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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.

Let’s make work better

We spend more time working than doing anything else in life. Work should be motivating and energizing, and that’s just not the reality for too many people.

After working in a variety of jobs and industries early in my career, I was frustrated by how leaders spoke of putting people first, and then treated them like replaceable gears. It just didn’t make sense to me. Why weren’t people treated better? Why was the gap between how we wanted to be treated, and how we were actually treated, so large?

This drove me to enter the field of HR, where I hoped to one day influence how entire companies treat people. I joined Google in 2006 as head of People Operations. Since then, our team has been working to bring more data and science into improving how we make people decisions.

I wrote Work Rules! to tell the story of how we think about our people at Google, what we’ve been learning over the past 17 years, and what any team or organization can do to put people first and transform your workplace. After the publication of the book, I was humbled by the outpouring of support and interest from people all around the world. Waiters, lawyers, taxi drivers, executives, and small business owners alike wrote to tell me that they found the book helpful, and were already applying practices like structured interviewing and peer recognition in their organizations. But many of them also told me that they wanted more - more of the nitty gritty, the details, the programs and practices, so they could change their workplaces, too.

The re:Work website is our response to the community of people who want to make work better around the world. And we don’t want to just talk about Google, because we don’t have all the answers. There are a lot of organizations out there using data to make work better, so re:Work offers a collection of research, practices and ideas from a variety of organizations and leaders.

I hope you read some of the ideas and try some of the tools. We’ll be adding content regularly, so join the conversation, sign up for updates, and share your feedback. And most importantly, tell the world how you’re using data to #makeworkbetter. We’re excited to hear from you.

Let’s make work better, together.