Google’s 8 Habits of Highly Effective Managers

By Kevin on March 22, 2011 in employee engagement, HR, leadership, People

In a special initiative called Project Oxygen, Google unleashed its famed statisticians to analyze 10,000 observations about managers, across more than 100 variables, to find out how to build the perfect boss. Their resulting manifesto identifies 8 qualities, presented in order of importance:

1. Be a good coach

Provide specific, 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 micro-manage

Balance giving freedom to your employees while still being available for advice
Make “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

Communication is two-way: Both listen and share
Hold all-hands meetings and be specific about the team’s goals
Encourage open dialogue and listen to the questions and concerns of your employees

6.  Help your employees with career development

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
Understand the specific challenges of the work

Click here to read more in the New York Times article.


Kevin Kruse is a NY Times bestselling author and keynote speaker. Get more success and tips from his newsletter at and check out keynote video clips. His new book, Employee Engagement 2.0, teaches managers how to turn apathetic groups into emotionally committed teams.

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