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Ob in Action: Google’s “Three-Thirds” Hr Team

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Running Head: OB in Action: Google’s “Three-Thirds” HR Team

BUS311: M5A1 Case Analysis: OB in Action: Google’s “Three-Thirds” HR Team
BUS 311: Organizational Behavior

Summary Google, the first popular search engine in world was founded in 1995 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin. They created this search engine so that users can find any website or document on the web based on keyword or exact searches. Google provides free services for their users. Introduction What is a team? A team is defined as a group of people with a full set of complementary skills required to complete a task, job, or project. Teams members (1) operate with a high degree of interdependence, (2) share authority and responsibilities for self-management, (3) are accountable for the collective performance, and (4) work toward a common goal and shared rewards(s). Team becomes more than just a collection of people when a strong sense of mutual commitment creates synergy, thus generating performance greater than the sum of the performance of its individual members (Business Dictionary.com, 2014). It is equally important for us to know that a team is a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performing goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2013, p. 300). Similarly, an excerpt by Franklin Covey “4 Disciplines of Execution” is of the view that the four discipline of execution is a practical management process, which helps the team to define its most important goals towards the achievement of organizational strategic plans, and ensures that all team members learn the goals and strives to execute them” (Covey, 2014). Using Table 11-1, what must be done to turn Google’s HR group into a team? Successful teams take on a life of their own. It is important for managers to have realistic expectations when it comes to teams. Additionally managers need to be proactive in helping to make teams effective. In order for the HR group at Google to become a true team the members of the group have to work together in cohesion. Members of the group need to realize everything becomes a shared activity. Leadership is shared; accountability is no longer for individuals, but for the team as a whole. If one person in the team fails, the whole team fails. It is no longer an individual activity. This concept goes hand in hand with effectiveness of the team: the team is effective as a whole, not singularly. Explain how Google’s HR team members could have been instructed in the teamwork competencies from Table 11-3. From my perspective, I tend to believe Google’s HR team members should have been instructed ahead of time about the teamwork competencies. Effective work teams have a greater chance of success if they are nurtured and facilitated by the organization (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2013, p. 304). People are most effective in all aspects of their careers when they know what is expected of them beforehand. Then people with the desire to be effective and get ahead will do not only what is expected but will likely push beyond the expected into the beyond expected. How important is trust to a cross-functional team? Describe how managers can build trust among cross-functional teams, which comprise diverse backgrounds and differing perspectives. Trust is key ingredient to a cohesive team. Each member must be able to look to his or her counterparts and know that they all have a common goal and commitment to the group. For example, if the members believe that one of the members has ulterior motives of pure personal advancement over the success of the group, this would cause a rift in the team. Communication between the team members is equally a key to keeping everyone informed and on the same page. This lets everyone know the status of the project as well as allows members to capitalize on each other’s expertise to help the team. With Google, the HR groups have various backgrounds as well as individual “marching orders”. By working a together on a common goal, they can utilize each area of expertise they encompass and prove to be a golden team for Google instead of working in silos. Hence, trust is vital because it motivates employees to put their full energy and commitment to work (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2013, p. 312). Explain which type of cohesiveness, socio-emotional or instrumental, is more important in this type of cross-functional team? Team cohesion is one of the most important keys to a successful team. It keeps the team focused, goal oriented and prevents fragmenting. Instrumental team cohesiveness would work best for Google’s diverse HR team. Instrumental cohesiveness involves regularly updating and clarification of the group goal. Each member is entrusted with a vital “piece of the action”. (Kinicki, 2013) This can be due to each of their special area of expertise that will enhance the overall common goal of the group. Google executives put a lot of thought behind what areas they needed HR to concentrate on in order to prepare for the future of their company. With this brought many talented people with certain skills that would be valuable to them. In order for the HR team to be truly effective and work as a cohesive unit, each member needs to look to the overall goal of the team while still being held to their concentrated part of the puzzle. Instrumental cohesiveness would allow the entire member to thrive as well as build bonding relationships for future projects for Google. What strategies would you offer Google’s Laszlo Bock to help in creating, developing, and leading effective cross-functional work teams? Laszio Bock initial thought process behind his “Three-Thirds” HR team provides Google with a well-rounded HR team. They are able to provide insight into many areas that are not traditionally thought to be part of the role of Human Resources. The ability to give insight to upper management as well as front line managers on various topics from why employees will stay or leave, how to handle issues before they become issues, pattern recognition will give Google the advantage in the marketplace. In order for this to happen, Bock would need to have an on boarding plan for all of these experts. This would involve cross training and team building plans to help to ensure that all HR people understand each person’s individual roles as well as their roles within the team. Having a clear and concise expectation for the HR department would help with this process. Another key area that would have to be looked at is how Google train management on the new role of HR? This is very will crucial as well. If management does not understand the role then many of the “wins” Bock thought he had when hiring the specialized HR personnel will be lost because it is important when you hire the best, you want to keep them. Bock will have to ensure that management and employees do not feel that they are be “studied” by some of the new experts, so everyone will have to understand HR’s new role at Google. Hence it is imperative that Bock should focus on a few key aspects of making sure his team works effectively. He should make sure his team knows what is expected of them and work on the cooperation, trust and cohesiveness of his team. He should equally work with the team members to determine those that have certain characteristics of effective team work and use these skills to help foster the team mentality in the group.

Works Cited Business Dictionary.com. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.businessdictionary.com Covey, F. (2014). Franklin Covey- 4 Disciplines of Execution. Retrieved from Franklin Covey: http://www.franklincovey.hr/eng/4-disciplines-execution/ Kreitner, R & Kinicki, A (2013). Organizational Behavior 10th ed. NY: McGraw Hill.…...

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