Google’s 8 Point Plan to be a Better Manager
In a previous article we listed a summary of Google’s 8 points to be a more effective manager – here is some more detail.
Eight good behaviours of effective managers (in priority order for Google)
- 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.
- •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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 issue and concerns of your employees.
- Help your employees with career development
- 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.
- 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.
Three Indicators of Poor Managers
- Have trouble making a transition to the team
- ◦Sometimes, fantastic individual contributors are promoted to managers without the necessary skills to lead people.
- ◦People hired from outside the organization don’t always understand the unique aspects of managing at Google.
- Lack a consistent approach to performance management and career development
- ◦Don’t help employees understand how these work at Google and doesn’t coach them on their options to develop and stretch.
- ◦Not proactive, waits for the employee to come to them.
- Spend too little time managing and communicating
For many there is nothing surprising here – what is important about this data is that it shows that consistency is important. People value the basics.