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Louis Cardinals, the next most frequent winners. Hiring is the most important people function you have. It is an indispensable book for all people managers. We humans live through narrative, viewing history through a lens of stories that we tell ourselves. When he set up the team of researchers to work on what became the transistor, for instance, more than two years passed before the invention occurred.
Openness demonstrates to your employees that you believe they are trustworthy and have good judgment. Voice means giving employees a real say in how the company is run. It was a stark lesson in the importance of having a direct conversation with my colleagues! So there are degrees of transparency. In contrast. A Googler emailed Yvonne Agyei. Research on voice has shown positive effects of employees speaking up on decision quality.
What do you think? How does Google do it? Most organizations are so far from risk in this area that they have little to lose. In the first round. I recall a discussion with an HR leader from one of the ten biggest companies in the country.
Googlers submitted ideas and voted more than Googlers told us through our annual survey that it was becoming harder to get things done. We implemented the changes Googlers asked for. When results had to be filtered. Even innocuous search results could take minutes. I was just floating a crazy idea. Eric had weekly staff meetings of his management team that ran for about two hours. Culture matters most when it is tested These three cultural cornerstones—mission. As the interference with our services worsened.
Chinese Internet users are clever. This was not making information universally accessible! How could we be true to our values of transparency and voice if we censored our results? Since Jonathan Rosenberg. This small signal was enough to let them know they were being kept in the dark and to seek the truth elsewhere. At which point I wished her luck with the beanbags and lava lamps.
Users wanted truth. We naively hoped that our actions would encourage other companies to provide similar notifications. And maybe even give them a budget for it? Since our site was hosted in China. How about. Who knows what they might do? Despite this.
While the legal and policy details in China are complicated.
At the same time that we started notifying users if their search results were filtered. Now we feel like any other big company. Googlers were engaged in the debate as well. Visitors to our Google. If you give people freedom. Across the company. Time and again. Our culture was shaping our strategy.
If we compromised our culture and principles in this case. These debates happened in product review meetings with teams of engineers. On the one hand. I learned that it was apocryphally attributed to the influential management theorist Peter Drucker.
China was a country with long social and political cycles. Chinese-language site for users. Within China. This left us thirty-seven years to be true to our culture and committed to China. Our presence in search in China has dwindled. When the British government returned control of Hong Kong to the Chinese in If you embark down this path. Would we make a stronger statement by not being in China than by collaborating with the government? On the other hand. It took me another few years to wonder where the phrase came from.
Mark Fields. The Hong Kong site is often blocked or slowed for mainland users. This is a reflection of both how wonderfully inspiring the first few months at Google can be and how quickly Google continues to evolve. We enjoy a constant paranoia about losing the culture, and a constant, creeping sense of dissatisfaction with the current culture.
This is a good sign! This feeling of teetering on the brink of losing our culture causes people to be vigilant about threats to it. One way to address this worry is to be open to the discussion and to channel any frustration into efforts to bolster the culture. At Google, we have a secret weapon: Stacy Sullivan. A champion tennis player, Berkeley grad, and veteran of multiple technology companies, Stacy is smart, creative, bracingly direct, and utterly charming.
She explains: It always felt like it was changing, so we have always had to fight to keep the core culture strong. There is no application to be named the leader of a Culture Club. You become one simply by acting like one: Google is clearly in the latter camp.
What are the beliefs you have about people, and do you have the courage to treat people the way your beliefs suggest?
My personal and professional experience is that if you give people freedom, they will surprise, delight, and amaze you. The case for finding a compelling mission, being transparent, and giving your people voice is in part a pragmatic one. The growing global cadre of talented, mobile, motivated professionals and entrepreneurs demand these kinds of environments.
Over the coming decades the most gifted, hardestworking people on the planet will gravitate to places where they can do meaningful work and help shape the destiny of their organizations. But the case is also a moral one, rooted in the simplest maxim of all: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Imagine you have won the largest lottery jackpot in US history: You can do anything. And improbably enough, you choose to build a championship baseball team. You have a couple of options. You can take your pile of cash and hire the best players on the planet to play for you. Or you could take the Bad News Bears approach: Assemble a ragtag team of misfits and by dint of your coaching, hard work, and deep insight into motivation and human nature, mold them into a team of winners.
