A recent survey by the Cicero Group asked people what factors would cause them to produce great work. The number one answer (37%) was “Recognize me.” Sitting through meetings where you feel your ideas and opinions aren’t welcome can be torture to the human spirit.
If you analyze 10,000 pieces of rewarded and/or appreciated work projects (across multiple industries), 88 percent of them — so, over 8,500 — began with a simple question:
What difference could I make that other people would love?
Now think about the core tenets of Google’s success with employees:
- Trust your people.
- Hire people that are better than you.
- Don’t confuse development with managing performance.
- Focus on the quality of the people
- Give people freedom
- Underpin people-related decisions with actual science and data
If you want to be a successful company, it’s actually a lot simpler than you think. Everyone runs around chasing metrics and deliverables and margin and ROI and revenue and Alpha and headcount and everything else. No. It’s not really about it, honestly. It’s not about that at all.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Trust people and treat them like adults. When they screw up, talk to them about it.
- Recognize people when they contribute.
- Think about how you can make a difference for your employees and not just your customers
- Care for a few seconds about your “talent strategy”
- Give people freedom to explore what they care about, so long as it ties somewhat back to potential business goals
It’s not rocket science. It’s just treating human beings the way they want to be treated. It’s essentially treating them with respect.