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What We Can Learn From Google About Identifying and Developing Managers

career developmentA lot of people make the mistake of thinking the best “management material” is whoever brings in the most accounts, earns the most money or sells the most ideas.

But there is so much that goes into identifying and developing managers in the workplace.

What exactly does HR and senior management take into account? That’s exactly what Sarah Calderon, a manager at Google who oversees Google’s Manager Development curriculum, revealed in a recent podcast at Google’s Re:work. The tips were also featured at Inc.

In the pod, Calderon breaks down five things that Google HR considers when looking for managers, and while some of the specifics may surprise you, they make sense. Here’s a quick preview

1. High-performing employees don’t necessarily make good managers. Calderon says to find great managers, you should look at how someone works with others and how they get things done.

2. The best time to train new managers is a few months into the job. Per Calderon, the best thing to do is to give prospective managers a few basic resources they can use  during the first few months on the job, then wait until they’ve been managing for a couple months before you put them through a formalized management training.

3. Don’t overwhelm new managers. Calderon suggests thinking about what new managers need in those first six months on the job and give them just enough so they can remember what they learned and go back and practice and build on it later.

4. Training isn’t the only way to support your managers.  Calderon and Google  emphasize the importance of creating a “culture of learning, practice, feedback, and reflection,” so managers are continuously learning what they’re doing well and where
they need to improve.

5. Give managers the feedback they need to get better. Once a year, “Googlers” fill out a survey on their manager’s performance to provide them feedback.

I highly recommend you check out the entire Inc. article for more insight into each of these 5 considerations. There’s a lot to take away, regardless of what industry you work in.