Google Management

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NYTimes.com March 12, 2011 Google’s Quest to Build a Better Boss By ADAM BRYANT Mountain View, Calif. IN early 2009, statisticians inside the Googleplex here embarked on a plan code-named Project Oxygen. Their mission was to devise something far more important to the future of Google Inc. than its next search algorithm or app. They wanted to build better bosses. So, as only a data-mining giant like Google can do, it began analyzing performance reviews, feedback surveys and nominations for top-manager awards. They correlated phrases, words, praise and complaints. Later that year, the “people analytics” teams at the company produced what might be called the Eight Habits of Highly Effective Google Managers. Now, brace yourself.…show more content…
Those models often suffer “a lot of organ rejection” in companies, he added, because they are not presented with any evidence that they will make a difference, nor do they prioritize what matters. “Most companies are better at exhorting you to be a great manager, rather than telling you how to be a great manager,” Mr. Safferstone says. PROJECT OXYGEN started with some basic assumptions. People typically leave a company for one of three reasons, or a combination of them. The first is that they don’t feel a connection to the mission of the company, or sense that their work matters. The second is that they don’t really like or respect their co-workers. The third is they have a terrible boss — and this was the biggest variable. Google, where performance reviews are done quarterly, rather than annually, saw huge swings in the ratings that employees gave to their bosses. Managers also had a much greater impact on employees’ performance and how they felt about their job than any other factor, Google found. “The starting point was that our best managers have teams that perform better, are retained better, are happier — they do everything better,” Mr. Bock says. “So the biggest controllable factor that we could see was the quality of the manager, and how they sort of made things happen. The question we then asked was: What if every manager was that good? And then you start saying: Well, what makes them that
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