behavior · community · culture · happiness · Social

At Google, groups are key to the company’s culture – San Jose Mercury News

Google Appliance as shown at RSA Expo 2008 in ...
Being part of a social group at work provides a pillar of support. Image via Wikipedia

Company culture seems to be this ethereal idea that no one can really wrap their head around, but “they know it when they see it.” They also know that employees having a strong connection with peers at work and a social buy-in to their employer promotes loyalty, worker productivity, and less absenteeism. This is an interesting profile of one aspect of Google’s work culture and community – creating mini support groups and internal communities.

Groups have always been an integral aspect of life at Google, but as the company approaches 30,000 employees, they have become an ever more critical mooring for new and veteran employees at a company trying to assimilate “Nooglers” at a pace of more than 100 a week. Many valley companies have groups for employee minority or cultural groups, but Google goes further, actively encouraging, and sometimes evenAdvertisementproviding financial support, for employees to organize special-interest groups ranging from economic theory to photography.

Google has 19 “Employee Resource Groups” or ERGs, employee-initiated entities that receive
financial support from the company and represent social, cultural or
minority groups…

more via At Google, groups are key to the company’s culture – San Jose Mercury News.

The article goes on to point out, and this should be a no brainer, that having a healthy, enriching work environment is also crucial to overall individual wellness and work fulfillment. Many companies are afraid to let their teams “goof off.” Maybe they should consider it “Googling off.”