Fortunately, both approaches have been tested. The first World Series was played in , and there have been World Series since. The New York Yankees have played in forty of them, and won twenty-seven. This is almost four times as many as the St. Louis Cardinals, the next most frequent winners. In fact, 38 percent of the World Series since were won by one of the two highest-paying teams—either the Yankees or the Boston Red Sox—and 53 percent of the time, one of the two highest-paying teams appeared in the World Series.
If winning were random, then a Major League Baseball team would have a 3 percent chance of winning the World Series each year. So why do the high-paying teams win so often, but not all the time? Their performance is observable, since every game is public and recorded, the rules and positions are well understood, producing a consistent standard of assessment, and their wages are known.
As long as money is no object, a team could hire all the players who performed extremely well last year and have a pretty good chance at fielding a championship baseball team. But you can be pretty confident that their collective performance would at least be in the top half or one-third of all teams in the league.
The downside of this approach, of course, is the cost: Today, the sustainability of paying top dollar is being called into question, even by the Yankees. George Steinbrenner was the architect of their strategy of buying the best ballplayers. Marissa Mayer, who had been employee number 20 at Google and was instrumental in shaping our brand and approach to search, became the CEO of Yahoo on July 16, Over the next year, Yahoo acquired at least nineteen companies,66 including Jybe activity and media recommendations , Rondee free conference calls , Snip.
Buying companies and then shutting down their products is a recent Silicon Valley phenomenon, awkwardly known as acquihiring. The ostensible purpose is to obtain people who have demonstrated their capabilities by building great products and who otherwise would not join you as employees.
Acqui-hires also see their products killed. Given that over two-thirds of mergers and acquisitions fail to create value when the products and businesses are kept alive,69 there would have to be something special about acqui-hired employees to make this strategy work. Any given position in baseball is pretty much the same across teams; there are only so many different ways to play first base. But there are many different ways to perform a marketing job, for example.
And offering higher wages just means you get more applicants, not that you get better applicants or can better sift the great from the mediocre. What executives will tell you is that they recruit the best people and then groom, train, and. When we start interviews. And if we never go back and compare our interview notes if we bothered to take any with how people actually perform months and years later.
The Yankees are in the World Series 37 percent of the time. Nothing more complicated than that. There are examples of people who were mediocre performers and went on to greatness. Not so much.
The handful of stars stick in our memory. We think we are hiring the best because. But overall. Remember when George W. Take Albert Einstein. After all. There are very few organizations that have that level of performance. We forget our conviction that just about every hire was going to be a star.
People approach hiring the way Garrison Keillor describes the fictional town of Lake Wobegon. If they are all recruiting the same way. So hiring yields average results. Yet most organizations run recruiting the same way: Post a job. And by definition. Designing effective training is hard. Some may argue that it is nevertheless possible. Really hard. There are three reasons to be skeptical of these claims. Data from We hire 90th percentile performers. An average candidate.
If we are better able to select people up front. Companies continue to invest substantially more in training than in hiring. They are unlikely to become the worst performer in the company. We hire average performers. We spend more than twice as much on recruiting. Web crawlers to identify and categorize everything on the Internet. Put bluntly. This means the majority of our time and money spent on people is invested in attracting.
Companies then turn vice into virtue by bragging about how much they spend on training. Since the beginning. Why did we decide to front-load our people investment by focusing on an unorthodox approach to hiring? We had no choice. You can find a way to hire the very best. The worst case with a 90th percentile candidate is that they have an average year. Google started with two guys in a dorm room.
Nor did he get a degree in education and start winning teaching awards. Switzerland had ever seen.
But since when is spending a measure of quality results? Do people boast. Jeff Dean answered user queries manually for two hours. Only 10 percent of your applicants at best! Like many others. That by itself was a threefold improvement in efficiency. Sifting the exceptional from the rest required radically rethinking hiring. For many years. When Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone.
Convincing people to give up their salaries and join this crazy little start-up was no easy task. I say at best. Our greatest single constraint on growth has always. We had to impress and inspire candidates.
