Google’s eight rules to being a great boss

Being a good – or even a great – boss is hugely important to your business’s success. 

People typically leave a company for one of three reasons: (1) they don’t feel a connection to the company’s mission; (2) they don’t like their colleagues; or (3) they have a terrible boss.

When Google looked at employees’ opinions of their bosses, the feedback wasn’t great. So what did Google do? It did what Google does best: analysis.

Google’s data team took 10,000 observations from staff performance reviews, feedback surveys and much more, and launched “Project Oxygen”, a research project into what keeps employees happy, motivated, and keen to work for you.

The result is a ranking of eight rules that make Google employees happy with their bosses.

“In the Google context, we’d always believed that to be a manager, particularly on the engineering side, you need to be as deep or deeper a technical expert than the people who work for you,” Laszlo Bock, Google’s VP for people operations, tells the New York Times. “It turns out that that’s absolutely the least important thing. Much more important it just making that connection and being accessible.”

So, what are Google’s eight golden rules to being a great boss? Here’s the ranking.

1. “Be a good coach”

Provide specific feedback and have regular one-to-one meetings with employees. Also, offer solutions that are tailored to each employee’s strengths.

2. “Empower your team – don’t micromanage”

Give employees space to tackle problems themselves, but be available to offer advice.

3. “Express interest in your team members’ success and wellbeing”

Make new members feel welcome and get to know your employees as people.

4. “Don’t be a sissy: Be productive and results-oriented”

Focus on helping the team achieve its goals by prioritising work and removing obstacles.

5. “Be a good communicator – listen to your team”

Learn to listen as well as share information. Encourage open dialogue and pay attention to the concerns of your team.

6. “Help your employees with career development”

Employees want to feel like their efforts will be noticed and that their hard work is furthering their careers. Managers should make it known that they appreciate employees, want to help them, and that the work employees do for them will pay off.

7. “Have a clear vision and strategy for the team”

In addition to leading the team, keep everyone involved in developing and working towards the team’s vision.

8. “Have technical skills so you can advise the team”

Understand the challenges related to each project and be able to help your team members solve problems.

So, dear readers, how many of these rules do you already comply with? What advice do you have for your fellow bosses? How do you keep your staff happy and motivated?

If you’re eager to find out more tips and tricks for giving you and your business a boost, come to our Entrepreneurs’ Summit in London on May 25, 2011.

The theme of the day is “How to give yourself an unfair advantage” – and we’ve already lined up fantastic speakers that will get you fired-up and ready to take your business to the next level.

We’ve extended the early-bird rate, and tickets are going fast, so be sure to book your place now.

 

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