Google believes that effective managers make great leaders. It is for this reason that the tech giant focuses all its energy on producing great managers who will lead their teams efficiently. According to Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, the company's secret to effective management is to 'Let others succeed'. Of course, executing Pichai's advice is easier said than done, and that is why Google has strived hard to create tools that will make this declaration a possibility.
In this article, we list three tools used by managers at Google to help them become better leaders. These tools cover everything from career development and feedback to setting agendas for one-on-ones. The tech giant has developed these tools after gaining years of insights by analyzing reviews and other observable data.
Just like at any other company, Google's management analysis acknowledged that above all, employees value the knowledge that their manager is invested in their personal success and career advancement. To help its managers easily discuss development with the employees who report to them, Google uses the GROW model. This model organizes the conversation into four different sections – Goal, Reality, Options, and Will. Through Goal, managers can establish what a team member really wants to achieve with his career. Through Reality, managers establish whether or not a team member understands his current role. Managers use Options to close the gap between Goal and Reality. Finally through Will, managers identify attainable steps to move from Reality to Goal.
Google evaluates its managers on a semi-annual basis with a survey that consists of 13 questions. The first 11 questions measure whether employees agree or disagree with statements like 'My manager communicates clear goals for our team'. The last two questions of this survey are open-ended. At Google, the responses to these surveys are reported confidentially and managers receive anonymous and aggregated feedback. They also receive verbatim answers to the two open-ended questions. The feedback of this survey is used purely for the purpose of development. It isn't directly considered in compensation reviews as Google hopes that employees will be honest with their feedback.
Google follows a practice where its top managers hold one-on-one meetings with those who report to them. However, as you already know, individual check-ins can often feel disorganized and rushed. In order to get the most out of each one-on-one, Google managers set up a shared meeting agenda in advance. The tech giant suggests a few items that the managers as well as team members can broach during the meeting. Catch-up questions, roadblocks, goal updates, and administrative topics are just a few subjects that Google advises its managers to look into.
Sharing the above-mentioned three tools is part of the company's ongoing efforts to share its knowledge with the world. Use these tools to help your managers support your people in putting their best foot forward.