A great book on Google’s completely different style of management. Unfortunately, I’ve heard and read enough about Google of late that I know this doesn’t apply anymore. That said, if we take
Take power and authority over employees away from managers. Decisions by peer groups, committees, or teams. Every human being wants to find meaning in his or her work. Transparency is one of the cornerstones of Google’s culture. Restricting information should be a conscious effort, and you’d better have a good reason for doing so.
“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”Work Rules!
Voice means giving employees a real say in how the company is run. Two things that should be completely separate: performance evaluation and people development.
- We deliberately take power and authority over employees away from managers. Each of these decisions is instead made either by a group of peers, a committee, or a dedicated, independent team.
- Only when companies take steps to give their people more freedom does performance improve.
- Our employees, who have named themselves Googlers, are everything. Google is organized around the ability to attract and leverage the talent of exceptional technologists and business people. We have been lucky to recruit many creative, principled and
hard workingstars. We hope to recruit many more in the future. We will reward and treat them well.
- The fundamental lesson from Google’s experience is that you must first choose whether you want to be a founder or an employee. It’s not a question of literal ownership. It’s a question of attitude.
- “10 Things We Know to Be True,” a list of ten beliefs that guide how we run our business.
- Google’s mission is distinctive both in its simplicity and in what it doesn’t talk about.
- The most talented people on the planet want an aspiration that is also inspiring.
- Deep down, every human being wants to find meaning in his or her work.
- Transparency is the second cornerstone of our culture.
- Restricting information should be a conscious effort, and you’d better have a good reason for doing so. At Google, a newly hired software engineer gets access to almost all of our code on the first day.
- The benefit of so much openness is that everyone in the company knows what’s going on.
- One of the serendipitous benefits of transparency is that simply by sharing data, performance improves.
- Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund. Every meeting is recorded and made available to all employees.
- The first time I complained about somebody in an email and my manager promptly copied that person, which forced us to quickly resolve the issue.
- Voice means giving employees a real say in how the company is run.
- He launched Bureaucracy Busters, a now-annual program where Googlers identify their biggest frustrations and help fix them.
- “culture eats strategy for breakfast” was pretty spot-on.
- In fact, at every point in Google’s history, there has been a sense that the culture was degrading. This feeling of teetering on the brink of losing our culture causes people to be vigilant about threats to it.
- But there’s a jarring dissonance between the dewy optimism we feel after a great interview and the tepid reality a year
later,when we’re assessing his or her performance.
- Some experts go so far as to say that 90 percent of training doesn’t cause a sustained improvement in performance or change in behavior because it’s neither well designed nor well delivered.
- The presence of a huge training budget
is not evidencethat you’re investing in your people.
- The majority of our time and money spent on people is invested in attracting, assessing, and cultivating new hires.
- The first change is to hire more slowly.
- “Only hire people who are better than you.”
- In addition to being willing to take longer, to wait for someone better than you, you also need managers to give up power when it comes to hiring.
- “Don’t hire exclusively for smarts.”
- It’s about finding the very best people who will be successful in the context of your organization, and who will make everyone around them more successful.
- Each generation of hiring will
thereforebe a slightly poorer version of the hiring done by the prior generation.
- For example, a hiring committee for online sales roles would be made up of salespeople, but would not include the hiring manager or anyone who would directly work with the candidate. This was to ensure objectivity.
- A small company can’t afford to hire someone who turns out to be awful.
- In the early days and for many years, our best source of candidates was referrals from existing employees.
- The first step to building a recruiting machine is to turn every employee into a recruiter by soliciting referrals.
- Predictions from the first ten seconds are useless.
- The best predictor of how someone will perform in a job is a work sample test (29 percent), structured interviews (26 percent), where candidates are asked a consistent set of questions with clear criteria to assess the quality of responses.
- The questions give you a consistent, reliable basis for sifting the superb candidates from the merely
great,because superb candidates will have much, much better examples and reasons for making the choices they did.
- The US Department of Veterans Affairs has a site with almost a hundred sample questions at www.va.gov/pbi/questions.asp
- Following the interviews, we survey every interviewee with a tool we call VoxPop, to find out what they thought of the process, and later use their feedback to adjust our process accordingly.
- Every interviewer sees a record of the interview scores they have given in the past and whether those people were hired or not.
- Our recruiters are able to route candidates across the entire company, which requires both visibility into all the jobs and an understanding of what they are.
- More important is meeting one or two of the people who will work for you.
- We add a “cross-functional interviewer,” someone with little or no connection at all to the group for which the candidate is interviewing.
Googlerfrom a different function is unlikely to have any interest in a particular job being filled but has a strong interest in keeping the quality of hiring high.
- At Google, there’s such faith in the quality of the hiring process that people join and on their first day are trusted and full members of their teams.
- The best Googlers apply their own judgment and break the rules when it makes sense.
- One of the nobler aspirations of a workplace should be that it’s a place of refuge where people are free to create, build, and grow.
- If you want a nonhierarchical environment, you need visible reminders of your values. Otherwise, your human nature inevitably reasserts itself.
- 20 percent time, Here is what [20 percent time] is not: A fully fleshed corporate program with its own written policy, detailed guidelines, and manager. Twenty percent time has always operated on a somewhat ad hoc basis.
paysystems are built with a goalof eliminating this kind of structural bias and inequity.
- Googlegeist asks about a hundred questions each year, scored on a five-point scale from “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree,” supplemented with several free-response questions.
- Because we want Googlers
tobe honest, there are two ways to submit your responses: confidentially or anonymously.
- There’s a virtuous cycle here: We take action on what we learn, which encourages future participation, which then gives us an ever more precise idea of where to improve.
