Abstract:

As
human capital is the most important to organizations, many skills are needed
for organization to build successful, and productive teamwork.

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Introduction:

Analyzing and improving
individual workers – a practice known as “employee performance optimization” –
is not enough.

Software engineers are
encouraged to work together, in part because studies show that groups tend to
innovate faster, see mistakes more quickly and find better solutions to
problems. Studies also show that people working in teams tend to achieve better
results and report higher job satisfaction. In consequence, profitability
increases when workers are persuaded to collaborate more.

Teams are now the
fundamentals unit of organization. If a company wants to outstrip its
competitors, it needs to influence not only how people work but also how the
work together.

Google focus on building
the perfect team. The company’s
top executives long believed that building the best teams meant combining the
best people. They embraced other bits of conventional wisdom as well, like
”It’s better to put introverts together,’, or ”Teams are more effective when
everyone is friends away from work.”

This paper discusses the softest
skills strategies that Google may use to improve the productivity of their
team, and the managerial skills needed by leaders:

Communication, Listening Skills, and Group Norms:

Listening:
Successful leaders understand the importance of listening to others’ thoughts
and ideas. Giving the speaker undivided attention, taking notes, reserve
judgement, and being open to opinions.

Communication:
communicating with courtesy, showing confidence, back up statement with facts,
and trying to avoid tentative language.

In addition to non-verbal
communication: Maintain eye contact while speaking to show respect and
sincerity, hold good posture to project confidence, avoid gestures that are
distracting or convey disinterest such as crossed arms or fidgeting with
clothing/jewelry, and make sure facial expressions align with the message being
communicated.

Positives:
Stepping over or excuse bad behavior and avoid talking about problems rather
than confront tough issues. Learning to prize “Courageous Conversations” in the
workplace and training teams in communication strategies and skills to increase
the likelihood of mission-based team work and success.

Group Norms:
Google focusing on what are known as “group norms” Norms are the traditions,
behavioral standards and unwritten rules that govern how we function when we
gather: One team may come to a consensus that avoiding disagreement; another
team might develop a culture that encourages vigorous arguments and spurns
groupthink. Understanding and influencing group norms were the key to improving
Google’s teams.

Coaching Employees:

Good negotiating of
situations. As leaders looks at the situation through employee’s eyes, being
prepared to offer several options, showing understood of the other side, and
offering help out in some way to demonstrate team playing.

Feedback is critical to
perfecting employees’ performance, and to understand expectations and managers
are adept at providing feedback in a structured, mission-centric way, employees
have greater success in the workplace.

For effectiveness of
feedback, managers must deliver it regularly when coachable moments arise.
Focus feedback on the task or event at hand rather than the person. Share
feedback in private, to avoid embarrassment; and give employees a chance to
provide their own solutions during coaching interventions. Motivating employees
to achieve the performance goals by making coaching a team effort between
managers and employees.

Best leaders recognize
people for different types of accomplishments, celebrating good work at
meetings where others can congratulate them, and make the praise personal.

Emergent Leadership:

Holding a powerful
position or traditional leadership roles aren’t enough. Leaders must come
forward with solutions when things go wrong. Here’s one of the best quotes on
how to lead, from the French writer Antoine de Saint Exupéry:

If you want to build a
ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and
work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.

Maintaining
professionalism can be extremely difficult for leaders who are friendly with
many of their employees, but recognizing the line between work life and
personal life and striking a balance in between is critical. Establishing clear
boundaries when working with friends, being fair to all subordinates regardless
of friendships, and avoiding any special treatment or favors. 

Delegation, Empowerment, and successful staff:

Delegation requires a
great deal of finesses and people skills to motivate employees to do the work
and get it done effectively, by msaking clear and specific goals about expected
results, lay out challenges and discussing obstacles employees may face, and
offering available resources.

The key to success of
employee’s performance is competence. Employees who feel empowered to test and
build their strengths are more likely to meet expectations. A manager’s job is
to run a turnkey operation that ensure all goals are met.

Informing employees of
business goals and reasons behind them, will be more motivated to get the job
done.  Without a clear vision
and action-oriented plan, success is not in the cards. Employees alike need to
see the big picture and align their daily actions accordingly. They must
understand where Google is going, and what the culture really is all about.
When they do, they are in a better position to help ensure that employees and
colleagues stay true to the business goals and mission. Strategic
mission/vision-building retreats and planning sessions can help.

Successful bright people
rarely experience failure, and so they don’t learn how to learn from that
failure. They, instead, commit the fundamental attribution error, which is if
something good happens, it’s because I’m a genius. If something bad happens,
it’s because I didn’t get the resources or the market moved.

Training and Development

Paying
attention to an employee’s own growth potential in an organization and
providing a path for career growth inside the company helps motivate employees
to stay engaged in their work, while employees who do not feel valued for their
contributions and potential will look to change jobs as soon as new
opportunities arise. It is more cost-effective to invest in a capable employee
than hiring and train a new recruit. As
new needs and opportunities arise, training becomes critical because timing is
key to success.

Dealing with difficult employees

Difficult
employees whose behavior and attitudes can jeopardize workplace harmony.
Leaders must know how to deal with these employees, especially because others
will judge the leader based on how he or she handles the situation. Tackle
the problem as soon as possible instead of waiting to deal with it, rely on
documented information when pointing out unacceptable behavior, implement
a plan for correcting the behavior, and follow up daily to ensure the
positive change is permanent.

Watching
out behaviors – as a leader – like tardiness, interrupting others, invading
other people’s personal space, inappropriate humor or remarks, and incessant
complaining, that could have negative impact on office morale, or productivity.

Managing Change, and Handling Resistance

People
respond to change in many different ways. In professional settings,
employees will often look to their leaders during times of change for
reassurance, guidance, and a sense of stability. Giving employees the
opportunity to share their thoughts, focus on the positive, and remaining
available as a leader to answer questions.

Leaders
will always face resistance, and the way they handle opposition determines a
great deal about how they are perceived. Handling resistance gracefully by
focusing on the issue and remaining non-confrontational, taking responsibility
when contributing to an issue, and asking for the resistors’ help in coming to
a resolution. 

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