a better boss. Open communication was very high on the list. Because of this communication method, Google can give out is message, especially during meetings. Also, the potential for real feedback is endless, not answers formulated to please bosses. Finally using this communication style is very effective, but can also hinder the growth as well, it all depends on management roles and how they run the meeting.
One-way Google demonstrates open communication is through their meetings. According to the article, What Google’s Open Communication Culture is Really Like, it states, “All-hands meetings are built around an open mic and unscripted Q&As with executives. A quarterly board report is presented to all employees. For sharing and discussing information, there are about 87,000 Google Groups email lists organized around every kind of topic—both work-related and not so much. There are some 8,000 miscellaneous—famously, “misc.”—discussions, devoted to everything from juggling and philosophy to rockets and “terrible-ideas-discuss.” (Wickre, 2007). So, one-way management expresses their messages is through meetings that allow employees to have the opportunity to speak up while management listens and records information. The article, Inside Google’s Culture of Success and Employee Happiness, written by Zach Bulygo (n.d.), it states that within the “Google Rules” for a successful manager, that you must have a two-way communication of both listening and responding. Google sets up meeting in board rooms or conference rooms and has transparency to where they share all information to their employees and don’t hide anything. This will help the feedback be real and very responsive.
Feedback within the open communication method is very important to Google management. Once they pitch what their briefing or meeting is about, they open the floor for their employees to debate, share ideas, and discuss possible changes that can benefit the company. Wickre, K (2007), states in her article, “What the company does have, and has always had, is spirited internal arguments about issues large and small. To my knowledge, until now, virtually none have led to firings—and definitely not shutting off discussion.” This is stating that once the floor is open for discussion, employees start going back and forth with their ideas and what can improve the company. Management does not take any action when something negative comes up, but instead thinks of it as a learning benefit and something they can analyze for future changes. The “Google Rules” also states, “Encourage open dialogue and listen to the issues and concerns of your employees.” (Bulygo, n.d.). Good management listens to their employee concerns. When they feel like they are being heard by their boss, then that will increase the productivity of the employee since they know they aren’t just a worker that gets things done, but a person that has a voice and general concern for the organization. Many organizations can benefit from Google’s management principles and practices. In fact, many are looking into their strategies to adapt their organization and become better for themselves. Google is the platform that all should try and emulate.
Googles method of expressing open communication is both bad, but also can be a bad thing if done incorrectly. One of the benefits was stated in the article, 15 Strategies for Effective Communication in an Organization. It states, “Organizational leaders who aim to develop open communication are able to build trust within their employees and are therefore prone to gain more successful results.” (Reedy, 2016). This is very true in the aspect of my career. As an Army Soldier, you must trust the person to your left and to your right if you want to remain successful, and if you want to survive your deployment and come back home to your family. If you hide things from people, or give guidance, but not allow yourself to receive opinions that can better your guidance, then are you really being an effective leader? No, not at all. Open communication is essential in building trust within management and employees. “What the company does have, and has always had, is spirited internal arguments about issues large and small. To my knowledge, until now, virtually none have led to firings—and definitely not shutting off discussion.” (Wickre, 2007). With positive open arguments, comes great ideas and innovative ways to better a company. When people speak their minds, it helps get people on the same page and communicate to reach the result. Google does this with their all-hands meetings and is a very effective way to hear employees and learn what can be done better. Open communication works, but there are some downsides to it as well. People will start to think that they can talk to management however they want all the time because they will start to get comfortable speaking their minds. Management must settle the ground rules as far as the open communication. They are still your boss and will have to respect them. So, many managers express this type of communication during discussion meeting and environments like that. When an employee can understand the times and differences in how management is spoke to and when they can verbally and openly express themselves or their ideas, then the organization will thrive! In my opinion, open communication is one of the best technique’s management can have between them and their employees.
Google has really set the tone for other organizations to emulate. Management has really grasped the concept of communication with their employees to get better productivity and have their employees love coming to the job. Google is a place of free expression where they can be themselves and have open discussions with management about possible changes, without having the fear of reprisal. The all-hands in meetings are designed to get management and employees together for open discussions about the organization and the changes that are forecasted for the future. They allow employees to discuss with management without having the scare of being fired and listening to the people who will be working in the changes. Open communication is the most effective way to manage and for trust to be built. With this, all organizations will thrive in their employee productivity and provide a more determined and resilient workforce. Google is the foundation of what all organizations should become and adapt to.
Bulygo, Z. (n.d.). Inside Google’s Culture of Success and Employee Happiness. Retrieved from https://neilpatel.com/blog/googles-culture-of-success/
Reedy, C. (2016). 15 Strategies for Effective Communication in an Organization. Wisestep. Retrieved from https://content.wisestep.com/effective-communication-in-organization/
Wickre, K. (2007). What Google’s Open Communication Culture Is Really Like. Wired, Backchannel. Retrieved from https://www.wired.com/story/what-googles-open-communication-culture-is-really-like/
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