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The findings of Project Oxygen is basically an expert mix made up of the functions approach, Mintzberg’s roles approach, and the skills approach. They found that to be a better boss you have to have a vision for the future, helping individuals reach their long-term work goals, expressing interest in employees wellbeing, technical abilities to support their employees, effective communication and listening skills, coaching support when needed, focused on being productive and working towards an end result, and avoid over-managing and to let your team be responsible. All of these eight characteristics make up a better boss.
I was more surprised by how much time they spent into finding out these eight obvious characteristics of a good manager. But after further reading, I see that they then went into depth of what these all meant and ranked them and that’s where I start to get actually surprised. After Google found these eight characteristics they actually made sure that their managers started to follow these. Sending them to manager training, and providing individual coaching and performance reviews. Some people may think Project Oxygen was just a waste of time and money but it paid off and fast with a 75% improvement in manager quality.
Encouraging managers to be great managers is good because it helps give them the motivation to be their best but without proper training they could think in their head that there are doing a wonderful job but in reality, they’re the worst. But knowing what makes a great manager means you actually listen and hear what the people under you have to say and helping them out without smothering them. In short, you can encourage them as much as you want but without the proper know-how you are basically having a team of adults lead by a small child with his mom cheering him on like at a sport meet. Many students have probably worked odd jobs or part-time jobs for smaller organizations. Looking at the Project Oxygen program developed by Google, students should see that larger companies often put a lot of effort into the training and development of their employees and their managers. The lesson to be learned is that companies benefit when they pay attention to the efficient and effective training of managers.
Again, students have probably heard about the unique benefits offered by Google. The company is often highly ranked on Fortune Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For. ” These benefits are attractive to students and the fast paced and challenging environment may appeal to many students. However, it is worthy to note that Google is a demanding employer and requires a lot of loyalty and time commitments from their employees.
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