- But hierarchy in decision-making is important. It’s the only way to break ties and is ultimately one of the primary responsibilities of management.
- What managers miss is that every time they give up a little control, it creates a wonderful opportunity for their team to step up, while giving the manager herself more time for new challenges.
- OKRs, or Objectives and Key Results.
- Once you see the company’s goals, it’s easy enough to compare them to your own.
- 5– point rating scale: needs improvement, consistently meets expectations, exceeds expectations, strongly exceeds expectations, and superb.
- Calibration adds a step. But it is critical to ensure fairness. A manager’s assessments are compared to those of managers leading similar teams, and they review their employees collectively:
- Calibration diminishes bias by forcing managers to justify their decisions to one another. It also increases perceptions of fairness among employees.
- Recency bias is when you overweight a recent experience because it’s fresh in your memory.
- They went on to demonstrate that intrinsic motivation drives not just higher performance, but also better personal outcomes in terms of greater vitality, self-esteem, and well-being.
- As long as ratings are directly linked to pay and career opportunities, every employee has this incentive to exploit the system.
- Annual reviews happen in November and pay discussions happen a month later.
- Two things that should be completely separate: performance evaluation and people development.
- Once a year every Googler receives annual feedback not just from their manager, but also from their peers.
- We asked for one single thing the person should do more of, and one thing they could do differently to have more impact.
- We asked them to list specific projects, their roles, and what they accomplished.
- Peer feedback is an essential part of the technical promotion packet that committees review.
- First, set goals correctly. Make them public. Make them ambitious. Second, gather peer feedback.
- Split reward conversations from development conversations. Combining the two kills learning.
- We’re not looking to fire people: We’re finding the people who need help.
- Our interventions here are for the small handful of people who struggle most, rather than for everyone.
- High performance is highly context dependent.
- Our hiring credo was that an engineering manager had to be at least as technically capable as her team.
- Teams working for the best managers also performed better and had lower turnover.
- supporting the adage that people don’t quit companies, they quit bad managers.
- eight common attributes shared by high-scoring managers
- Upward Feedback Survey, The survey itself is the checklist.
- Note that these results are provided for a manager’s development. They don’t directly influence the manager’s performance ratings or compensation.
- most managers choose to share. They distribute their reports and then lead a discussion about how to improve their performance, getting advice from their teams.
- Letting those who are at the bottom of the performance distribution know it, without tying that directly to pay or career outcomes, alerted and motivated them in as positive a way as possible.
- They shard their activities into tiny actions, like hitting the same golf shot in the rain for hours and repeat them relentlessly.
- The best at each skill should be teaching it.
- Measuring the results of training, rather than how much people liked it, will tell you very clearly (over time!) if what you’re doing is working.
- Four principles: Pay unfairly. Celebrate accomplishment, not compensation. Make it easy to spread the love. Reward thoughtful failure.
- Pay unfairly: Your best people are better than you think and worth more than you pay them
- Fairness is when pay is commensurate with contribution.
- As a result, there ought to be a tremendous variance in pay for individuals.
- Bill Gates took a more aggressive view, purportedly saying, “A great lathe operator commands several times the wage of an average lathe operator, but a great writer of software code is worth 10,000 times the price of an average software writer.”
- top 0.3 percent performer generates almost half a million dollars more in value.
- they found that the top 1 percent of workers generated ten times the average output, and the top 5 percent more than four times the average.
- How many people would you trade for your very best performer? If the number is more than five, you’re probably underpaying your best person.
- the allocation of extreme awards must be just.
- It’s essential that extreme reward systems have both distributive and procedural justice.
- We also shifted these programs from providing monetary awards to experiential awards.
gThanks(pronounced “gee-thanks”) is a tool for making it easy for people to recognize great work.
- Broadcasting a compliment makes both the giver and the receiver happier.
- Simple, public recognition is one of the most effective and most underutilized management tools.
- At Google, any employee can give anyone else a $175 cash award, with no management oversight or sign-off required.
- We’ve found that trusting people to do the right thing generally results in them doing the right thing.
- While incentives and goals matter, the act of considered risk-taking itself needs to be rewarded, especially in the face of failure.
- We wanted to make sure that taking enormous risks wasn’t penalized.
- If your best person is worth ten of the average people, you must pay “unfairly.
- Celebrate success with actions, not dollars.
- People with tight social networks, like those in a business unit or team, often have similar ideas and ways of looking at problems.
- we are far less consistent, objective, fair, and self-aware in how we navigate the world than we think we are.
- nudges are about influencing choice, not dictating it.
- You have to send the checklist at the right time, make it meaningful, and make it easy to act on.
- research that shows the simple act of making decisions degrades one’s ability to make further decisions.
- The secret to being wealthy is just to save more money while you’re young?
- Another way to address the challenge of habituation is by being unafraid to change benefits once the original reasons for them disappear.
- Similarly, our canaries give us an early warning about how engineers will react and are trusted partners and advisors in shaping our people programs.
- Innovation thrives on creativity and experimentation, but it also requires thoughtful pruning.
- People need to understand the rationales behind each action that might otherwise be viewed as a step down the slippery slope that leads you away from your values.
- Give your work meaning. Trust your people. Hire only people who are better than you. Don’t confuse development with managing performance. Focus on the two tails. Be frugal and generous. Pay unfairly. Nudge. Manage the rising expectations. Enjoy! And then go back to No. 1 and start again.
- Whatever you’re doing, it matters to someone.
- Hire by committee, set objective standards in advance, never compromise, and periodically check if your new hires are better than your old ones.