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Work Doesn’t Have to Be Dreadful: 6 Tips From an Ex-Google VP on How to Make Work More Rewarding

Source | Inc : By Michael Schneider

Laszlo Bock, former senior vice president of people operations at Google and now CEO of Humu, is pretty much the LeBron James of HR. In the few years he spent at Google, he managed to revolutionize the way organizations view and manage their people.

Last week, Bock gave a keynote speech at the 2017 Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Annual Conference. (Yes, there is such a thing.)

Bock, who grew Google’s workforce from 6,000 to 76,000 employees, stressed the importance of HR’s role in improving the world of work for the masses.

Let’s take a look at the six strategies, announced in a SHRM article, Bock shared to make work a little better for your employees.

1. Give jobs meaning

Although feeling a sense of purpose is personal and unique to each individual, there are ways that HR can uncover and connect what people do to why they do it. Unfortunately, Bock said, “Across industries and job types, roughly a third of people find meaning in their jobs.”

Beyond the obvious, a 2017 SHRM report found that meaningful work accounted for 14 percent of voluntary turnover. On the flip side, 29 percent of employees who stayed with their organization’s listed meaningful work was the motivator. That’s a 43 percent swing in voluntary turnover making meaningful work a major player in retaining your top employees.

2. Build trust

As a leader, to foster a culture of trust and transparency, you have to go first. Bock describes it this way, “If you believe people are fundamentally good, you’re going to treat them that way.” Although the concept seems insignificant, having faith in your people and relinquishing a little control greatly benefits companies.

Employees are more productive, have the freedom to experiment and think creatively. Adversely, feelings of distrust in leadership leads to stress, divisiveness, and a lack of motivation — not the best conditions for productivity.

How much trust is enough? Bock says, “You want to give people a little more freedom than you’re comfortable with.”

3. Hire people better than you

We all have a tendency to fall prey to confirmation bias — the tendency to interpret new information in a way supportive of our personal viewpoints. Especially, when we are interviewing and hiring new team members. If left unchecked, we can select people based on similar interests, rather than potential impact.

To prevent this, Bock suggests this practice, “The simplest rule is to only hire people who are better than you personally in some meaningful way.” To ensure this was accomplished while at Google, Bock said, “The best thing to do is to have a separate hiring committee. It should have nobody on it who will actually work with this person.”

Although it seems unrealistic, this strategy minimizes the risk of subjective interviews.

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