I took a pay cut to join Google. So your odds of hiring a great person based on inbound applications are low.
Google had no revenues and for years paid among the lowest salaries in the industry. I wish you luck. As late as Evals showed a quality improvement of 5 points.
Sanjay Ghemawat. The first change is to hire more slowly. But even before we could persuade people to join. Ushahidi a crowd-sourcing utility that allows citizen journalists and eyewitnesses to report violence in Africa. Hal Varian. Newton once said. To Jeff Dean. It takes longer to find these exceptional people.
Chrome Sundar Pichai and Linus Upson. Charlotte Monico. Nancy Lee. VP of Staffing and People Services. Instead of naming a price up front. Salar Kamangar had the insight on how to create auctions for search terms. I learn from them every week.
Salar dreamed up running an auction for every word or phrase a user might search for. In addition to being willing to take longer. Karen turned me down for four years before I eventually hired her. Vint Cerf. I should disclose up front that newly hired managers at Google hate this!
Managers want to pick their own teams. How can you tell if you have found someone exceptional? My simple rule of thumb—and the second big change to make in how you hire—is: VP of People Analytics and Compensation. Karen May. The bystander never moved again.
But even the best-intentioned. And I waited a long time to hire each one. In publishing. These insights translated directly into billions of dollars of value for our shareholders. Prasad Setty. Sunil Chandra. Any of these people could do my job tomorrow. Other exceptional Googlers include Diane Tang—one of only a handful of engineers to earn the accolade of Google Fellow. Not shocking to you. So we started seeking out candidates who had shown resilience and an ability to overcome hardship.
They want to hire a friend or take on an intern as a favor to an executive or a big client. When Google was small and hiring just a few hundred people a year. They believe in stars. As we grew to need thousands of new employees each year. You obviously want to hire the best people. Even worse. Which in a way is as it should be.
Though we now recruit computer scientists from over three hundred schools in the United States and more from all over the world. The pedigree of your college education matters far less than what you have accomplished. I agree that blindly hiring for brains and giving them unbounded freedom to do what they will is a recipe for sudden and catastrophic failure. In most companies. For some roles. We were still managing people issues based on our best instincts. Are Smart People Overrated?
So making sure someone will thrive in your environment becomes critical. We now prefer to take a bright. After six months or so. These other attributes are such significant factors in our hiring process that they caused Ben Gomes. Refocusing your resources on hiring better will have a higher return than almost any training program you can develop. Hiring is the most important people function you have. To get there. In fact. Even Susan Wojcicki. As Urs explained.
Today we split that responsibility across two teams of senior leaders. Harvard University in extended offers to As a point of comparison. They intuited that no individual interviewer will get it right every time. Because few of the new engineers were of the same quality. It started with a desire to hire only the smartest people. I was sort of afraid of having Google with fifty engineers be less productive than Google with ten engineers. It was April and Google had added more than ten thousand people in the past two years..
Paul Otellini. It really did start with the founders Larry and Sergey. And they were costing us more time than they were providing We contracted with recruiting firms. We tested traditional tactics like advertising jobs on websites like Monster. Their confusion gave way to frustration when we insisted on paying only for successful hires rather than providing retainer fees.
We tried crazy things. And the first few people you hire will meet that standard. Each generation of hiring will therefore be a slightly poorer version of the hiring done by the prior generation. This was the billboard: But it was difficult for them to understand what we were looking for. For every candidate we hired. Larry Page. We required dozens of interviews. The result is that you go from hiring stellar people as a small company or team to hiring average people as a big company.
In we ran a billboard in Cambridge. And we have one final reviewer of every—yes. There were many hiring committees. These worked. If there was overlap— say you went to the same school in the same years as a Googler. If you start a company or team. Googlers tried anything and everything to find candidates.
These are almost always a compromise of quality. As you get bigger. The idea was that since references the candidate provides are almost always glowing. This was to ensure objectivity. The sole purpose of these two teams is to ensure that we stay true to the high-quality bar set by the founders.
