Google is sharing its management tools with the world

Google is sharing its management tools with the world

Speaking at his alma mater in January, Sundar Pichai, Google’s low-profile CEO, revealed his key to effective management: “Let others succeed.”

Enacting Pichai’s advice is easier said than done. But Google is sharing some tools that might help. Its Re:Work blog is offering a series of instructive documents used by managers at Google. They cover everything from feedback and career development to setting agendas for one-on-ones, and codify the insights Google gleaned from spending years analyzing reviews and other observable data at the company to determine essential leadership traits.

Here’s an overview of what’s available. Each section header below has the link to the corresponding documentation from Google.

Manager feedback survey

Googlers evaluate their managers on a semi-annual basis with a 13-question survey. The first 11 measure whether employees agree or disagree with statements like “My manager shows consideration for me as a person.” The final two questions (“What would you recommend your manager keep doing?” and “What would you have your manager change?”) are open-ended.

At Google, these survey responses are reported confidentially, and managers receive a report of anonymized, aggregated feedback, plus verbatim answers to the two open-ended questions. “The feedback a manager gets through this survey is purely developmental,” Google says. “It isn’t directly considered in performance or compensation reviews, in the hope that Googlers will be honest and constructive with their feedback.”

Career conversations worksheet

Google’s management analysis reveals that above all, employees value knowing that their manager is invested in their personal success and career development. To help managers effectively discuss development with their direct reports, Google uses the GROW model—which organizes the conversation into four recommended sections:

  • Goal: What do you want? Establish what the team member really wants to achieve with their career.
  • Reality: What’s happening now? Establish the team member’s understanding of their current role and skills.
  • Options: What could you do? Generate multiple options for closing the gap from goal to reality.
  • Will: What will you do? Identify achievable steps to move from reality to goal.

“One Simple Thing” worksheet

To encourage personal well-being and work-life balance, Google uses the popular goal-setting practice “One Simple Thing.” The goal should be specific enough to measure its impact on one’s well-being. “Managers can encourage team members to explain how pursuing this one thing won’t negatively affect their work,” Google explains. “That goal then becomes part of a team member’s set of goals that managers should hold them accountable for, along with whatever work-related goals they already have.”

Some examples of “One Simple Thing” goals include “I will take a one hour break three times a week to work out,” and “I will not read emails on the weekends.”

1:1 Meeting agenda template

At Google, the highest-rated managers hold frequent one-on-one meetings with their direct reports. However, as most leaders know, individual check-ins can often feel rushed and disorganized. To squeeze the most out of each one-on-one (which Google managers are advised to hold every week or two) Googlers set up a shared meeting agenda ahead of time—which both the manager and the report should contribute to.

Some agenda items Google suggests include:

  • Check-in and catch-up questions: “What can I help you with?” and “What have you been up to?”
  • Roadblocks or issues
  • Goal updates
  • Administrative topics (e.g., upcoming vacations, expense reports)
  • Next steps to confirm actions and agreements
  • Career development and coaching

New manager training course materials

As Google explains, “These course materials were originally designed for Google managers to help them transition from individual contributor roles to manager roles.” As anyone who has done this can attest, conducting the transition gracefully requires a bit of perspective shifting, and more than a little awareness building.

The course materials include a facilitator guide (to help whoever is training the new managers), a new manager student workbook (including interactive exercises), and the presentation slides that Google trainers use internally.

Read the full version from the author’s website.

9 Signs Your Workplace Is Emotionally Unintelligent (and What to Do About It)

9 Signs Your Workplace Is Emotionally Unintelligent (and What to Do About It)


CREDIT: Getty Images Photo by: Getty Images

Here’s a troubling trend. Other than fidget spinners, I mean.

Research among people recently leaving corporate life indicates a surprising thread. Guess what strength is most common among the newly departed?

High EQ (emotional intelligence).

Now, compare that to the increasing commonality of a low-EQ workplace and you have a “no duh” explanation for the exodus.

Are you operating in a low-EQ workplace that gives high EQers fits, and the sense that they don’t belong?

Here’s how to tell. Look for these nine signs of “emotional unintelligence” and wise the workplace up by employing the advice that follows.

1. Business goals are uninspiring at best.

Do you genuinely care if your business unit hits a 25 percent market share? Unless you’ve got a major equity position, I’m guessing no.

What people do care about are goals that translate to something that serves a higher purpose, a goal with personal meaning. Something they can relate to. Who is that 25 percent and how are you serving them and making their lives better?

That’s your goal.

Yes, numbers matter. Until they’re numbing.

2. The people affected by decisions are rarely enrolled.

Being cc’d rather than enrolled on a decision is disempowering and deflating. Frankly, leaders who do this show low IQ and EQ.

Is it so difficult to understand that people must weigh in before they can buy in? Has the art and science of showing people they’re valued and valuable actually become rocket science? Is it completely missed that decision-making processes can unchain instead of drain energy?

