Work Rules!

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We spend more time working than doing anything else in life. Yet for too many people, the experience of work is demotivating and dehumanizing.

I don’t think it has to be this way, and I’m willing to bet you don’t either.

At Google, we’ve learned a ton about what makes for an enjoyable and productive workplace. We’re not alone – lots of other companies, ranging from grocers (e.g., Wegmans) to textile companies (e.g., the Brandix Group) to Brooklyn delis (e.g., Russ & Daughters), as well as academics and scientists, have learned the same simple truth: there are straightforward things we can do to make work better.

My new book, "Work Rules!", is an attempt to bring this together and offer you practical tools to improve work, no matter what you do. Check out this visual preview of the book and visit www.workrules.net if you’d like to pick up a copy or learn more!

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Work Rules!

  1. by laszlo bock
  2. #WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
  3. We spend more time working than doing anything else in our lives. #WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
  4. But for most of the four billion of us with jobs, work is just a means to an end. Or worse, it’s a downright miserable experience. #WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
  5. #WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
  6. It doesn’t have to—and shouldn’t—be this way. After I arrived at Google in 2006, I began to notice places that took a better approach. #WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
  7. Companies like Wegmans, Brandix, and Costco put their people first. Maybe it was possible to build a great business while also treating people really, really well. Maybe we just had to do things differently. #WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
  8. Larry and Sergey, for example, founded Google with a strong vision about the kind of company they wanted to create. Google operates on the belief that people are fundamentally good. #WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
  9. As head of People Operations, my job is to find and grow our employees, self-dubbed “Googlers,” and keep them happy. #WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
  10. So far, the effects of this philosophy are promising. #WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
  11. Google is not alone when it comes to being a great place to work. Lots of other companies and researchers are doing things to make work better for people. #WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
  12. burn after reading Anyone can replicate this approach, and I’ll gladly share some of the science and experiences that have helped us get where we are today. #WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
  13. #WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
  14. Culture underpins everything we do at Google. #WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
  15. It’s easy to think culture is what you see on the surface. That bean bags and lava lamps, along with our profit margins, are the secret to our success. Nothing could be further from the truth. #WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
  16. 03 02 01 There are three defining aspects of Google’s culture: finding a compelling mission, being transparent, and giving our people a voice. (All of these are free!) #WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
  17. #WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
  18. If you want to attract the most talented people on the planet, you need to craft a goal that inspires them. Amy Wrzesniewski (Yale), Adam Grant (Wharton), and others have shown this increases both productivity and happiness. #WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
  19. Be transparent. Encourage people to think and act like owners. You’ll be surprised what people can do when you simply trust them to do the right thing. #WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
  20. MIT’s Richard Locke compared two garment plants in Mexico, one tightly controlled and another that was self-run by workers. Not only were the workers with more freedom more productive, they also earned higher wages and had lower costs. Dr. Kamal Birdi studied productivity at 308 companies and found the same thing. #WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
  21. To find the best people, you have to be willing to wait. A bad hire can be toxic. Set the bar high, never compromise on quality, and find someone who is better than you in some meaningful way. You’ll end up with a much stronger team. #WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
  22. Separate conversations about rewards from conversations about development. Combining the two kills learning. #WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
  23. In 1969, Edward Deci and Richard Ryan found that attaching incentives to tasks reduced intrinsic motivation, leading to less time and effort spent completing them, especially when those incentives were later removed. #WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
  24. Don’t surprise people. Tell them if they’re low performers and help them learn or find new roles—people need to know how they’re doing in order to grow. Put your best people under a microscope to find out—and replicate—what makes them succeed. #WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
  25. The most meaningful things you can do for your employees are free, or close to it. Save your biggest checks for when they need it most. #WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
  26. Brandix, a Sri Lankan clothing manufacturer, provides its mostly female workforce with supplemental food and medicine when they’re pregnant. #WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
  27. Your best people are worth far, far more than your average people. Make sure they feel it. Otherwise you’re just giving them a reason to quit. #WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
  28. Small signals can cause large changes in behavior. #WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
  29. Often times, nudges are surprisingly simple. Between 2007 and 2008, Atul Gawande had eight hospitals around the world start using a safety checklist before performing surgery. The rate of patient deaths dropped by almost half. #WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
  30. Human beings are complicated, thorny, and messy. You’re never going to please everyone, but don’t let that prevent you from trying new things. Tell people around you that you’re going to be experimenting to balance expectations. #WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
  31. start finish Don’t rush to do everything at once. Building a great culture and environment requires constant learning, experimentation, and renewal. But it’s worth it. #WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
  32. #WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
  33. more! more! These were just some of the bigger lessons we’ve learned over the years. I have a lot more to share—from interview questions to fixing performance management to how nudges helped me lose 30 pounds—you can read about the solutions to more specific problems in the book. #WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
  34. work ruleswork rules work suckswork sucks do nothingdo something I can’t be the only person who’s ever thought, “work sucks.” And I definitely am not the only person who’s ever done something about it. #WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
  35. Technology has made it easier to try new things and share what’s effective, giving us an unprecedented opportunity to change the meaning of work. #WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
  36. So go experiment with something new when it comes to how you work. #WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
  37. Then it’s your turn to share what you know. If enough of us try, maybe we’ll have a shot at making work more meaningful for everyone in the world. #WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET

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