A while back, Google set out to improve the skills of its managers. Being Google, a bunch of statisticians compared correlations in the words and phrases that came up again and again in, feedback surveys and recognition nominations, says The New York Times.
The end result: A simple yet elegant list of eight things the best Google managers do. Here are Google’sbest practices, in order of importance.
1. Be a good coach. Provide specific, constructive feedback, balancing the negative and the positive. Have regular one-on-ones, presenting solutions to problems tailored to your employees’ specific strengths.
2. Empower your team and don’t micromanage. Balance giving freedom to your employees, while still being available for advice. Make “stretch” assignments to help the team tackle big problems.
3. Express interest in team members’ success and personal well-being. Get to know your employees as people, with lives outside of work. Make new members of your team feel welcome and help ease their transition.
4. Don’t be a sissy: Be productive and results-oriented. Focus on what employees want the team to achieve and how they can help achieve it. Help the team prioritize work and use seniority to remove roadblocks.
5. Be a good communicator and listen to your team. Communication is two-way: You both listen and share information. Hold all-hands meetings and be straightforward about the messages and goals of the team. Help the team connect the dots. Encourage open dialogue and listen to the issues and concerns of your employees.
6. Help your employees with career development.
7. Have a clear vision and strategy for the team. Even in the midst of turmoil, keep the team focused on goals and strategy. Involve the team in setting and evolving the team’s vision and making progress toward it.
8. Have key technical skills so you can help advise the team. Roll up your sleeves and conduct work side by side with the team, when needed. Understand the specific challenges of the work.
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