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HomemilastwordThe Great Manager

The Great Manager

Feedback at work. We need it, all of us, no matter how self-assured and together we are. Some managers don’t believe in feedback. Their manta is – “hire good people and just leave them alone”. They’ll get on with it, produce results and the business will boom.

While no-one wants to be micromanaged, people want to know that they’re doing a good job and how they can improve what they’re doing. Conversely, if they’re not doing such a great job, they want to receive feedback on where they can improve. Essentially, people need to understand where they fit into an organisation or if their work matters.

Back in 2008, Google kicked off Project Oxygen to work out what makes a great manager. They discovered employees wanted to see “more effective cross-organisation collaboration and stronger decision making practices from leaders”. In delivering their results, Google researchers surmised “quality management is not only critical, but… it also causes better employee

Google has a handle on managing people and what makes a great manager

Here are ‘The 10 Behaviours of a Great Manager’, as defined by Google:

  1. Is a Good Coach 

A great manager invests time and energy into their staff. All staff need to be managed – star performer or otherwise.

  1. Empowers Team and Does Not Micromanage 

Empower people in your team. Don’t micromanage their work. Micromanaging results in only frustrating and undermining your staff.

  1. Creates an Inclusive Team Environment, Showing Concern for Success and Well-Being 

Be inclusive. The business is a team, not an individual. Everyone in the team has a voice. Embrace their opinions and ideas.

  1. Is Productive and Results-Oriented 

Results matter to not only management but the staff. Show your team how to produce results, don’t just expect outcomes.

  1. Is a Good Communicator – Listens and Shares Information 

Communication is key. Get alongside people and listen to their ideas. Great managers are great listeners.

  1. Supports Career Development and Discusses Performance Set goals and hold staff accountable. Provide honest feedback about staff performance.
  2. Has a Clear Vision/Strategy for the Team 

A great manager knows where they’re heading. Sharing this vision with staff helps them know which direction they’re heading.

  1. Has Key Technical Skills to Help Advise the Team 

Share your skills with your staff. Build credibility by sharing your expertise.

  1. Collaborates Across Google 

No person is an island. The team works better when they’re working together, in collaboration.

  1. Is a Strong Decision Maker 

Whilst it’s important for a great manager to be a good listener and disseminate information, staff appreciate a strong person who can make decisions.

At Google these 10 behaviours reportedly, “increased team satisfaction and performance”. They are qualities that work at Google. What makes a manager great at your practice or business?


1. Re:work. The Evolution of Project Oxygen. Melissa Harrell and Lauren Barbato. Google. Feb 2018. https://rework.withgoogle.com/blog/the-evolutionof- project-oxygen/