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Work ruler. How to team work

by laszlo bock


#WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET


We spend more time working than
doing anything else in our lives.

#WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET


But for most of the four billion of us with jobs, work is just a means
to an end. Or worse, it’s a downright miserable experience.

#WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET


#WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET



It doesn’t have to—and shouldn’t—be this way.
After I arrived at Google in 2006, I began
to notice places that took a better approach.
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Companies like Wegmans, Brandix, and Costco put their people first. Maybe it was
possible to build a great business while also treating people really, really well.
Maybe we just had to do things differently.
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Larry and Sergey, for example, founded Google with a strong
vision about the kind of company they wanted to create.
Google operates on the belief that people are fundamentally good.
#WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET


As head of People Operations, my job is to find and grow
our employees, self-dubbed “Googlers,” and keep them happy.

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So far, the effects of this philosophy are promising.

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Google is not alone when it comes to being a great
place to work. Lots of other companies and researchers
are doing things to make work better for people.
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Anyone can replicate this approach, and I’ll gladly
share some of the science and experiences that have
helped us get where we are today.
#WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET


#WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET


Culture underpins everything we do at Google.

#WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET


It’s easy to think culture is what you see on the surface. That bean bags
and lava lamps, along with our profit margins, are the secret to our success.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
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01

03
02

There are three defining aspects of Google’s culture:
finding a compelling mission, being transparent, and giving our people a voice.
(All of these are free!)
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#WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET


If you want to attract the most talented people on the planet, you need to
craft a goal that inspires them. Amy Wrzesniewski (Yale), Adam Grant (Wharton),
and others have shown this increases both productivity and happiness.
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Be transparent. Encourage people to think and act like owners.
You’ll be surprised what people can do when you simply trust them
to do the right thing.
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MIT’s Richard Locke compared two garment plants in Mexico, one tightly controlled
and another that was self-run by workers. Not only were the workers with more
freedom more productive, they also earned higher wages and had lower costs.
Dr. Kamal Birdi studied productivity at 308 companies and found the same thing.
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To find the best people, you have to be willing to wait. A bad hire can be toxic.
Set the bar high, never compromise on quality, and find someone who is better
than you in some meaningful way. You’ll end up with a much stronger team.
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Separate conversations about rewards from conversations
about development. Combining the two kills learning.

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In 1969, Edward Deci and Richard Ryan found that attaching incentives
to tasks reduced intrinsic motivation, leading to less time and effort spent
completing them, especially when those incentives were later removed.
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Don’t surprise people. Tell them if they’re low performers and help them learn or
find new roles—people need to know how they’re doing in order to grow. Put your best
people under a microscope to find out—and replicate—what makes them succeed.
#WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET


The most meaningful things you can do for your employees are free,
or close to it. Save your biggest checks for when they need it most.

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