How Google Trains World-Class Managers

Jyotshana Rani

10th Dec'20

We know that a manager's quality impacts individual performance in an organization. According to Gallup, one of the most important decisions made by companies is who they name their manager. Yet, 82% of the time, companies fail to choose the right candidate.

Managers cost businesses billions of dollars each year and having too many bad managers can bring down a company. Great managers encourage their employees to work to their full potential and contribute to the organization’s growth.

According to the Wall Street Journal, almost half of employees leave their jobs to get away from their bosses. As nobody wants to lose their talented employees, organizations follow different hiring strategies when it comes to selecting a candidate for a manager’s role and train them to the best of their potential.


Here’s how search giant Google trains world-class managers

As we are moving towards development, the market is getting more and more competitive. And to meet the market demand, each individual of your organization is important. A company is headed by managers and they have the power to build a company or bring it down. So, you cannot fully rely on firsthand experience and consultants to train great managers.

Google is known for having some of the world’s best managers. Let’s take a look at how findings from Project Oxygen help Google in training their managers. 


Project Oxygen

Project Oxygen was designed in 2008 to verify the statement that people leave organizations because of their managers, given by an age-old HR at Google. Project Oxygen was an attempt to measure the impact of good managers.



Many developers at the company long complained about bad management, so Google’s People Innovation Lab conducted an experiment. To evaluate the differences between high and low-rated managers, a group of statisticians was hired. For the analysis, data were collected from past performance appraisals, employee surveys, interviews, and other sources of employee feedback. And to everyone’s surprise, the analysis proved that manager quality impacts individual team member’s performance.


Findings from project Oxygen

The survey was first conducted in 2008, and to confirm its findings, it was repeated in 2018. Based on the data received, Google’s People Innovation Lab identified 10 habits of highly effective managers. These are:

  1. They are Are good coaches

  2. Good managers empower their teams and avoid micromanaging

  3. They show concern for success and well-being and create an inclusive team environment.

  4. Are productive and results-oriented

  5. They are good listener, communicators and they share information

  6. Discuss the team’s performance and support career development 

  7. Have a clear vision/strategy for the team

  8. Have key technical skills to help advise the team

  9. Collaborate across Google

  10. Are great decision-makers

Based on the findings, Google started including questions about whether managers spent time coaching the team, communicate a clear vision, etc. in its employee feedback surveys which was not the case earlier. Previously, those surveys had focused on manager output.

In the next step, the result of Project Oxygen was shared with every manager at Google, and they took steps to align themselves with the 10-point list.



Things You Should Know About Google Training Method

Every top company has a unique training method. The search giant Google follows an employee-to-employee network called “g2g” (Googler-to-Googler) for their employees’ training. 80% of all tracked training is run through g2g. It is a program where employees at Google volunteer to teach and train their fellow employees. The program promotes a culture that values learning, and hence it is successful.

How to build a World-class manager?

The future of your company rests in your manager’s hand. We already know that the top company has some out of the way method to help their managers gain a stellar reputation. Knowing the importance, you must also focus on creating great managers for your company’s growth. Click here


We, at OpenGrowth, are continually looking for trending startups in the ecosystem. If you want to know any further information about the startup ecosystem or have any mind-boggling ideas, do refer our other blogs.

Jyotsana is very keen to express her views on new topics and wants readers to remember her through her writing. She is passionate about reading and believes that words wield the power of changing the scenario and she uses them to encourage people to the best of her knowledge.


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