Keeping Open Communication Flowing
Columbia Southern University
Google has had a fantastic reputation for being a model on what management should be like and how many companies today train their new management to be like. They have a vast understanding of what it takes to lead a company and how management can empower their employees to be their best selves. When employees can be themselves and express their needs and issues at hand right away, then they will have better work performances and better the company. One of the issues that google faces is the fast-growing company and managing to keep their employees informed on changes that will overall effect employees. So, their issue is not necessarily a communication strategy issue, but how to keep the open communication between management, executives, and all employees around the world. A rise in employees is becoming an issue with communication within Google. To solve this, I suggest the number of employees to management need to be ratioed, communication drop boxes added throughout the company work areas will help management know the issues if they are not able to actively talk to each of their employees. Let’s start with the rise in google employees.
There has been a major rise in google employees over the years. According to the article by Wickre, 2017, it states, “in 2002, there were about 500 employees. When I left nine years later, there were over 50,000. For all that time, I marveled at the relative cohesion of company culture—the values that Google successfully conveyed to tens of thousands of employees across the world. Today Google has about 75,000 people on the payroll. The situation that exploded a few weeks ago—with former employee James Damore’s contentious memo causing internal and public fallout—makes me wonder if this is the breaking point for Google’s unique ethos of open communication.” (Wickre, 2017). This is a large rise in the company. This was in 2015, and when conducting research online, I found the current number of employees working within the Google organization is 98,771 full time employees worldwide. That number is as of 2018. Another article stated, “As of June 2019, Google and Alphabet had more than 70 offices in over 50 countries around the globe, including Germany, Czech Republic, Finland, Canada, Mexico, Turkey and New Zealand. The company’s headquarters, also known as “the Googleplex,” are located in Mountain View, California, while other office locations in American states include New York, Georgia, Texas, Washington D.C. and Massachusetts. As Alphabet, the company employs a total of over 98 thousand full-time staff, in addition to many other temporary and internship positions.” (Clement, 2019). So, when you think about how you can instill open communication for about 500 employees back in 2002, it would be easy to do. Now, try doing that with 98,000 plus employees and communicating with them all about the changes of the company within a timely manner. Therefore, I find it hard to believe that the “open communication” concept of communication will last within google if they keep hiring at the speed they are. But there are ways to help alleviate the stress and possible complications with the employee to management ratio.
Limiting the management and employee ratio can help with the communication process within Google. If management hires more management, or promotes employees from within, that have the best performance records and evaluations, then that can help make the ratios a lot smaller. By limiting the ratios, management can easily communicate with their team a lot faster. Then, transparency and open communication can continue to thrive within the company for years to come. With the more management, executives will need a way to communicate information to them. By holding management meetings, new and current managers will be able to open communicate the issues within their departments, that came from staff, because the ratio is so small that employees feel like they can talk to the management without making appointments or management not having availability. This is essential is leadership/employee relations. By limiting ratios with companies, communication gets disseminated quicker and the organization can function smoother without miscommunication or lack of information between employees. If the ratios cannot be corrected or adjusted due to lack of qualifications, then maybe a comment box, either email or paper boxes would be beneficial.
Implementing a comment or suggestion box is a great way to communicate within organizations. Especially Google. An article that was written by Eisenhauer, n.d., stated “It may sound old-school, but suggestion boxes are another way to improve communication at work. Go the virtual route and set up a forum in your intranet where employees can share concerns, whether it’s a trivial topic or major concern.” Many times, when there are too many people to talk to, or too many people gone tat you need to communicate with, organizations will place suggestion boxes in common areas that get collected at the end of each day. Management can really benefit from these boxes and can address all the issues by the employees personally or address the masses by meetings/briefings. Being a highly technical efficient company, Google has many means if adding these boxes on the employee databases and the suggestion or concern can flow directly to their management. So, when people are gone on business trips, or at home, they can place their issues online and send directly to their supervisor. The management will then look at the issue and address them or bring the issues to meetings with executives. Now, not everything may be an issue, sometimes employees want to express an opinion on how to better the company and having a means to do so in a fast and efficient manner, is a smart and beneficial thing to do. Having employees by the tens of thousands can cause major concerns for Google keeping the current open communication strategy operating.
Google has one of the best managements to employee relationships in the world as far as fortune 500 companies. The open communication and the way management empowers their staff is truly inspiring. Now, just because the management and employees do not have issues at this time with communication strategies, doesn’t mean it cannot decline and cease to become a “need to know” instead of the current “deserve to know” mentality. The growing employee numbers every year are making it harder to effectively communicate between staff and management. This is because the ratio of employee to leaders are so high. Hiring more managers will help this and adding a way for employees to place issues or suggestions in a box, or online platform, will help keep this strategy alive and prospering. Google is a prime example of what every company should strive to be like, but will Google keep up the reputation of the “best place to work,” or will the number of employees be too much to handle and bring the company to crumbles? Google should really learn to adapt to the changes within the company by finding ways for their employees to communicate to management effectively without management having to be there or busy doing other tasks. This is how I think Google can solve their issue of preserving their open communication strategies within their organization.
Clement, J. (2019). Number of full-time Alphabet employees from 2007 to 2018. Statista. Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/statistics/273744/number-of-full-time-google-employees/
Eisenhauer, T. (n.d.). 41 Smart Tips to Improve Communication in the Workplace. Axero. Retrieved from https://axerosolutions.com/blogs/timeisenhauer/pulse/210/41-smart-tips-to-improve-communication-in-the-workplace
Wickre, K. (2017). 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/