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Google Oxygen study on good management – research identifites 8 key factors

LA Times, Stuart Pfeifer – Google Inc., a company known for its nontraditional work environment, has determined something that’s long been accepted in the workplace: Managers matter. The company, which has 37,000 employees and 5,000 managers, spent several years reviewing employee exit interviews, manager and employee evaluations and other data to determine what makes a good leader, according to an article in the December Harvard Business Review. The research found that a good manager:

1. Is a good coach
2. Empowers the team and does not micromanage
3. Expresses interest in and concern for team members’ success and personal well-being
4. Is productive and results-oriented
5. Is a good communicator—listens and shares information
6. Helps with career development
7. Has a clear vision and strategy for the team
8. Has key technical skills that help him or her advise the team

“They must go beyond overseeing the day-to-day work and support their employees’ personal needs, development, and career planning,” said David Garvin, the Harvard business administration professor who wrote the article. “That means providing smart, steady feedback to guide people to greater levels of achievement—but intervening judiciously and with a light touch, since high-performing knowledge workers place a premium on autonomy.”

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