The early days: Like everyone else. If you were able to solve this second puzzle. A second puzzle. The cryptic billboard. And while people who win these contests can be brilliant. The result? We hired exactly zero people.
But in retrospect. In interviewing those who did. The absence of coordination across interviewers also meant we often forgot to ask about some specific attribute. The staffing team had to deal with a flood of resumes and inquiries.
When I interviewed. Being hired by Google could take six months or longer. The reward for solving both puzzles. But in The press at the time was filled with horror stories about the Google hiring process: A Googler might interview ten or more candidates out of hundreds or thousands who applied for a single job.
Google was growing too quickly and had too much at stake to risk that. During our hiring process. Or they are accustomed to solving problems with finite ends and clear solutions.
It focused on avoiding false positives—the people who looked good in the interview process but actually would not perform well—because we would rather have missed hiring two great performers if it meant we would also avoid hiring a lousy one. The requirement sounded even nuttier to people who had been out of school for twenty or thirty years.
Now multiply that across the fifteen to twenty-five interviews each successful candidate went through. This made for a miserable experience for many candidates. Every candidate had to provide an SAT score. And it did weed out the disappointing number of people who lied about their records.
The hiring machine was overly conservative by design. So we kept roles open until we found. Bad performers and political people have a toxic effect on an entire team and require substantial management time to coach or exit. In the mids. Our mandate was to hire as many bright people as we could.
Susan Wojcicki. Larry once explained: Our hiring process was simply too resource intensive. At one point. One of the main reasons we focus so much on growing the company is to have enough great jobs for our people. The easiest and most obvious response was to increase the reward for successful referrals.
If each hire took hours of employee time. Since referrals had been our top source of hires for our first ten years. By the time I joined in We have tens of thousands of employees. Even Googlers complained about how long and arbitrary the hiring process seemed. So imagine what we could do if we had a hundred times as many employees. As Eric Schmidt once told me. There are organizations out there that have millions of employees.
Put another way. Needles in a very big haystack: It was obvious that we had a problem. So the hiring system was functional. One software engineer I met told me about the arrogance of the Googlers who interviewed him. If people were making referrals for intrinsic reasons. This was frustrating for Googlers. It turned out that nobody was meaningfully motivated by the referral bonus. People actually loved their work experience and wanted other people to share it.
I know someone who would fit right in. To address these issues. Examples of these include a desire to give back to your family or community. What we learned is that Googlers were making referrals for intrinsic reasons. I was floored by the strength of their responses: This place is the best! Were people having less fun at Google? Were we straying from our mission? And then you might be asked if you remember seeing any Tide commercials.
Six weeks later, I was hired. I was thrilled to be there, though my friends took one look at my business card and thought I was nuts. He spent more than 50 percent of his time on people issues,2 and together with Bill Conaty, his chief human resources officer, built an acclaimed people management system by stringently ranking employees based on performance, choreographing job changes for top talent every twelve to eighteen months, and building a global training center in Crotonville, New York.
Welch and Conaty had implemented a performance ranking system, where GE employees were sorted into three groups: The top workers were lionized and rewarded with choice assignments, leadership training programs, and stock options.
The bottom 10 percent were fired. Even CEOs need to declare a major. Welch is best known for Six Sigma—a set of tools to improve quality and efficiency—and his focus on people. I remember the recruiter, Martha Josephson, trying to convince me not to wear a suit to the interview. This mission for me was by far the most exciting part.
I was born in in Communist Romania, a country ruled by the dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and permeated by secrecy, lies, and fear. Friends and family members would disappear for criticizing the government. Children were encouraged to spy on their parents.
And the newspapers and radio disseminated little but lies about how great the government was and how evil and oppressive the United States was. My family fled Romania seeking freedom, the right to go where they wanted, say and think what they wanted, associate with whomever they wanted. The idea of joining a company founded with a goal of making information available to everyone was thrilling, because the state of freedom is predicated on free expression, which in turn relies on access to information and truth.
If this place is for real, I thought, this is going to be the best job in the world. Since I joined, Google has grown from six thousand employees to almost sixty thousand, with seventy-plus offices across more than forty countries. Google is the most sought-after place to work on the planet according to LinkedIn,5 and we receive more than two million applications every year, representing individuals from every background and part of the world.
