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The Water Cooler

A blog of fresh ideas and findings from organizational leaders and researchers on how they’re making work better, shared regularly.

How data can improve bike commuting

More people are biking to work than ever before. The number of trips made by bicycle in the U.S. rose from 1.7 billion in 2001 to 4 billion in 2009, and since the year 2000, bicycle commuting rates in large bike-friendly communities has increased by 105%.

re:Worker story: Starting small by bringing data to hiring

As the sole HR person at a small company, I decided to take a page from re:Work and run my own experiments to see how data could improve our people-related decisions.

John Doerr on why HR matters

Having spotted and mentored the founders of many hugely successful companies, including Google, John Doerr knows that organizations can’t wait when it comes to “the people stuff.” Doerr explains that hiring the right people is the most important thing any leader does.

Making re:Work work for small businesses

This National Small Business Week, we celebrate the millions of small and mighty businesses who are innovating and driving the economy around the world. Find out what re:Work offers to help you make great people decisions for your company.

The secret to Motley Fool’s investing success: Look at the company culture

How important is the culture to the performance of an individual company? According to one Motley Fool, the answer is it’s very important and it’s part of what’s helped him beat the market over the last 20 years.

Tool: Learn how the IRS helps managers effectively communicate

The IRS employs 84,000 people — from mailroom clerks to tax law experts — and the Service works to make sure that managers and employees are able to communicate effectively using inclusive behaviors.

How graduate students can help you translate HR theories into practice

Even with the rise of people analytics, there is still a large gap between what organizational science recommends and what organizations actually do. Partnering with graduate students is one way to close this gap.

How many interviews does it take to hire a Googler?

To cut down on time to hire, Google’s staffing team examined past interview data and determined that four interviews was enough to make a reliable hiring decision.

Structure your hiring process with these re:Work tools

Hiring someone new is a critical decision for a team or organization, and every step of the hiring process contributes to the final outcome. Use these resources from Google to help you approach hiring in a fair and structured way.

Astronauts in training: Building trust and open feedback channels

On the 2.5-years-long Mars mission, it will take 22 minutes to send a message from Earth to the spaceship and then 22 more minutes to respond. To deal with these types of hurdles, NASA trains space and ground crews extensively on communication skills.

Mapping employee chitchat can reveal information blockages

By measuring the day-to-day interactions between employees, organizations can map how information gets shared and actually make work, and their businesses, better.

Reduce the influence of unconscious bias with these re:Work tools

Our unconscious biases can help us make decisions quickly but sometimes they may lead us astray, especially when it comes to judging other people. When making hiring and promotion decisions, reduce potential unconscious biases by using these tools.

New research explores tackling unconscious bias in the classroom

Google is funding research at Berkeley and MIT to help uncover ways to reduce bias among teachers and help all students excel in computer science and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).

“Houston, this is Station...”: Mission-critical communication for teams

“CAPCOMs can really make your day.” This simple journal entry by an astronaut aboard the International Space Station (ISS) shows just how important communication can be to the success of a team orbiting hundreds of miles above the Earth.

The science of storytelling with Google’s Prasad Setty

After collecting the data, running the analyses, and verifying the results, how do you go from finishing a report to actually influencing data-based change in your organization? Learn to tell a story.

The History and Future of Work with futurist Marina Gorbis

Humanity’s working life only recently started revolving around large, centralized organizations. The future of work may look more like pre-industrialized work, in terms of how economic and social networks become more integrated again.

Watch: Google's research on making managers awesome

A team of Google researchers set out to prove that managers didn't matter. Their research didn't go as expected and their work changed how Google trains managers. Hear from one of the researchers about what it's really like to be a manager at Google.

HR Information Systems 2.0: Integrating People Analytics

How Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) is taught hasn’t changed much in decades while workplaces have undergone a technological and data revolution. To prepare future business leaders, we have the opportunity to rethink how business schools teach and leverage HRIS.

Livestream on Google's research-based manager training

Tune in February 2nd at 11am PT to learn from Google's People Development team how Google uses data to support and develop managers. Bring your burning managerial questions to have them answered live on the air.

McKinsey’s global view of workplace gender equality

Gender parity at work is an issue everywhere, not just in a few specific countries. The McKinsey Global Institute suggests that aiming for progress, rather than perfection, by looking to neighbors for best practices may lead to quicker solutions.