SlideShare a Scribd company logo
by laszlo bock
#WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
We spend more time working than
doing anything else in our lives.
#WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
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
#WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
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
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
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
As head of People Operations, my job is to find and grow
our employees, self-dubbed “Googlers,” and keep them happy.
#WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
So far, the effects of this philosophy are promising.
#WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
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
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
#WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
Culture underpins everything we do at Google.
#WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
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
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
#WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
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
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
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
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
Separate conversations about rewards from conversations
about development. Combining the two kills learning.
#WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
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
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
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
Brandix, a Sri Lankan clothing manufacturer, provides its mostly female
workforce with supplemental food and medicine when they’re pregnant.
#WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
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
Small signals can cause large changes in behavior.
#WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
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
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
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
#WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
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
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
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
So go experiment with something new
when it comes to how you work.
#WORKRULES | WORKRULES.NET
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
Work Rules!

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Work Rules!

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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