Of these, Google hires only several thousand per year,6making Google twenty-five times more selective than Harvard,7Yale,8 or Princeton. Sometimes exhausting, sometimes frustrating, but always surging forward to create an environment of purpose, freedom, and creativity.
A billion minutes ago, Christianity began. A billion seconds ago, the IBM personal computer was released. A billion Google searches ago … was this morning. More than fifty billion apps have been downloaded from the Google Play store. Each year, tens of thousands of visitors come to our campuses around the world. They include social and business entrepreneurs, high school and college students, CEOs and celebrities, heads of state and kings and queens.
And of course, our friends and families, who are always happy to stop by for a free lunch. They all ask about how we run this place, about how Google works. What is the culture all about? How do you actually get any work done with all the distractions? Where does the innovation come from? Do people really get 20 percent of their time to do whatever they want? Why do we spend so much time on recruiting? Why do we offer some perks and not others? As the SVP of People Operations, it continues to be a privilege and delight to play a role, along with a cast of literally thousands of Googlers, in shaping how Googlers live and lead.
Wegmans is a privately held regional retailer that operates in an industry with an average 1 percent profit margin, and its largely local workforce has for the most part a high school education.
Google at the time was a nine-year-old publicly held global technology company with a roughly 30 percent profit margin; its recruits, drawn from all over the world, collected PhDs like trading cards. The two companies could not have been more different. I was stunned to learn that our companies had far more in common than not.
Jack explained that Wegmans adheres to virtually the same principles as Google: And we use it to always make our decisions to do the right thing with our people, regardless of cost. Ishan elaborated how this happens: The return on investment to business is automatic, with greater productivity, business growth, and inspired customers.
Five apparel manufacturers, a bank, and several shops filled the eight-floor building. The day before, Rana Plaza was evacuated as cracks appeared in the walls.
The next day, the bank and shops told their employees to stay away. The apparel companies ordered their workers back in. More than 1, people lost their lives, including children who were in a company nursery in the building. In the movie, programmer Peter Gibbons describes his job to a hypnotherapist: So I was sitting in my cubicle today, and I realized, ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it.
What about today? Is today the worst day of your life? Someday, perhaps. But soon? What if they disagree with me? The most talented people on the planet are increasingly physically mobile, increasingly connected through technology, and—importantly—increasingly discoverable by employers. This global cadre want to be in high-freedom companies, and talent will flow to those companies. And leaders who build the right kind of environments will be magnets for the most talented people on the planet.
Employees are dependent on their managers and want to please them. A focus on pleasing your manager, however, means it can be perilous to have a frank discussion with her. Nobody produces their best work entangled in this Gordian knot of spoken and unspoken agendas and emotions. We deliberately take power and authority over employees away from managers. Here is a sample of the decisions managers at Google cannot make unilaterally: Each of these decisions is instead made either by a group of peers, a committee, or a dedicated, independent team.
Many newly hired managers hate this! Or it might be possible that your worst person is better than my best person, in which case you should promote everyone and I should promote no one. Like any place, we of course have exceptions and failures, but the default leadership style at Google is one where a manager focuses not on punishments or rewards but on clearing roadblocks and inspiring her team.
One of our lawyers described his manager, Terri Chen, this way: That is how I feel about Terri as a manager. She makes me want to—and helps me try to be—a better Googler and trademark lawyer and person! The good news is that any team can be built around the principles that Google has used. Plant A gave workers more freedom, asking them to help set production targets, organize themselves into teams, and decide how work would be broken up, and granting them authority to stop production when they saw problems.
Plant B tightly controlled the shop floor, requiring workers to stick to their assigned tasks and adding strict rules about when and how work happened. Locke found that workers at Plant A were almost twice as productive T- shirts per day vs.
Kamal Birdi of the University of Sheffield and six other researchers studied the productivity of companies across twenty-two years and came to a similar conclusion. In other words, there was no evidence suggesting that any of these operations initiatives would reliably and consistently improve performance.
