Notes: How Google Makes Managers Awesome

Michelle Donovan discusses Google's data driven approach to discover what makes a great manager.

Checkout the video here:

How Google Makes Managers Awesome


The first step was to find out who were the best and worst managers using a performance review rating.

This combined team favourability and high performance.

They found that your manager at Google is the single biggest driver of your happiness.

What makes an awesome manager in priority order:

  1. Is a good coach
  2. Empowers team and does not micromanage
  3. Express’s interest/concern for team members’ success and personal wellbeing
  4. Is productive and results orientated
  5. Is a good communicator
  6. Helps with career development
  7. Has a clear vision/strategy for a team
  8. Has important technical skills which help them advise the team

Google ask team to feedback on managers every 6 months. Managers should share and show that the feedback has been heard.

Self awareness through report and making it easy to take action.

Google manager feedback survey

They have an individual contributor track for people who don't want to or aren't effective managers.

Bring your better managers into the training sessions as they can provide a view from experience.

You'll only receive email when they publish something new.

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