Eight behaviours of effective Managers

Google, being Google, is big on data and analytics. And they even apply that to people.  Usefully for us as it gives us all useful insights.  Their people analytics team (yes you read that right – they have a people analytics team) has identified that the company’s most effective managers demonstrate the following eight key behaviours:

  1. They are 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. They empower the team and do not micromanage
    • Balance giving freedom to your employees while still being available for advice
    • Make “stretch” assignments to help them tackle big problems
  3. They express interest in and concern for team members’ success and personal well-being 
    • 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. They are productive and results-oriented themselves
    • 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. They are a good communicator — they listen and they share information
    • 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. They help develop careers
  7. They 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. They have technical skills that help them advise the team
    • Roll up sleeves and work side-by-side with team, when needed
    • Understand the specific challenges of the work

And the team has also identified three areas where less effective managers and leaders struggle:

  1. They find it difficult to make the transition to team leader
    • Fantastic individual performers are often promoted to manager without the necessary skills to lead
    • People hired from outside often don’t understand the specific ways of the company
  2. They lack a consistent approach to performance management and career development
    • Doesn’t help employees understand what company wants
    • Doesn’t coach employees on how they can develop and stretch
    • Not proactive: Waits for the employees to come to them
  3. They spend too little time on managing and communicating

Articles about Project Oxygen are in the Harvard Business Review here and in the New York Times here.

Bob Bradley

Bob is a specialist in running high value added service businesses, having run five such businesses as General Manager, Managing Director or Chief Executive. His last employed role was as Chief Executive of a £16M, 200 person family owned business having previously been Chief Executive of an AIM listed company for which he raised £5M funding and which he grew from £4M to £12M in three years through two acquisitions and organic growth, and a corporate PLC subsidiary where he was Managing Director responsible for delivering £10M profit on £45M turnover through 450 staff.

Bob is now following a portfolio career providing entrepreneurial business leaders with mentoring and coaching around business leadership, business growth, merger integration and exit planning.

Core to his portfolio is MD2MD. Having experienced for himself the value of having a strong sounding board of fellow Managing Directors he founded MD2MD in 2004 to provide groups of business leaders with a confidential environment within which they can support and challenge each other to raise their game as leaders and by doing so improve the success of their organisation.

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