Googling Performance

I moderated a webinar featuring Tom Davenport, Jeanne Harris, and Jeremy Shapiro for the International Institute of Analytics yesterday. It delved into the analytics of talent management and was based on an article in the October Harvard Business Review.

There were many interesting points but the one that struck me most was a revelation about the way that Google manages low performers. Unlike many companies, Google does not immediately blame the person whose performance is faltering. They believe that their hiring practices are sound (and they measure those practices through analytics) and that they bring in talented people. Because of this, they look first at whether the person has been matched with the right job and if the person is being well managed.

I found it refreshing that Google has both faith in its intake processes and the people it hires –and is honest enough to look at itself as well as the “failing” individual. Such an approach not should not only help Google improve its organization, build trust with its workforce, and minimize avoidable turnover costs. Others should learn from their example.

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