Google has always been good to its employees, and consistently topped best place to work lists from numerous sources for years. One of the biggest factors in that happening has been perks. The Google version of the little things like free coffee that jobs offer to keep morale up, around the Holiday season, ends up being Nexus phones, Chromebooks, and other high-end gadgets that each number in the staggering employee count receives. Obviously, this involves a lot of money. This year, in the company’s first Holiday season under Alphabet, or as Alphabet depending on who you ask, Google is making a cultural shift toward responsibility and groundedness apparent by taking the shiny new gadgets out from under their tree and giving them instead to somewhat more needy parties.
For the 2016 holiday season, Alphabet celebrated by shooting employees an email about the gifts that they would receive. Rather than a material gift, this year, employees were getting donations to charity in their names. Rather than a generic monetary amount given to a specific charity or firm, Google spread their efforts out and actually found a way to help themselves in the process. On behalf of their staff, Alphabet has about $30 million worth of merchandise like Chromebooks, along with support for that merchandise, to schools in need. That wonderful gesture of holiday generosity obviously netted them a whole bunch of new users in the education sector.
Last year, employees all got the choice of either a shiny new Nexus 5X awaiting them under the tree, or a donation to charity in their name. This year, Alphabet has made it clear that they are willing to give back to the community, making the holidays just a bit brighter for a number of schools and their various students and faculty. This cultural change can be attributed in part to the company’s new CFO, Ruth Porat, who has thus far carved her legacy in stone by beginning to hold moonshots accountable financially, and helping to curb spending to create a more structured and accountable culture companywide. Google has always had a hand in philanthropy, and this sort of behavior seems like the logical next step.