Google as an international technology
company applied its philosophy “Google Way” and strategies to be the world’s
most attractive employer to graduating students in the “Universum” talent
attraction index (Mossevelde,
2013). This philosophies and strategies
shown in different Google programs such as “Oxygen”, “Eight Habits of Highly
Effective Google Managers” which draw the way and rules for effective skills
needed by managers to retain employees, improve their career path, and
developing successful, and productive teams. This paper concentrate on
implementing Goleman’s leadership style in Google Inc. in
addition to soft skills needed to build such successful teams.
main problem of any organization is to retain capable employees engaged in
their work as a human resource capital. People may leave organization when they
don’t feel a connection to the mission of the organization, or sense that their
work matters; or they don’t really like or respect their co-workers, or they
have a terrible boss.
the other side, “employee performance optimization” as analyzing and improving
individual workers is not enough. Teams becomes the fundamentals unit of
organization. If an organization wants to outstrip its competitors, it needs to
influence not only how people work but also how they work together.
shows that encouraging groups to work together (Duhigg, 2016), tend to innovate faster, explore mistakes
more quickly find better solutions to problems, tend to achieve better results,
and report higher job satisfaction. When workers are persuaded to collaborate
more, profitability increase.
paper discusses the soft skills strategies that Google may use to retain
employees, develop teams and improve their productivity, in addition to the
managerial skills needed by leaders:
1. Building a Better Leader:
As Google concentrate to build better
management and leadership, they applied the Google way through developing a
manifesto entitled “Eight Habits of Highly Effective Google Managers”. Here is
a list of the directives it produced (Blodget,
Be a good coach:
constructive feedback, balancing negative and positive.
Have regular one-on-ones, presenting solutions
to problems tailored to the employee’s strengths.
2. Empower your team and don’t
freedom to your employees while still being available for advice.
“stretch” assignments to help them tackle big problems
3. Express interest in
employees’ success and well-being:
Get to know your
employees as people, with lives outside of work.
Make new folks
feel welcome, help ease the transition.
4.Be productive and results-oriented:
Focus on what you
want the team to achieve and how employees can help achieve it.
Help the team
prioritize work, and make decisions to remove roadblocks.
5. Be a good communicator and listen
to your team:
two-way: Both listen and share.
meetings and be specific about the team’s goals.
dialogue and listen to the questions and concerns of your employees.
6. Help your employees with career
7.Have a clear vision and strategy
for the team:
Even amid turmoil,
keep the team focused on goals and strategy.
Involve the team
in setting and evolving the team’s vision, goals, and progress.
8.Have key technical skills, so you
can help advise the team:
Roll up sleeves
and work side-by-side with team, when needed.
specific challenges of the work.
Scott DeRue, a management professor
at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, said (Bryant,
“As a manager and I want to get better, and I want more out of my people and I
want them to be happier”
The list above concentrate on the
soft skills that managers must practice to improve teams, turn them to
Skills, and Group Norms:
abovementioned from the 8 rules, the following skills must be developed (Noel K. , 2016):
Listening: Successful leaders understand the importance of
listening to others’ ideas, gives attention, taking notes, reserve judgement,
and being open to opinions and thoughts.
Communication: communicating with gentility, showing
confidence, back up statement with facts, and trying to avoid tentative
addition to non-verbal communication, by maintain eye contact while speaking to
show respect and sincerity, and make sure facial expressions align with the
message being communicated.
Positives: avoid talking about problems rather than confront
tough issues. Learning to award “Courageous Conversations” in the workplace and
training teams in communication strategies and skills to increase the
likelihood of mission-based team work and success.
Group Norms: (Duhigg, 2016) Google focusing on
what are known as “group norms” Norms are the traditions, behavioral standards governing
how functioning when people gather. Understanding and influencing group norms
were the key to improving Google’s teams.
3. Coaching Employees:
negotiating of situations. As leaders looks at the situation
through employee’s eyes, being prepared to offer several options, showing
understood of the other side, and offering help out in some way to demonstrate
structured feedback regularly is effective to understand
expectations, and perfecting employees’ performance, and having greater success
in the workplace. Feedback must focus on the task/event rather than the person.
It’s better to private share of feedback to avoide embarrassment, and giving employees
a chance to provide their own solutions during coaching interventions.
Motivating employees to achieve the performance goals by making coaching a team
effort between managers and employees.
leaders recognize people’s different types of accomplishments, and good at
delegating assignments and cultivating loyalty, awarding and congratulate good
work at meetings. Leaders focus on developing employees for the future.
