Workforce Wonk

By Alyah Khan

Blog archive

Google's recipe for superior managers

How do you build a better manager?

That’s the question Google set out to answer when it began a program named Project Oxygen back in 2009.

As part of the effort, statisticians at the company gathered data from various performance reviews, feedback and other reports to devise a list of eight behavior-related directives for good managers, according to the New York Times.

Google’s rules included:

  • Have a clear vision and strategy for the team.
  • Help your employees with career development.
  • Don’t be a sissy: Be productive and results-oriented.

Technical expertise was ranked last on the list, which may or may not come as a surprise. Similar to the private sector, experts have said federal employees place more importance on managers being accessible and providing constructive feedback than on their knowing the technical details of the work..

What’s going at Google is noteworthy in light of the federal government’s recent commitment to reform performance management, as expressed by Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry.

Most agree that the success of a new federal performance management system depends entirely on supervisors. The same was true at Google, where the company found that managers had a “much greater impact on employees’ performance and how they felt about their job than any other factor,” the New York Times reported.

It might make sense for the government to take note of Google’s data-driven approach, and the company’s use of management coaches while it looks to improve its own method for evaluating employee performance.

What do you think about Google’s latest HR project? What can the federal government learn from the private sector when it comes to performance management?

Posted by Alyah Khan on Mar 21, 2011 at 12:20 PM


Featured

  • People
    Dr. Ronny Jackson briefs the press on President Trump

    Uncertainty at VA after nominee withdraws

    With White House physician Adm. Ronny Jackson's withdrawal, VA watchers are wondering what's next for the agency and its planned $16 billion health IT modernization project.

  • Cybersecurity

    DHS floats 'collective defense' model for cybersecurity

    Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen wants her department to have a more direct role in defending the private sector and critical infrastructure entities from cyberthreats.

  • Defense
    Defense Secretary James Mattis testifies at an April 12 hearing of the House Armed Services Committee.

    Mattis: Cloud deal not tailored for Amazon

    On Capitol Hill, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis sought to quell "rumors" that the Pentagon's planned single-award cloud acquisition was designed with Amazon Web Services in mind.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.