Work Rules! | Laszlo Bock

Summary of: Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead
By: Laszlo Bock


Dive into the world of Google and discover how they’ve built a workplace with an innovative culture that has sparked their success. This summary of ‘Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead’ penned by Laszlo Bock takes you through Google’s mission, transparency, employee voice, hiring process, and much more. Find out how Google dismantles hierarchical structures, optimizes employee performance strategies, and implements effective training methods. Ultimately, learn how Google nurtures innovation while handling when things don’t work as planned.

Google’s Success Mantra

Google’s success is not just about fun and freebies. The company owes its success to a powerful mission, transparency, and employee input. Google’s mission of organizing the world’s information and making it universally accessible gives moral meaning to employees’ work and inspires them to explore new possibilities. The company’s transparent culture allows employees to access all information, making it clear who is working on what and who to approach for a particular project. Finally, Google values employee input, and most of its practices have originated from them. Through the Bureaucracy Busters program, employees can identify their biggest frustrations, resulting in improved company practices. Google’s success mantra lies in its focus on a meaningful mission, transparent culture, and employee input.

Google’s Exceptional Hiring Strategy

Google’s exceptional culture is attributed to their hiring strategy. Instead of training the average, they invest in finding the right fit. The corporation is extremely meticulous in their hiring process, with an admission rate of just 0.25 percent. Google believes that hiring someone better than you and someone who can positively influence others is essential to their success. The company looks for candidates with resilience and the ability to overcome challenges, not just those with prestigious degrees. By hiring top performers in the field, Google has established a thriving workplace culture.

Empowering employees for better decision-making

Google’s decentralized management structure promotes employee ownership and uses data-driven decision-making to eliminate favoritism and biases.

In many traditional companies, managers hold control over every aspect of an employee’s work life. This creates a contradiction when employers expect their workers to show initiative and independence. Google addresses this issue by liquidating status symbols and reducing the bureaucratic hierarchy in favor of a more decentralized management structure.

At Google, senior executives receive the same support and resources as new employees, and there are only four levels in the hierarchy. Googlers are trained to lead and influence through inspiration, and promotions are earned based on an employee’s ability to lead their projects and people.

Data-driven decision-making is a core principle at Google. This eliminates biases and favoritism and ensures that employees are empowered to make the best decisions. The company’s VP responsible for people demonstrated this by using data to prove that promotions at Google are not biased towards employees working at the company’s HQ.

Through data, transparency, and open discussion, Google effectively empowers its employees to take ownership of their work and produce the best results.

Google’s Tails of Performance

The majority of companies tend to fire low-performing employees and hire replacements, without utilizing their top performers. However, Google does things differently and studies their best employees using an internal research team called PiLab. They also help those who are struggling to improve by offering training or placing them in a more appropriate role. Google’s research showed that great managers are critical for top engineer performance, and they identified the main traits of best manager practices. They teach these practices to under-performing managers to improve their performance. Google also understands that below-average performance is usually caused by a lack of skill or motivation, which may stem from personal issues or indicate larger problems within the team. By studying their best performers, Google is able to leverage the tails of performance to their advantage.

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