Over the last several years, Google seems to be at the top of the list as one of the best companies to work for by Time, Forbes, Inc., and many more. Could it be the perks of having on-site doctors and hair stylists, having one of the top recognized paid parental leaves, or is it the gourmet cafeteria food (lunch is free by the way)? While the list of perks is long, Google’s former Head of People Operations, Laszlo Bock credits their management/leadership quality as one of the reasons Google’s retention rate is high and their employees are happy. But, what makes a great leader or great manager successful? According to Bock, successful leaders and managers demonstrate the following:
- They give actionable feedback that helps employees improve performance.
- They don’t micromanage and trust their team.
- They show consideration for their team members as individuals.
- They keep the team focused on priority results/deliverables.
- They regularly share relevant information from senior leadership.
- They have meaningful discussions about career development with each team member at least once every 6 months.
- They communicate clear goals for their team.
- They possess the technical expertise required to effectively manage their team.
- They are the leader their team members would recommend to their colleagues.
According to Bock, “If you perform every behavior on the list, you’ll be an amazing manager.” (And maybe you’ll have a chance at the gourmet lunches, too.)
“Google’s HR boss says the best managers practice these 9 Habits.” Business Insider, Richard Feloni, 02 April 2015. Web 06 Feb. 2018.
The biggest issue many employers fail to make is to ensure their employees are engaged in their work. To keep employees engaged, we need to focus on going to great lengths to hire the right people and then manage them well.
Hiring the right people goes beyond just looking at their skills. The candidate needs to understand the mission of the organization. Use behavior-based questions when conducting interviews.
Make sure your top talent knows they are valued. Help them know they have a future with Ohio State. Talk to them about possible career paths. Goal setting is critical to employee success. Give the employee feedback along the way, don’t wait for the performance review conversation once a year.
Compensation is an indicator of job performance. If you do a better job than a co-worker and at the end of the year you both receive the same increase, how would that make you feel?
Insights.osu.edu, “Getting engaged at work” September 2017
- Work productivity decreases more than normal
- Act less like a team player than normal
- Doing the minimum amount of work
- Less interested in pleasing the manager
- Less willing to commit to long-term timelines
- Exhibited a negative change in attitude
- Exhibited less effort and work motivation
- Exhibited less focus on job related matters
- Express dissatisfaction with current job
- Express dissatisfaction with supervisor
- Left early from work more frequently
- Lost enthusiasm for the mission of the organization
- Shown less interest in working with customers
www.shrm.org “13 Signs That Someone is About to Quit, According to Research” November 16, 2016, Timothy M. Gardner and Peter W. Horn
While HR is tasked with managing morale boosting activities, be careful not to go overboard. If you become the “Chief of Fun” you risk losing credibility with employees, particularly those who are having issues at work resulting in disciplinary action.
It is more important for employees to feel comfortable confiding in HR about inappropriate behavior or misconduct than whether there will be a big party.
It is critical HR separate the tasks of conducting investigations and encouraging morale boosting activities. Employee committees and managers may be assigned to plan parties with HR’s oversight. This will make HR look less like the “Chief of Fun” and keep credibility.
www.shrm.org “As ‘Chief of Fun,’ HR May Struggle to Fight Harassment” January 23, 2018, Allen Smith