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拉里•佩奇:打造“家”一样的谷歌

拉里•佩奇:打造“家”一样的谷歌

Adam Lashinsky 2012年01月20日
谷歌继2007、2008年之后再次问鼎《财富》2012美国最适宜工作的100家公司排行榜、成为唯一一家三夺冠军宝座的公司之际,谷歌联合创始人兼CEO接受了《财富》杂志的独家专访,畅谈了谷歌打造最佳工作环境的做法及其意义所在。他说:“公司要像家一样,员工觉得自己是公司的一部分,公司对他们来说就是一个大家庭。如果能这样对待员工,员工的生产效率就会得到提高。”

   谷歌(Google)从它在车库诞生的那一天其就几乎一直被视为世界上最适合工作的公司——成功进入谷歌的人都会发现这一点。名牌大学的高材生只要能够经受住公司残酷的面试流程,就能享受到绝佳的福利待遇。如今,优厚的福利待遇没有变,但是随着发展,谷歌的招聘变得更加切合实际,开始对成绩平平的学生敞开怀抱。从去年起,谷歌开始从一些不太知名的学校招聘,如德州农工大学(Texas A&M)和位于布法图的纽约州立大学(the State University of New York);另外,以前面试环节涉及高达12轮筛选,而现在平均已经减少到了四五轮。谷歌前CEO拉里•佩奇一年前重返公司CEO的位置。他在接受《财富》杂志(Fortune)独家专访时,介绍了谷歌努力营造的“家”一样的环境,自豪之情溢于言表。他谈到了谷歌的工作环境与他祖父那个时代相比出现的变化,还谈到谷歌如何通过提供免费食品鼓励人们少吃东西。当然,他并没有排除今后对食物收费的可能性,但是这事短期内还不会发生。

这些年来,作为谷歌大家庭的一员,谷歌员工的角色发生了怎样的变化?

    随着公司不断发展壮大,作为谷歌大家庭一员的角色显然也在发生着变化。但是,从我还在斯坦福大学(Stanford)就读时,我就始终认为,大学毕业生可以从事任何自己喜欢的工作。真正的好项目会激发一大批人的参与热情。我们把这种想法带到谷歌,它确实对我们大有帮助。只要你是在改变世界,那么你就是在从事伟大的事业。每天清晨起床都会兴奋不已。这才是最重要的。人们希望投身于有意义、影响深远的工作,但事实上,这样的工作非常有限。但是,我觉得谷歌仍然拥有这样的工作。坦率地讲,我们一直都有这样的工作。

您如何总结谷歌的文化?

    我爷爷是一位汽车修理工。他当年做了个防身的武器,上班的时候就带在身上,,保护自己不受公司的欺压。那是一根大铁管,头上有一个大铅块。以前工人需要采取这种方式来避免受到公司的欺压,我在想,现在的公司变化真大啊。而作为公司领导,我要做的是确保公司每个员工都能获得良好的机遇,让他们觉得自己正在发挥重要作用,为社会做出有益的贡献。作为一个整体,我们在这方面做得很好。我的目标是让谷歌成为业内的领袖,而不是跟在别人后面。

在您看来,从免费食品到按摩,所有这些优厚的福利待遇对您设计的员工体验有多重要?

    我认为员工体验不是这些孤立的事情。最重要的是,公司要像家一样,员工觉得自己是公司的一部分,公司对他们来说就是一个大家庭。如果能这样对待员工,员工的生产效率就会得到提高。我们不应该只关心工作时间的长短,而更应该关心工作的成果。我们应该发挥创意,不断创新公司与员工之间的互动关系,找出最符合员工利益的事情。我们始终关心员工的健康,确保能帮助他们保持健康,成功戒烟。正因为如此,我们在医疗保健开支方面的增长幅度比其他公司都要高。但是我们的员工心情更舒畅,生产效率更高,而这才是最重要的。

    Almost since the day it set up shop in a garage, Google has been known as one of the world's best places to work -- if you could get your foot in the door. Crazy-free perks were the reward for graduates of elite schools who had high grade-point averages and who could endure the company's grueling interview process. The perks remain, but as Google (GOOG) has grown, it has gotten more realistic about recruiting -- and kinder about tolerating underperformers. As of last year, the company began recruiting at such nonpedigreed institutions as Texas A&M and the State University of New York at Buffalo; interview sessions that often involved as many as 12 screenings now average between four and five. In an exclusive interview with Fortune, Larry Page, Google's original CEO, who reassumed the position a year ago, speaks with obvious pride about the "family" environment Google tries to encourage, how it differs from his own grandfather's workplace, and how free food encourages people to eat less. And while he doesn't rule out charging for those meals one day, don't count on its happening anytime soon.

How has the state of being an employee at Google changed over the years?

    It changes, obviously, as the company gets bigger. But the thing that really has stuck with me from when I was at Stanford is that when you're a grad student, you can work on whatever you want. And the projects that were really good got a lot of people really wanting to work on them. We've taken that learning to Google, and it's been really, really helpful. If you're changing the world, you're working on important things. You're excited to get up in the morning. That's the main thing. You want to be working on meaningful, impactful projects, and that's the thing there is really a shortage of in the world. I think at Google we still have that. We've always had that in spades.

How do you summarize Google's culture?

    My grandfather was an autoworker, and I have a weapon he manufactured to protect himself from the company that he would carry to work. It's a big iron pipe with a hunk of lead on the head. I think about how far we've come as companies from those days, where workers had to protect themselves from the company. My job as a leader is to make sure everybody in the company has great opportunities, and that they feel they're having a meaningful impact and are contributing to the good of society. As a world, we're doing a better job of that. My goal is for Google to lead, not follow that.

How important to you are Google's wonderful lifestyle perks, from the free food to the massages, for the employee experience you're trying to design?

    I don't think it's any of those individual things. It's important that the company be a family, that people feel that they're part of the company, and that the company is like a family to them. When you treat people that way, you get better productivity. Rather than really caring what hours you worked, you care about output. We should continue to innovate in our relationship with our employees and figure out the best things we can do for them. We've been looking a lot at the health of our people, and making sure we're helping them stay healthy and quit smoking. Our health care costs have grown a lot less fast than other companies as a result of that. But our people have also been a lot happier and more productive, which is much more important.

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