When you think of the “best place to work,” what comes to mind? For many of us, I would imagine Google surfaces rather quickly. We start picturing ergonomic lounge chairs, gourmet lunches, onsite laundry, and other conveniences. It must be so easy for them to attract and retain top talent, right? I mean really, who wouldn’t want to work there?
What we often overlook is that Google wasn’t always that way – there was a time when Google was young, when the company didn’t have the incredible resources it has now. In his book Work Rules!, Laszlo Bock (head of Google’s People Operations) reminds us that, “Fun is an outcome of who we [Google] are, rather than the defining characteristic.” The novelty of perks, prizes, and tangible rewards wear off rather quickly. What attracts candidates and sustains employee loyalty are the shared experiences, energy, and atmosphere of your company. It’s the passion, not the perks, that culture is built upon.