Over the past five years, I’ve been outspoken over my dislike of Google HR. But I have to give them credit now, because they spent years of work, really digging into the concept of teams and employees to figure out how we, HR Pros, help our organizations make the whole thing work. Kudos to you Google!
Here’s what they found:
“The tech giant charged a team to find out. The project, known as Project Aristotle, took several years, and included interviews with hundreds of employees and analysis of data about the people on more than 100 active teams at the company. The Googlers looked hard to find a magic formula—the perfect mix of individuals necessary to form a stellar team—but it wasn’t that simple. “We were dead wrong,” the company said.
Google’s data-driven approach ended up highlighting what leaders in the business world have known for a while; the best teams respect one another’s emotions and are mindful that all members should contribute to the conversation equally. It has less to do with who is in a team, and more with how a team’s members interact with one another…
Matt Sakaguchi, a midlevel manager at Google, was keen to put Project Aristotle’s findings into practice. He told Charles Duhigg of The New York Times how he took his team off-site to open up about his cancer diagnosis. His colleagues were initially silent, but then began sharing their own personal stories.
At the heart of Sakaguchi’s strategy, and Google’s findings, is the concept of “psychological safety,” a model of teamwork in which members have a shared belief that it is safe to take risks and share a range of ideas without the fear of being humiliated…
…In short. Just be nice.”
Be nice. That’s what Google found after ‘years’ of work? Be nice!?
You got that HR pros? Just tell your employees to be nice. Google has it figured out. You can stop working now. Just listen to Google. They spent three exhausting years of research on this. RELAX. They know what they’re doing. They’re Google. We all just want to be Google.
Mrs. Wilson was my kindergarten teacher. She was this young, beautiful black woman who seemed to be about 7 feet tall. To be fair, I was five and three feet tall, so she might have only been around 5’7″. Anyway, in 1975, she told me something very similar. In fact, I think she used those exact same words, “Be nice, Tim.”
Maybe Google should have just hired Mrs. Wilson, and saved all that time and work. Apparently, she also figured out the secret to a great workplace!
The secret to creating a great workplace has been know since at least the 1960s. The process is called hiring for talent.
Didn’t we learn this lesson from the movie Roadhouse?
Dalton: Don’t worry about it; all you have to do is follow 3 simple rules: One, never underestimate your opponent..expect the unexpected; Two, take it outside, never start anything inside the bar unless it’s absolutely necessary, and Three…be nice.
Hank: [Incredulously] Come on!!
Dalton: If somebody gets in your face and calls you a cocksucker I want you to be nice
Hank: [With resignation] Ok
Dalton: Ask him to walk, be nice, if he won’t walk, walk him, but be nice, If you can’t walk him, one of the others will help you and you will both be nice…I want you to remember, that it’s the job, it’s nothing personal.
Steve: Being called a cocksucker isn’t personal?
Dalton: No, it’s two nouns combined to elicit a prescribed response
Steve: What if somebody calls my Mama a whore?
Dalton: Is she?
Dalton: I want you to be nice.. until it’s time..to not be nice
Bouncer: So, uh, how are we supposed to know when that is?
Dalton: You won’t..I’ll let you know…You are the bouncers I am the Cooler; All you have to do is watch my back and each others….and take out the trash!