At the turn of the 21st century, technology was at the forefront of business trends. Companies were beginning to realize how technology could provide a formidable edge and boost profits. The concept of working smarter versus harder made much sense, and with that companies began to engage in a sort of technological arms race. As technology advanced further, trends came and went, some companies won while others lost. And in all the confusion of the race for advantageous technology, most companies completely lost sight of their most valuable asset…their employees!
However, there is one company above all who while keeping the latest trends at the forefront, never forgot about the people operating that technology, and that was Google LLC. You see, Google knew some of the greatest secrets of maximizing profits, which will be revealed in this article. The Cost of Job Stress The average company has an attrition rate of roughly 20%. That means around 2 out of every 10 workers are leaving the company due to negligent management, poor working conditions, large workloads, and ultimately, dissatisfaction with the company’s method of compensation. In other words, there’s a gap between the work they put in, and the rewards they’re receiving. The fact of the matter is, this attrition rate of only 20% really doesn’t cost the company that much money, in fact, it might even be a good thing! The reason being, an unhappy worker is an underperformer, so the small turnover rate is worth it to get someone else in that’s a little more enthusiastic. The problem with this mentality, is it makes perfect logical sense, it’s true, but as Google already discovered, it loses sight of the bigger picture… A happy worker, is a harder worker Global companies like Google knew from the start that keeping the turnover rate as low as possible was only the beginning, for companies to really see a difference in gross profits, production had to increase on a comprehensive scale, and that could only occur if the employees were happy.
Other companies understood this concept on a basic level, but they got it all wrong on a much grander level. Most companies increased the salaries of their employees, falsely believing this would make them happier, but it actually contributed to their dissatisfaction. The difference was in the company’s culture, not in the bank accounts.
Innovative Ideas Industrial/Organizational psychologists have conducted numerous studies that show employees are motivated to work harder, not by their monetary compensation, but by the emotional rewards they received. One study showed that ‘employee of the month’ plaques actually increased competitiveness and production amongst employees more than just simply raising their salaries! Emotional validation motivates employees to work harder than simply throwing more money at them—it’s a psychological fact.
Getting back to the 20% attrition rate In a situation like where 2 out of 10 employees walked away from the company due to dissatisfaction, the turnover rate isn’t the problem, the dissatisfaction is the problem. Because if the 20% of the employees were dissatisfied, then what about the other 80%? Chances are, dissatisfaction is high amongst them as well, they just didn’t leave, and that may be because they probably feel that they have no other place to go. So managerial personal in this case are looking at the turnover rate and wondering how much it’s costing the company, but the money the company is losing in the attrition rate is frail in comparison to the money they’re losing in loss of production due to widespread dissatisfaction.
Google started with changing the workplace culture
Google is famous for being one of the best companies in the world to work for, but that isn’t because of the competitive compensation package, it’s because of the way they manage their employees! For starters, Google has a daycare at the office! The days of hiring a babysitter was long gone! Employees could bring their children to work and spend time with them on their breaks and lunches! Furthermore, Google employees are actually allowed to take naps at work! In addition to this, Google also offers ride-sharing services to employees to both pick them up to go to work and drop them off at home. All of this was done to prevent stress, which Google knew not only took a toll on employee health and satisfaction, but more importantly, it minimized productivity.
But that was only the beginning. You see, Google discovered that even with the aforementioned job perks, employees still had stress in their lives, and it still impacted productivity. In response to this, Google hired consultants to teach relaxation and mindfulness techniques to their managerial staff and other employees, and the difference was huge! Employees who engaged in this training were healthier, happier, and exceeded other workers in task performance significantly! The idea was simple, you can never remove the stress, but you can teach how to manage it better!
Soon after that, Apple launched the same program that yielded similar results. Employees who received stress reduction training outperformed employees who did not. Not only were these employees’ better workers, but they came to believe in the company, and gave it their all every single day! Moreover, studies also showed that the impact this training has on one person greatly affects the atmosphere at work, which impacted other employees. In other words, this type of positive energy from only one employee, affected the whole team! There’s a new trend amongst competitive companies like Google and Apple, where the focus has shifted from technology to people, where the new formidable edge lies not in the companies technology, but in the people they employ.
At Peak Performance 360 we provide resilience programs and resilience workshops that support a company's well-being culture. When employees participate in our resilience programs they are better equipped to deal with the stresses of such a fast pace working environment. Employees who engage in this form of training are healthier happier and perform better. Take a moment now to look at our resilience workshops and see how we can support your employees.