A Simple Step to Stay Positive in Tough Markets
At work, we all recognize the importance of enthusiasm – both our own and our team’s. Being passionate and enthusiastic about what we do creates positive energy and is especially important when interacting with existing or prospective clients.
There are periods in the market, however, when it’s tough to maintain our excitement. And while exercise to start the day, taking regular breaks and scheduling vacations can help, in tough markets such as we’ve seen this year, it can be challenging to stay positive and passionate. That’s why some surprising insights about how Google keeps its staff enthused can be helpful.
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The biggest surprise: The key to motivation has nothing to do with bonuses or stock options, but rather stems from the work itself and linking what people do to positive outcomes for clients.
The three keys to motivation
Laszlo Bock is Google’s senior vice president for “people operations.” In the article, Focus on Passion Not Perks, he addressed the misconception that Google maintains motivation through salaries and perks like free food and funky offices. He pointed to three keys that actually motivate Googlers:
“We spend more time working than we do on almost any other activity in our lives. People want all that time to mean something. Other companies make similar products, and yet our employees tell us that they are drawn to Google because being here means something more than ‘just’ searching the internet or linking friends.
The translation of our mission into something real and tangible has a huge effect on who decides to join Google, how much engagement and creativity they bring to this place, and even on how they feel and behave after leaving.”
“We share everything we can. We have a weekly all-hands meeting called TGIF, hosted by our founders, Larry and Sergey. In the first 30 minutes, we review news and product launches from the past week, demo upcoming products, and celebrate wins. But the second 30 minutes is the part that matters most: Q&A.
Everything is up for question and debate, from the trivial (“Larry, now that you’re CEO will you start wearing a suit?” The answer was a definite ‘no’), to the ethical (“Is Google going in the right direction?”). A few weeks into every quarter, our executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, presents to all Googlers virtually the exact materials that were presented to our Board of Directors at their last meeting. Our intranet includes product roadmaps, launch plans and employee snippets (weekly status reports), alongside employee and team OKRs (quarterly goals) so that everyone can see what everyone else is working on. We share everything, and trust Googlers to keep the information confidential.”
“Believing in a greater good and knowing what’s going on are important, but people then need to be able to translate their beliefs and knowledge into action. We try to have as many channels for expression as we can, recognizing that different people – and different ideas – will percolate up in different ways.
But just as important as generating input is doing something with it. We regularly survey employees about their managers, and then use that information to publicly recognize the best managers and enlist them as teachers and role models for the next year. The worst managers receive intense coaching and support, which helps 75 percent of them get better within a quarter.”