4. Leadership Styles:
a powerful position or traditional leadership roles aren’t enough. Leaders must
come forward with solutions when things go wrong. Here’s one of the best quotes
on how to lead, from the French writer Antoine de Saint Exupéry:
you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign
them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of
leaders recognizing how to balance between work and personal life, establishing
clear boundaries when working with friends, being fair to all subordinates,
avoiding any special treatment or favors.
for Google, the appropriate mix of leadership styles that leaders can move
between, adopting different styles to meet different momentary demands, are as
the following leadership styles (Goleman, March 2000):
authoritative leadership style, that leaders state the overall goals giving
people the freedom to choose their own means of achieving it. As this style is
appropriate when leaders are working with team of experts.
affiliative style “people come first” attitude focusing on emotional needs, to
build team harmony.
democratic style by giving workers a voice in decisions, listening to both the
good and bad news, help generating fresh ideas.
pacesetting style. A leader sets high performance standards building challenges
and sets motivating goals, has a very positive impact on employees who are
self-motivated and highly competent.
coaching and visionary style: giving clear directions from a powerful posture,
commanding and expecting full obedience. As Google (Drucker, 2015) experience the increased employee
retention rate, to reach $1 Billion in revenue
5. Delegation, Empowerment, and successful staff:
requires a great deal of finesses and people skills to motivate employees to do
the work and get it done effectively, by masking clear and specific goals about
expected results, lay out challenges and discussing obstacles employees may
face, and offering available resources (Noel K. , 2016).
key to success of employee’s performance is competence. Employees who feel
empowered to test and build their strengths are more likely to meet
expectations. A manager’s job is to run a turnkey operation that ensure all
goals are met.
and sharing employees of business visions, goals, and reasons behind them, will
be more motivated to get the job done, and encouraging them to struggle forward. Without a clear vision
and action-oriented plan, success is not in the cards. Employees alike need to
see the big picture and align their daily actions accordingly. They must
understand where Google is going, and what the culture really is all about.
When they do, they are in a better position to help ensure that employees and
colleagues stay true to the business goals and mission. Strategic
mission/vision-building retreats and planning sessions can help. So,
bright people rarely experience failure, and so they don’t learn how to learn
from that failure. They, instead, commit the fundamental attribution error,
which is if something good happens, it’s because I’m a genius. If something bad
happens, it’s because I didn’t get the resources or the market moved.
the successful teams share several defining characteristics (Pentland, 2012):
on the team talks and listens, keeping contributions short and sweet.
facing each other, and their conversations and gestures are energetic, connecting
directly with one another among team and leader.
Key Elements Communications Forms among Teamwork (Pentland, 2012):
studies shows that face-to-face is the most valuable form of communication, and
the least valuable forms are email and texting. More people participate in the
call or conference.
6. Training and Development
Paying attention to provide growth of career path,
keeps employees engaged in their work (Cooperperson, 2011). Employees who are not valued of their
contributions will look to change jobs when a new opportunities arise. Investing
in human capital by training is critical, and more cost-effective than hiring
and train a new recruit.
has built a culture that attacks problems (Satell, 2017). The development of the teamwork that
drive that kind of culture:
want to do a good job. The fact that most people are professionals who want to
be proud of their work.
enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.
3. People perform best at tasks that interest them.
4. Great leaders provide a sense of mission and purpose.
Talent is effective when directed by passion and purpose.
7. Dealing with difficult employees
Leaders must be with knowledge and experience with the
way of dealing with difficult employees whose attitudes can endanger workplace
harmony. Solving the problem fast, and implement a plan for correcting the
behavior, and daily follow up to ensure the positive change is permanent (Noel K. , 2016). Watching out inappropriate
behaviors that could have negative impact on office morale, or productivity is
8. Managing Change, and Handling Resistance
Leaders always face resistance (Noel K. , 2016), their ability to focus in the issue,
setting employees for the situation, guiding, and encouraging them to take
responsibility, and contribute in sharing ideas that comes to a resolution help
in avoiding resistance.
can be learned from the styles of leadership implemented in Google Inc. (Mathew Manimala, Kishnchand Wasdani, Kishinchand
to know employees, rewarding them for their creativity, high performing, and
achievements, encouraging employees to solve their problems, and letting team function
outside the company hierarchy.
leadership styles implemented and the development of the teams to be able to
communicate and share information, improving their abilities to solve problems,
and empowering them to be results-oriented after providing them with clear
vision and strategy, are all the key success of the teams resulting success for