Employers across the globe are feeling the effects of the pandemic, economic turndown, and resource shortages. The UK has been hit particularly hard by these challenges. As a result, staff turnover is high, and employees are disengaging fast. So, how can employers pull it back? We look at the Google employee engagement strategy for some inspiration.
This article looks at Google’s latest employee engagement tactic, the simplicity sprint.
What’s The Google’s Simplicity Sprint?
In July 2022, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced its first-ever simplicity sprint with the goal of achieving “better results in less time.” The idea behind the sprints is to engage Google employees by identifying and removing speed bumps. In turn, employees will be more efficient and garner better results. Essentially, it’s simplifying work processes to cut wasted time and increase productivity.
Google challenged its employees to come up with ideas to remove red tape and make the workplace more efficient. In return, it hopes to create a more focused environment where employees are hungry to succeed.
The Benefits Of The Google Simplicity Sprint
We know if Google is doing it, there must be some benefits. But what are they exactly? We’ve broken down just some of the reasons behind the Simplicity Sprint.
Sundar’s Simplicity Sprint, if done right, will play a vital role in the Google employee engagement strategy. Here are just some of the ways it will prepare Google for tomorrow’s challenges.
Positions Google as a Listening Leader
Let’s face it; nothing hurts employee engagement more than leaders that don’t listen. It leaves employees feeling frustrated, undervalued, and just plain angry. On the other hand, companies that listen to and apply staff feedback boast much higher engagement rates.
Google’s Simplicity Sprint is a masterclass in giving employees the floor and letting them innovate how to do their jobs more efficiently. Employees are engaged in the process and excited to see their ideas become reality. This boosts confidence, accountability, and morale. Plus, employees on the ground are often better equipped to solve job-related problems than high-level leadership teams.
Sets clear expectations
Google’s CEO has stated that he hopes the initiative will incite “focus, urgency, productivity, and hunger” in its employees. This makes it clear to all employees what the company’s priorities and expectations are. As an engagement strategy, this is very effective. Google has shown itself to be a listening leader and challenged its teams to speak up.
Now that employees know what the priorities are–efficiency, productivity, and hunger, they have a goal to aim for. This ignites passion and gives all employees at every level a call to arms and a sense of purpose. Effectively, they are all marching in the same direction.
Google has done something very smart by including employees at the core of the process. Known as the ‘endowment effect’, employees are much more likely to buy into productivity changes when they are active contributors. Essentially, they are building the architecture themselves and, therefore, have more ownership of it its success.
Once your employees get their creative juices flowing, there’s no end to the possibilities. By nurturing and encouraging staff to think outside the box about how to work smarter, not harder, you’re giving them free rein to think big. All of this leads to greater innovation (provided you listen and act, of course).
The more time employees spend thinking about how to improve and streamline processes, the more engaged your workforce will be. Automating menial tasks and eliminating time-wasting will create more time for more meaningful work, innovation, and implementation.
The Google Employee Engagement Strategy: Key Takeaways
The Simplicity Sprint gives us a small snapshot of the Google employee engagement strategy. It may not be the full picture, but there are some key lessons employers can learn:
- Create an employee-first work experience
- Engage employees by making them the architects of your ideas and initiatives
- Set clear expectations, priorities, and goals
- Be a leader that listens
- Encourage staff to constantly think about how to do things more efficiently
- Whenever possible, involve employees at every level
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