Michael Hopps

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Perhaps no other tech organization mines data as well as Google. After all, the search engine giant has access to more real-time data and measurable components than potentially any other corporation in history. So it should come as no surprise that Laszlo Bock, senior vice president of people operations at Google, is a clear leader in the people analytics pack.

But while other companies have long relied on analytics to drive sales strategy or financial modeling, Google has easily become the front-runner in turning those analytics inward to build a better employee experience.

Here are three lessons you can learn from Laszlo Bock’s laser-focus on people analytics.

1. Take Teamwork to the Next Level

Google believes in the concept of teams for nearly every aspect of work, from hiring by committee to assembling a well-qualified team for projects large and small. And on these teams, each person’s diverse input carries equal weight. While every contributor’s area of expertise may differ, the value of their opinions count enormously.

This combination of empowerment and opportunity invigorates employees and leads to consistently great results, such as beating deadlines and improving customer satisfaction scores.

2. Retain Employees by Empowering Them

Bock is famous for advising people not to trust their gut, but to trust measurements—and those measurements show that people stay in a role for two reasons:

  1. Quality: Working with people of the highest caliber
  2. Meaning: Finding true meaning in their work

And while filling the needs above are important to employee retention, when combined with another Google principle—bringing employees together in surprising ways to innovate—companies can realize both increased retention and a boost in innovative ideation. Plus, empowering employees to innovate and contribute to your company in a meaningful way is yet another way to ensure they’ll stick around.

3. Support the Bottom and the Top

Not every employee can be number one (which is to say, a top performer). Far more important than rank, however, is how companies give attention to employees who land in lower levels or need more guidance to be successful.

Bock firmly encourages managers to use people analytics for good, especially when you notice that an employee is underperforming. Lower-performing employees need a fair opportunity to get better, and may be suffering from a lack of support.

Empowered People Analytics

Sure, Google measures everything. Your company may not have the resources to get into the nitty-gritty measurements that the tech giant uses to optimize every aspect of its human resources operation. However, when you incorporate some of Google’s proven people analytics and employee engagement metrics into your employment life cycle, your own recruitment and retention plans will benefit.

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