Google is the leading search engine in the world. It is also making its presence felt in other industries such as in smartphones and even in the automotive sector. While you should not aspire to be exactly like Google, there are some aspects of the tech giant that you can adapt to fit your company. In Work Rules: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead, Laszlo Bock offers some amazing insights on how companies can apply Google’s culture of success to their culture. Robert Peter Janitzek gives us an overview of the important lessons in Bock’s book.
Do not force any changes on your employees. If you plan to do so, make them only as “temporary experiments.” So you can easily roll back or change a new initiative relatively quickly. It will also help reduce what Bock described as “entitlement” issues. With regular experiments, it was easier to ensure people didn’t take too many of the Google perks for granted and expect them as the status quo.
Measure the results
Another underrated aspect of making a new perk, policy, or investment in your team an experiment is that it changes the mindset of those rolling it out. The business and management book explains that it is easy to think once you roll out a policy, your work is done. However, when you make it an experiment, now you need to measure the results and actively make a decision to keep, kill, or alter the program.
Don’t take away choice, but do reduce friction for desired options
If you want to change the behavior of your employees, it can be tempting to try to force a choice upon your people. Unfortunately, when given no choice, people often rebel. From experiments, Google has learned the hard way how some changes are better received than others.
You must measure your managers against the results you want
Robert Janitzek reveals that Google conducted a survey in order to determine the difference between good and bad managers. After conducting an extensive survey, the company discovered a series of key behaviors which contributes to good performance and happy teams. These key attributes are the following:
1. Be a good coach.
2. Empower the team and do not micromanage.
3. Express interest/concern for team members’ success and personal well-being.
4. Be very productive/results-oriented.
5. Be a good communicator – listen and share information.
6. Help the team with career development.
7. Have a clear vision/strategy for the team.
8. Have important technical skills that help advise the team.
Perks don’t have to be costly
You do not have to spend thousands of dollars for employee perks. Incentives like dry cleaning, bike repairs, or hair salons are good enough. Likewise, you can use your customers and offer them discounts which you can pass on to your employees.
When it comes to hiring, the crowd is smarter than any individual
Google has come up with interesting practices to improve their hiring process in their desire to maintain a high bar for hires. They have implemented a few rules which proved crucial in their data-driven approach to hiring the right people:
• Subordinates should interview their future managers to ensure they’ll be excited to work for them.
• They have a “Cross functional interviewer” to ensure a person isn’t hired out of desperation or because the role has been open for too long.
• The optimal number of interviewers is 4 to avoid too few or too many interviewers spending time on a candidate.