Work Rules by Laszlo Bock

Work Rules by Laszlo Bock

When employees trust leadership, they become brand ambassadors. Make their CEo and board accessible to all employees. Accessible isn’t just “free” but balanced.

Decisions manager at Google cannot make unilaterally:

  • Whom to hire, Fire, how much of a salary increase, whom to promote.

The problem is that you and I might define our “best people” differently.

Managers serve the team!

Based on data performance improved when:

  • Implemented programs to empower employees (taking decisions away from managers)
  • Provided learning opportunities outside what people needed to do their jobs
  • Increasing their reliance on teamwork (giving more autonomy and allowing self-organization)

When you’re a grad student, you can work on whatever you want. Projects that were really good got a lot of people wanting to work on them. If you’re working on important things, you’re excited to get up in the morning.
-> Employees calling meetings simply to share what they were working on became Tech Talks

Create space for others to act as founders. It is within anyone’s grasp to be the foudner and culture-creator of their own team.

The most talented people on the planet want an aspiration that is also inspiring. **Reading donors stories helped fund-raisers increase sales (“motivation) by 155%, meeting them in person raised it to 400%**Meet the people you are helping for work (townhall, props, customers, etc)

Transparency is the second cornerstone of our culture. “Default to open.”

Any question in Google’s weekly Q&A is fair game, and every question deserves an answer.

Bureaucracy Busters, an annual program where Googlers identify their biggest frustrations and help fix them.

  • [ ] Annual what’s broken in the company and let’s fix the top ones #todo

38% of the World Series since 1998 were won by one of the two highest-paying teams. #tweet

Most companies pursue the Bad News Bears strategy, though won’t admit it. They recruit the best people and then groom, train and coach them into champions. Yes…but wouldn’t more teams win championships.

If they are all recruiting the same way, why would any of them get a different outcome than their competitors!

Only hire people who are better than you!

Even the best intentioned managers compromise their standards as searches drag on. 


Refocusing your resources on hiring better will have a higher return than almost any training program you can develop!

A small company can’t afford to hire someone who turns out to be awful. Toxic effect and require substantial management.

Google’s BEST source of candidates was referrals from existing employees. They referred cause they WANTED their friends to work there.

Help jog memories for referrals: “Who’s the best finance person you’ve ever worked with?”

Build an internal recruiting firm: goal of seeking out and cultivating the best people on the planet.

The BEST predictor of how someone will perform in a job is a work sample test (29 percent).

After 4 interviews on site, additional interviews only increased confidence 1%.

Annual employee survey revealed Google didn’t take firm enough action on poor performers.

Adobe introduced The Check-In - informal system of ongoing, real-time feedback

Performance Reviews and Compensation

  • Do performance and compensation reviews separately.
  • Raises are only approved by a committee vs just a manager being able to set it, creates more consistency across the company
  • When giving feedback focus on just 1 piece person can do more of, and 1 thing to do differently!!!!

Any Googler who is ready for promotion should feel encouraged to self-nominate. If person NOT promoted the committee provides feedback on what to do to improve your chances next time.

Focus on a fair calibration of performance against goals, and earnest coaching on how to improve.

Managers that perform better

  • Individuals felt their personal career objectives could be met
  • Work happened efficiently
  • Appropriately involved in decision-making and empowered to do things
  • FREEDOM

The 8 key attributes of Successful Managers**

  1. Be a good coach
  2. Empower the team & don’t micromanage
  3. Express interest / concern for team members well being
  4. Be results-oriented
  5. Listen and share information
  6. Help individual with career development
  7. Have clear vision / strategy for the team

Before you go into meetings, “What are your goals for this meeting?”

Every meeting can end with immediate feedback and plan for what to do differently next time.

Training is one of the highest-leverage activities a manager can perform.

A/B test training in the org, possibly on our sales team and see how the control vs variable group performs! #idea

4 Principles of Compensation

  1. Pay unfairly
  2. Celebrate accomplishments, not compensation
  3. Make it easy to recognize others
  4. Reward thoughtful failure

If the best performer is generating ten times as much impact, they should get paid at least five times the reward.

People are 28% happier getting experiences and non-cash award for recognition.

Focus on the basics before you get distracted with the new and novel things in your department / organization.

Have clear Objective (Goal) and key results created during onboarding for teammates.

No more than 1/3 of our hires in People Operations could come from traditional HR backgrounds. LOVE this idea.

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