Core Values guide every action and behavior of your organization. They are your cultural cornerstones! Your moral compass!  When you Google “Core Values,” here’s a great definition:

Core values are an individual or organization’s fundamental beliefs and highest priorities that drive their behavior. You can think of core values as an internal compass of principles that drive a person’s or organization’s decisions.

Darcy and I work with companies to create concise Core Values that inform team members about how to make decisions to align with the organization. Great Core Values allow for decentralization of decisions, empowerment, and clarity. In a nutshell, they are the bedrock for building success.

What about Google’s Core Values?Do you core values need to be updated?

I Googled “Google” to review their Core Values, and it was challenging to find them. Many writers have referred to them, but it took some digging to find a recent listing:

  • Fast is better than slow.
  • Focus on the user and all else will follow.
  • Great just isn’t good enough.
  • There’s always more information.
  • You can be serious without a suit.
  • Democracy on the Web works.
  • You don’t need to be at your desk to need an answer.
  • You can make money without doing evil.
  • The need for information crosses all borders.
  • It’s best to do one thing really, really well.

As I was searching, a “12,000 jobs” headline popped up with this news:

Google’s parent company Alphabet said on January 20 that it would shed 12,000 jobs. The Google layoffs are the company’s largest ever, accounting for 6% of the company’s global personnel, and comes after a decision to defer a portion of employees’ January bonuses to be paid later in the year.

Shed 12,000 jobs? Ouch, those are 12,000 people.

And it didn’t take long to come across this:

According to a report from CNBC, ex-staffers who were laid off while on their medical or maternity leave have alleged that Google is refusing to pay them for their approved time off. More than 100 such former employees have joined to form the group “Laid off on Leave” to press the tech behemoth to pay them for the weeks and months they were approved to take off before the job cuts were announced. The laid-off employees said that they will only receive pay until their specified end date, along with standard severance, the report added.
The group consists of people who were approved for or are currently on maternity leave, baby bonding leave, caregiver’s leave, medical leave, and personal leave.

I immediately jumped to the defense of these employees. “Come on Googs, take care of these people!”

As I read more, the story stated this group of 100 people are getting full severance packages and want their leave time to be above and beyond the 16 weeks’ severance plus two weeks for each year served. That is a healthy severance package in today’s world. Their maternity and paternity policy allows full-time employees to take 18 weeks for all parents and 24 weeks for birth parents.

I have no idea what is right or wrong here and how much is enough or not enough. Regardless, it prompted me to review their Core Values through a different lens.

Let’s review Google’s Core Values

For starters, I don’t see much on how the employees are treated. Clearly, they don’t have to be at a desk or wear a suit. Nowhere does it mention People First, or We are Family, or anything specific to the person.

I guess their Core Value of “There’s always more information” can apply to this one. 😊

Do your company's core values need to be updated?Do your company’s values work in good times and bad? 

In reviewing their values, I don’t see anywhere that Google has broken a commitment to their people. It does get me thinking about how employees and future team members can analyze what a company says about how they operate when we are making a decision to work for the organization. Do your Core Values match with your organization’s?  It may be a great exercise to spend a minute on it with your team. We are happy to help you revisit your Values to ensure they are helping your organization and team members thrive. We care deeply about your people and the power of supporting them with meaningful Core Values that are integrated into everything you do.