Google has a name for all their employees – Googlers. When I first heard this I thought it was cheesy, but the more I thought about it the more it made sense. They are a club of elite people who are trying to change the world. That’s the message that people want to send when they create a club. They feel special to be at a place where others want to be. They are proud to call themselves Googlers.
Google will never be the perfect work environment for every type of person. A lot of people don’t like the competition and the stress, but others do and it works for them. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. No place is perfect, but Google does a great job of creating an atmosphere that feels special.
An Organic Culture - Don't Force It
I don’t think that you should come up with a cheesy name like Googler for your employees. It probably won’t work. The reason it won’t work is because it needs to happen naturally. I tried to find where the name Googler came from, but couldn’t. I was surprised to find that wikipedia considered anyone that felt like they were an expert in Google called themselves Googlers. This name is spreading to the users as well. That’s magical branding that rarely happens.
Your Company Community
You can create that same feeling on a smaller scale. Your community of employees and customers talk about you too. Do you help influence the message or do you just let it happen? You have to be proactive like Google. Allow people to understand what your company is all about and how you should be perceived.
Your company needs to feel special to its employees otherwise it’s just another job where they put in the time, but not the effort. You have to figure out why it’s so special to work in your organization.
Creating a Special Culture
The best way to create a special culture (an employee/customer Tribe if you will – Seth Godin style) is to find out why people choose to work for you or buy from you. Do you provide that extra attention to detail that your competition doesn’t? Do you give your customers a call after they’ve had your product for two months just to chat and check in? Let’s say you are a massage therapist and you asked all your first time clients what famous dead person they would love to have a conversation with. (A little weird, but it works) The next time they come back, you might Google their favorite person and get them to talk about their lives. Whatever you do to show your customers and employees that you care will help you forge relationships that will last years, and in turn they will probably refer you to other friends and family.
You can get people in your employee and user community talking about you like they talk about Google, by staying true to your personality and core strengths. It will take some creative brainstorming every few months, but it will be worth your time to create a club like atmosphere that makes people feel special.
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8 thoughts on “Create A Members Only Club The Google Way”
This is all good stuff as usual Karl. I shared some of the eBook with my boss and some colleagues a while back. My introduction was "Google - A Company that Gets It". That's the point after all. They get the point of trying to make Google a great place to work. Something most companies totally ignore.
I started out reading your post and thinking of the company for which I work. Many employees are very proud to be working there.
There are some obvious reasons, but I had not thought of the questions and approaches that you mention.
Some of their efforts appeal to me and others don't. I'm going to take a look at your questions in this light.
Thanks for the book...I like it. I think I'll learn about management technique here. Once more....Thanks
Hi Stephen, I'm so happy you shared my ebook with your colleagues. If you ever have a spare moment, I would love to hear about their reactions.
Hi Encep, so glad you liked the book. If you ever have any questions just let me know.
Hi Juliet, you can't agree with everything in my post. That would be boring. At least you got a few good ideas out of it.
Hi Karl: I completely agree that calling themselves Googlers shows how well identified they are with the company they work for. I also agree that trying to force something like this on your workforce can backfire, it has to be something that just happens organically. Do you think that having a uniform is something that helps people identify more with their work place or that it's more likely to cause resentment?
Hi Marelisa, that's a great question. I would say that a uniform is something that helps the company, but not the individual. I'm a big proponent of being unique and letting our personality out at work. I hate to wear ties and it's the uniform of many companies. I wouldn't join a company that forced me to wear a tie (stipulation - for a salary under $100,000 a year). My point is uniforms do have their place, but I would say 90% of the time they cause resentment.
Anyone have a point of view to add?
I like the point on stay true to your personality and core strengths. There's a lot to be said for living your values.
At Microsoft, we're known as "softies."
Make people feel special and they'll achieve something special.
Great article Karl.
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