So what did? Performance improved only when companies implemented programs to empower employees for example, by taking decision-making authority away from managers and giving it to individuals or teams , provided learning opportunities that were outside what people needed to do their jobs, increased their reliance on teamwork by giving teams more autonomy and allowing them to self-organize , or a combination of these.
I expect my examples and All I can say in my defense is that this is really how it works at Google, and this is really why we run the company this way. And a kindred approach works for Brandix, Wegmans, and dozens of other organizations and teams, both large and small. You have huge profit margins and can afford to treat your people so well. And that even in a time of flat wages you can still make work better, make people happier.
Freedom is free. Any of us can do this. All it takes is a belief that people are fundamentally good—and enough courage to treat your people like owners instead of machines.
Machines do their jobs; owners do whatever is needed to make their companies and teams successful. People spend most of their lives at work, but work is a grinding experience for most—a means to an end. Not every company will be able to duplicate perks like free meals, but everyone can duplicate what makes Google great. Becoming a Founder Just as Larry and Sergey laid the foundation for how Google treats its people, you can lay the foundation for how your team works and lives Every great tale starts with an origin story.
The infants Romulus and Remus, abandoned beside the Tiber River, are nursed by a she-wolf, fed by a woodpecker, and then raised by kindly shepherds. As a young man, Romulus goes on to found the city of Rome. Baby Kal-El rockets to earth as his home planet Krypton explodes behind him, landing in Smallville, Kansas, to be raised by the kindly Martha and Jonathan Kent.
Moving to Metropolis, he takes on the mantle of Superman. He brings together an American mathematician, an English machinist, a German glassblower, and a Swiss clockmaker who develop an incandescent lightbulb that burns for more than thirteen hours,17 laying the foundation for the Edison General Electric Company.
Oprah Winfrey, born of an impoverished teenage mother, abused as a child, and shuttled from home to home, goes on to become an honors student, the youngest and first black news anchor at WLAC-TV in Nashville, and one of the most successful communicators and inspirational businesspeople in the world. The mythologist Joseph Campbell argued that there are just a few archetypal stories that underpin most myths around the world.
We are called to an adventure, face a series of trials, become wiser, and then find some manner of mastery or peace. We humans live through narrative, viewing history through a lens of stories that we tell ourselves.
Google has an origin story too. But it starts much earlier than that. As Sergey has commented: Sergey, twenty-one years old, had graduated from the University of Maryland two years earlierii and was already enrolled in the PhD program. He was volunteering as a tour guide for prospective students. Larry was fascinated with the World Wide Web, and particularly the way Web pages connected to one another. The Web in was a chaotic mess. In simplest terms, search engines wanted to show the most relevant, useful Web pages, but ranked them mainly by comparing the text on a Web page to the search query that was typed.
That left a loophole. The owner of a Web page could boost his rankings on search engines with tricks like hiding popular search terms in invisible text on the page. Another trick was to repeat words again and again in the source code that generated your page but was invisible to a human reader.
Larry reasoned that an important signal was being overlooked: The most useful Web pages would have lots of links from other sites, because people would link only to the most useful pages. That signal would prove to be far more powerful than the words written on the page itself. But creating a program that could identify every link on the Web and then tabulate the strength of every relationship across all websites at the same time was an inhumanly complex problem.
Fortunately, Sergey found the problem equally captivating. They created BackRub, a reference to the backlinks reaching back from the site you saw to the site you had just been on. No luck. Excite passed. It was before Google Search was available in over languages, and before we opened our first international office in Tokyo And way before your Android phone could buzz you in advance Larry and Sergey had ambitions beyond developing a great search engine.
They started out knowing how they wanted people to be treated. Quixotic as it sounds, they both wanted to create a company where work was meaningful, employees felt free to pursue their passions, and people and their families were cared for. And the projects that were really good got a lot of people really wanting to work on them.
I think at Google we still have that. Larry and Sergey always insisted that hiring decisions be made by groups rather than a single manager. Employees calling meetings simply to share what they were working on turned into the hundreds of Tech Talks we host each month. Google is one of the few companies of our size to grant stock to all employees. Our policy of welcoming dogs at work originated with our first ten people.