Enroll early and often.

3. Leaders conduct inquisitions, not inquiries.

Some of the most emotionally bereft behavior leaders can engage in happens at leadership team meetings. Employees come in for a checkpoint on projects and instead of helpful questioning and curiosity, they’re met with a “you must get past us” mentality. Leaders might even lash out more than they listen.

No, no, no.

Role model interactions with teams that leave them looking forward to leadership meetings rather than licking their wounds thereafter.

4. It’s all head, no heart.

Environments rich in analysis, planning, and preparation still need one other critical element.

A pulse.

High EQers need to know that a passion for people, in addition to rote progress, is a priority.

Put empathy, compassion, and the needs of employees on the agenda along with that topic on inventory levels.

5. Micro-management is used like a security blanket.

Raise your hand if you like to be micro-managed.

Micro-management is a sign of many things, the most troubling of which is insecurity. It demonstrates zero trust, indicates selfishness, and smacks of low self-confidence.

Show your leadership peers what astonishing empowerment looks like. Macro-managing exhilarates.

6. Problem employees go unaddressed.

One word for you: fester. That’s what unaddressed problem children will do. Such a situation saps the energy of great employees, shows a stunning lack of concern, and is a knife in the heart of an organization. A lack of courage in addressing the negative ions is the ultimate in callousness.

Fix. It…

Read the full version from the author’s website.

Only one thing matters. That you f#@^ing finish what you START.

Only one thing matters. That you f#@^ing finish what you START.

Only one thing matters. That you f#@^ing finish what you START.

This is the single most important medium post you will ever read.

I believe that I am about to change your life.

Because I want to tell you one thing.

Your work is not perfect.

Your product, your business, your blog — they are incredibly imperfect.

I could look at your work for 5 minutes and come up with so many flaws you would pay me to point them out.

But you know what?

It. Does. Not. Matter.

There is only one thing that matters in this world, and it is simple, and I want you to understand it.

The only thing that f#@^ing matters is that you finish what you’re working on.

83% of the people who will email me and say they want to do what I do WILL NEVER FINISH ANYTHING.

They will have the best excuses in the whole world. They were busy. They were tired. Life was hard. Their dogs ate their homework.

Can I tell you something? Those excuses might make them feel better but they won’t help them get to where they need to be. There is only one thing that will help with that — finishing their work.

You do not have to be faster than the tiger.

Have you ever heard that parable? A man and his friend were camping in the jungle. One night a tiger attacked their camp site. They started running. One friend said to the other, “we’re not fast enough, we’ll never outrun the tiger!”

His buddy turned to him and shouted one thing.

“I don’t have to outrun the tiger, I just have to outrun you….”

The tiger is our own will to NOT ACHIEVE. The tiger is the voice that says to give up.

The tiger is the voice of failure.

You just have to outrun everyone who doesn’t have the guts to finish their work.

I don’t care if you disagree. I don’t give a fuck.

Because at the end of the day, I finish my work. I’m a finisher. If you cannot be that and do that, you don’t stand a chance out here.

The world is waiting for you, the opportunities are out there, for the people with the raw guts to finish, to publish, to release, to launch. If you’re one of those people, you’re a goddamn legend and I respect you.

If you’re not?

Well, then I got no time for you.

Finish.

Finish your work.

Put it in the hands of people who give a shit. Be a radical completer. That’s what matters and that’s what counts and anything else is bullshit.

You want to tell me all about how wrong I am? How I offended you by someone swearing and telling you the truth? Email me. [email protected]

…and I’ll explain why it doesn’t matter if I’m wrong or if I’m right.

Only one thing counts; that you’re a finisher.

So, are you?

By Jon Westenberg – Chief Empathy Officer, Creatomic

Read the full version from the author’s website.

How to Tell If You’re a Great Manager

How to Tell If You’re a Great Manager

I’ve been reading Fred Kofman’s book, Conscious Business. Written in 2006, the book summarizes Kofman’s experiences as a management consultant to some of the great leaders in technology and other industries. In the book, Kofman lists 12 questions Gallup used to identify great managers in one of the largest management surveys conducted.

As I read this list of 12 questions, I started answering them for each of the different roles I’ve had. When I worked for great managers and answered the questions, I found I answered yes to almost all of them. The converse is also true.

This list incorporates questions about communication clarity, mission, shared values, respect, community and teamwork.

  1. Do I know what is expected of me at work?
  2. Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right?
  3. At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?
  4. In the last seven days, have I received recognition or praise for doing good work?
  5. Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person?
  6. Is there someone at work who encourages my development?
  7. At work, do my opinions seem to count?
  8. Does the mission/purpose of my company make me feel my job is important?
  9. Are my co-workers committed to doing high-quality work?
  10. Do I have a best friend at work?
  11. In the last six months, has someone at work talked to me about my progress?
  12. This last year, have I had opportunities at work to learn and grow?

Read the full version from the author’s website.