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Google like Tolstoy

It’s people that count – this slogan gets repeated by many companies, but few of them manage to implement this attitude in real life. Laszlo Bock, who was responsible for HR in Google for ten years, tells us how they do it at one of the world’s most wanted employers.
Magdalena Kozińska
O AUTORZE

Magdalena Kozińska

A tamer of words, which have only one option under her supervision – to become an exceptional text. She likes it fast, loud and specific. The Manager of Neverending Creativity. With impeccable lightness she shares with us her rippling laughter and juggles with words… not always so impeccable. Her reliability has been well described by one of our customers: “I don’t know what I want, but I’m sure Magda does know it!”

★ 3 minutes czytania

The book “Work Rules! Insights From Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live And Lead” for people dealing with internal communication should become a daily go-to guide on building relations with people. Even more so because, according to the Talent Shortage survey published by ManpowerGroup, nearly 45 percent of employers in Poland have a problem finding the right employees, and each year the situation is getting worse.

Make yourself uncomfortable

The author suggests a few simple hints, which may seem cliche at first, but after a moment of consideration and looking at them through the context of internal communication building, they become meaningful. “Give people slightly more trust, freedom, and authority than you are comfortable giving them. If you’re not nervous, you haven’t given them enough” Bock suggests, and adds that a system based on presumption of innocence and the belief that people are good may be sensitive to malice, but it’s still worth the risk, because what you gain from this attitude is bigger than potential loss.
“Leaders who build the right kind of environments will be magnets for the most talented people on the planet. But it’s hard building such a place, because the power dynamic at the heart of management pulls against freedom. Google managers cannot unilaterally decide whom to hire or fire, how someone’s performance is rated or rewarded (…) or who is promoted. Instead, each of those decisions is made by a group of peers, a committee, or a dedicated and independent team,” says Laszlo. He explains that a manager from whom the traditional attributes of power have been taken away, can focus on the only one thing left – serving his team.

Well informed employees

The author of “Work Rules!” believes that the key to finding balance between the freedom of individuals and the general direction of the entire company is to keep things transparent, and here’s the enormous role of communication. “Any question is fair game, and any question deserves an answer” because this makes all actions and decisions easier to understand and more acceptable. Explaining the reasons behind decisions is not all; it is just as important to provide a wider view, Bock believes. The ultimate benefit is that everyone knows what’s going on.

It works, because we’re all alike

Why should advice from Google work for other companies? Leo Tolstoy once wrote: Happy families are all alike. Such similarities are also there in all successful companies. The businesses do not focus solely on what they produce, but also on what they are and what they want to be, Bock explains. That’s why it’s worth reading his book, especially when you are about to face the challenge of building a communication strategy. You can also listen to Laszlo Bock’s advice on Youtube:
“Let’s make work better”

“Education Lessons from Work Rules![…]”

Our own backyard

And what is the situation like in Polish companies? In her book “Your First Customer”  Urszula Radzińska asked this question to 11 internal communication experts, and together they were looking for a recipe for building an atmosphere at a company, which encourages employees to become its ambassadors naturally.

Kategorie: school of contentic, B2E

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