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Want to be a Better Manager? These Google Tools Can Help

Your start-up will thank you for it

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BY Marishka M. Cabrera - 25 Oct 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Google is known for being a workplace that inspires learning, innovation, and fun.

Not to mention it has all the tools it needs to make a big organization work. In its blog called Re: Work, the tech giant shares internal practices that managers outside the Google ecosystem may readily use.

Here are three tools that you can adopt in your own start-up:

Manager Feedback Survey

Over time, the People Operations team at Google had identified the qualities that make a great manager. They then set out to help their managers become better at their jobs through actionable feedback.

A semi-annual Manager Feedback Survey is given to gather feedback from employees about their managers. The survey is short and asks Googlers if they agree or disagree with such statements as: “My manager does not micromanage” or “My manager shows consideration for me as a person.”

The statements are based on one of the eight behaviors they found successful managers at Google to have.

One Simple Thing

Google’s research shows that effective managers care for employees not only professionally, but also on a personal level. On a professional level, Google says managers can develop their teams by offering feedback, identifying opportunities for growth, and focusing on skill development. It also tries to help managers be both empathetic and compassionate.

The “One Simple Thing” tool is a goal-setting practice to encourage personal well-being. Team members can then share their measureable, non-work goal to their manager, who, in turn, will hold them accountable for that goal along with their work-related goals. One Simple Thing goals can be: “I will leave the office by 6pm twice per week to be able to play with my daughter before bed” or “I will not read e-mails on weekends.”

Employee-to-Employee Learning Program

According to Google, “Organizations that embrace a culture of learning create an environment that encourages curiosity and knowledge sharing, which in turn leads to better business outcomes.”

Hence, cultivating a strong learning culture will better equip your employees with the skills and attitude they need to weather changes around them. One way to do this, Google says, is through an employee-to-employee learning program. However, getting the right people to teach and providing them with the proper resources are critical to the success of the program.

At Google, facilitators go through what is called a Facilitation Bootcamp. The course is a two-hour, interactive workshop, which can even be done through Google Hangouts. Thinking of training your own employees? Google makes available its Facilitation Bootcamp training slides, facilitator guide, and training workbook.

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