As did our position on cats, which is enshrined in our code of conduct: When Google went public on August 19, , Sergey included a letter in our prospectus for investors, describing how the founders felt about their 1, employees. The italics are his: Our employees, who have named themselves Googlers, are everything. Google is organized around the ability to attract and leverage the talent of exceptional technologists and business people.
We have been lucky to recruit many creative, principled and hard working stars. We hope to recruit many more in the future. We will reward and treat them well. We provide many unusual benefits for our employees, including meals free of charge, doctors and washing machines. We are careful to consider the long-term advantages to the company of these benefits. Expect us to add benefits rather than pare them down over time.
We believe it is easy to be penny wise and pound foolish with respect to benefits that can save employees considerable time and improve their health and productivity. The significant employee ownership of Google has made us what we are today.
Because of our employee talent, Google is doing exciting work in nearly every area of computer science. We are in a very competitive industry where the quality of our product is paramount. Talented people are attracted to Google because we empower them to change the world; Google has large computational resources and distribution that enables individuals to make a difference.
Our main benefit is a workplace with important projects, where employees can contribute and grow. We are focused on providing an environment where talented, hard working people are rewarded for their contributions to Google and for making the world a better place.
Google was fortunate that our founders had such strong beliefs about the kind of company they wanted to create. Henry Ford is best known for his sweeping adoption of the assembly line. The kind of workman who gives the business the best that is in him is the best kind of workman a business can have. And he cannot be expected to do this indefinitely without proper recognition.
This is a good thing for him and a good thing for the business. Even earlier, in , Milton S. Hershey not only laid the foundation for what would become the Hershey Company but also for the town of Hershey, Pennsylvania.
The United States had over 2, company towns in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, housing 3 percent of the population at their peak. His ambitions were not limited to producing chocolate.
Hershey envisioned a complete new community around his factory. He built a model town for his employees that included comfortable homes, an inexpensive public transportation system, a quality public school system and extensive recreational and cultural opportunities. Some were abhorrent.
Ford was widely criticized for publishing anti-Semitic works and later apologized. A more recent, and less morally ambiguous, example is Mervin J. Kelly, who joined Bell Labs in and served as president from to Upon becoming president, Kelly took an unorthodox approach to management.
First, he upended the physical design of their Murray Hill, New Jersey, labs. Rather than a traditional layout with each floor segregated into sections for each specialized area of research, Kelly insisted on a floor plan that forced interaction across departments: Gertner continues: Liz Wiseman author of Multipliers and Rookie Smarts. Jeffrey Pfeffer author of Leadership B. He owns a lot of comic books.
A lot. First sighting of "Work Rules! Honored that "Work Rules! When it comes to interviewing, don't trust your gut. More often than not, your gut reaction isn't a product of hidden wisdom.
Rather, it's a result of unacknowledged biases that can lead you to overlook strong candidates who might not line up with your expectations. Instead, aim to create an interview process that's as structured and consistent as possible so that people can showcase their skills and highlight their experiences.
Then, let the data help you decide how to move forward. In fact, one of the worst times to share it is during a performance review. Instead, make sure your development is an ongoing conversation between you and your manager, turning your performance review into just another check-in rather than an annual surprise. You spend a ton of time and energy trying to hire great people, so make sure to trust them once they join you.
At Google, we found that the single best thing new people can do is be proactive. We nudged them to encourage this behavior during new hire orientation and sent a follow-up email a few weeks later. The result? Great synthesis and awesome graphics about workrules. In fact, it's worth checking out just for the great images. Thanks to Mr. Porter in London! Not exactly the first thing you look for in an interviewer, right?
Actually, bringing in a cross-functional interviewer with no skin in the game for the role in question is an excellent way to get impartial feedback.
Everyone loves focusing on the top performers. The bottom need just as much attention. Most struggling employees aren't bad people, and want to get better. Invest in them. Help them build the skills they need to become stronger. Going from 9 out of 10 to 5 out of 10 is a huge change. Soliciting referrals from employees is a useful tool, and one we leaned on heavily in Google's early days. But most people only have a few referrals top of mind, reducing a potential torrent of candidates to a trickle.