This month in Fortunes annual list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For, the number one spot was given to Google (Fortune 2/6/12, pp. 98-127).
Google has never had a layoff. Its current labor force is 18,500 strong and it is currently hiring 50 additional workers.
Cofounder and CEO, Larry Page, has tapped into the universal truth that people love to feel a part of something genuine and bigger than themselves. This dynamic has significantly added to Googles desirability as an employer. It becomes a family experience. As Page states, Its important that the company be a family. . . . When you treat people that way, you get better productivity (p. 99). Page is committed to maintaining that mission. We should continue to innovate in our relationship with our employees and figure out the best things we can do for them (p. 99).
This commitment to employee engagement translates to some very tangible benefits and perks. Lots of free food via 25 cafeterias ensures no one goes hungry. Paid sabbaticals are available. Healthcare premiums are paid 100% by Google. Onsite massage reduces stress.
Not every company is a Google. Nevertheless, every company can enhance its employee engagement by constantly searching for opportunities to put employees first. Sometimes little things can be big things. Sometimes those little things add up to some bigger things.
Many companies dodge these great opportunities, and lose. But for those companies that aggressively pursue the opportunities, everyone wins. Now thats a search-engine result everyone likes!