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When we come across into organizational culture, artifacts are the observable symbols and signs of it. It may be a very simple behavior that how their employees greet to their customer, how their employees are rewarded or punished in a positive way, or even the organization physical layout that actually represent their cultures. Artifacts are considered as a very important role out of the four methods of Changing/Strengthening Organizational Culture, because they potentially support the changes of an organization culture.
Moreover, due to some of the artifacts are hard to be seen in a short period of time, so the new comers to the organizations who wants to learn from their cultures, might take up a long times to actually understand the organizational culture. Nevertheless, if the new employee is willing to spend some time on it, they could do observation to their workplace from time to time, and interact with the staff to get more information of what cultures within the organization would be. In other words, artifacts could be identifying through four categories, which are physical structures & symbols, organizational language, stories & legends, and rituals & ceremonies.
Physical Structures & Symbols
The past British prime minister, Winston Churchill said “We shape our buildings, thereafter, they shape us.” This is to remind us that the building structure of an organization reflects its cultures throughout a company’s building, designs of every employee workplaces, and some other workspaces for employees to interact and communicate with each others. For examples, in order to motivate employees of Google, Google has been always providing the most relaxing working environments to their employees, the Googlers. By doing this, Googlers might tend to talk more and come out with more creative ideas under the relaxing and luxury workplaces. After long hours of working, Googlers might wants to have a short break by visiting the massage room as reinforcement. Additionally, various type of snacks will be also provided at wherever workplace for them. As Google said that “they want their employee, Googlers to love coming to work every day, not just for works and projects during the working hours, but for the exclusive cultures and buildings structures that gives them the opportunity to outshine their ability and professional to the works.” It is also highly encouraged by Google that all the Googlers are recommend to be feel free to be themselves in the working environment, this has been carried out through their offices around the world.
Moreover, most of the walls in the Google’s company are surfaced with magnetic whiteboard material. The reason that they built this is to allow their engineers to point down the idea at anytime and anyplace when they figured out the solutions to problems. Much of the company’s desk and chairs are flexible to be adjust, this is to suits the persons height to assist in the quality of works. Furthermore, they are proving a large are of floor space to overcome the bored casual meeting that held in the conference room. While if the hours of working forced to be extended, at least Googlers are still working in the enjoyable environment. These are what made Google Company to won for the top 1 out of 100 companies as “Best Companies to Work For” during the years 2007, 2008, 2011, and 2012, while 4th out of 100 during year 2009 and 2010.
Language could be another way to identify the cultures in an organization. By how employee using words to address people, such as the way they greets within the organization, how they express anger or relax, how they reflects on customer service. Employee communicate using jargon within the company could be one of the best examples, it is the language of how a group of profession communicated with specialized terms such as, Google Company uses the word reboot instead of restart due to most of them are in the IT fields.
Stories & Legends
Stories telling could be one of the most effective ways to communicate in the organization when there are new employees enter to the company. A legend could be how heroic a person have done in the organization, how that person help the company to solved problems. From how a person being rewarded, or being punished, telling all the stories and legends might show to the new comers what the company cultures are. A great story or legend told to the new comers could be a key where managers can motivate the new employee by showing the good behavior of the legendary. The communication between employee sometimes describe the real people in the organization, tell their past history and backgrounds, this is to help the new comers to get know more of their colleagues.
Google Company are structured to reinforce their organizational culture, to assist Googlers to perform better and coming out with innovative ideas. Every employees are being Googley, which means that an every employee ever since joining the company should follow the accordingly with company values. Googlers came around the world, with a variety of backgrounds, this shows how uniqueness are them in the organization. In 2011, a thousand of Googlers be present at Sum of Google celebrations, which carry out in 30 countries and 52 offices. Every Googlers are told to submit a video clips that share their background, how they can be themselves in the organization during the Googler Storied Video Project., it is one of the event during the celebrations.
Moreover, there is global network that connect more than 30 active chapters across the world, which is The Women at Google. While during the Women @ Google Speakers Series, Google had invited the most successful women to their company to share their stories, and how they succeed. Past guests being invited were political leader Madeleine Albright and Hilary Clinton, entertainers Tina Fey and Lady Gaga, and social activist Alice Walker and Gloria Steinem. Besides, Google’s senior women were also invited to talk about their stories and career paths, how they went through it.
In addition, Google supports its employee no matter who they are, giving the chance for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender an opportunity to work with them. This is how the LGBT community came across, to ensure that their employees are treating in fairness and equality. Besides, there is a legend that a couple of guys, who celebrate the accomplishment to their new products, by shaving their heads inside the Google men’s room.
Rituals and Ceremonies
Rituals refers to the routines of organizational life that being programmed that have symbolic meaning. The organization is responsible to share the corporate values of their company to their employees. For example, Googlers had been told that there are 10 things that all of them should hold it as a motivation. The 10 things are:
Focus on the user and all else will follow.
It’s best to do one thing really, really well.
Fast is better than slow.
Democracy on the web works.
You don’t need to be at your desk to need an answer.
You can make money without doing evil.
There’s always more information out there.
The need information crosses all borders.
You can be serious without a suit.
Great just isn’t good enough.
From time to time, Googlers shall revisit to ensure if they are still with 10 of it.
In November 2011, Google announced the winners of the Leadership Awards with 27 Googlers, according to their past accomplishment and contributions towards the company. Each of them shows the passionate and the leadership skills within the organizations.
Moreover, every Googlers follow a rule everyday with their works, which is the 70/20/10 rule. It is mean by, everyone of them have to spend 70 percent of their working hours to whatever project that are being assigned to them by the management, 20 percent of their working hours to come out with new ideas that is related to their projects given, and lastly 10 percent to and new ideas that they wish to suggest to their manager, regardless what they want to do.
With all of the best benefits from the Best Company to Work for, there are some problems being encounter due to the best benefits are given. Although a very relaxing and luxury working environments are provided in the Google Company around the world, without doubting there should be a great place to work for. However, there is some of the people out there who just want to enjoy within the organization without any contribution, this could bring a lot of matters to the company. With too much of enjoyment, people could lose their working attitude towards the job.
Secondly, there was a lot of complain from customers regarding the Customer Service of Google are very bad in attitude. According to the Customer Service Scoreboard website, Google Customer Service is ranked 567 out of the 604 companies that registered. From here we know that they are really bad in customer service. There is also the reply from Google that they shared it on Google + and saying: “If you have a billion users, and a mere 0.1% of them have an issue that requires support on a given day (an average of one support issue per person every three years), and each issue takes 10 minutes on average for a human to personally resolve, then you’d spend 19 person-years handling support issues every day. If each support person works an eight-hour shift each day then you’d need 20,833 support people on permanent staff just to keep up.”
According to the first problem encountered and in order to overcome the problem statement, I am now recommend that Google should set up some of the rules for their employees, being strict to them is one of the ways to deduct the enjoyment towards them.
While based on the second problem faced by Google, I recommend that Google should have a good conversation to their entire employee, they should have control with their attitudes towards their customer, and it’s always been said that “The customer is always right”, that shall follow this motto as their response to the customer service.
From the above recommendations, the theory of Communicating in Teams and Organization should be applied to the issues. Google are recommended to have more communications to their employee, especially for those in the customer service department. As we know that the importance of communication is to coordinating work activities, organizational learning and decision making, and it could lead to the employee well-being in the organizations.
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