Google spends years figuring out that the secret to a good working environment is just to be nice

Google spends years figuring out that the secret to a good working environment is just to be nice

Reported by: Indepedent

Four years ago, Google set out on a mission to work out how it could transform productivity in its team.

Project Aristotle, started in 2012, studied hundreds of teams at Google to try and figure out the secret to their success.

Google works hard to keep employees happy and motivated. It already offers free lunches, massage rooms, nap pods, haircuts, and doctors. Google spends money to help new parents and offers them time off to look after their baby. Employees get paid-for courses, free legal advice, free bikes, and even space in the company garden to grow vegetables.

Then, Google being Google, measures every scrap of data from these perks.

Laszlo Bock, who heads Google’s People Operations Department, told CBS: “We try to bring as much analytics and data and science to what we do on the people side as our engineers do on the product side.”

Bock has data that shows that if the manager greets a new recruit on their first day, that recruit is 15 percent more productive in nine months’ time.

But a year into their research, the people behind Project Aristotle were stumped. Besides all the perks, they had identified some important factors that made group work more effective, but their data didn’t offer a clear view of which was the most important, or a consensus on how to organize a group for best results.

They came across a study that found that successful teams had high “average social sensitivity” – which means group members were good at gauging how others felt based on their tone of voice or expression. Another way of referring to this in psychology is psychological safety.

Amy Edmondson, a Harvard Business School professor, defines psychological safety as a “a sense of confidence that the team will not embarrass, reject or punish someone for speaking up”.

In an article for the New York Times, Charles Duhigg told the story of a Google executive who volunteered to try out some of Project Aristotle’s findings.

When he discovered his team wasn’t as happy and productive as he thought they were, he took them offsite and made a huge personal confession: he had stage four cancer. After a stunned silence, other members of the group started to talk about their own personal issues.

Although Project Aristotle hadn’t advocated making personal revelations, the Google exec realized that to create psychological safety in his team, he needed them to bond.

By trying to maximize productivity using data, Google realized that psychological safety, or the security form ties and talk about feelings, was the most important factor.

They had stumbled on the key to building a successful team: just be nice.

These Are the Benefits Women Actually Want at Work

These Are the Benefits Women Actually Want at Work

Do you wonder what benefits really resonate with women? It isn’t really rocket science, in fact, it is mostly about equality and flexibility.

If you would like a complimentary consultant please reach out today. We would love to post your job posting on our Women in Biz Network Diversity-Driven Career Board. 


two women sitting on leather chairs in front of table

Photo by Amy Hirschi on Unsplash

It’s the age-old debate: what do women really want?

Or it was the debate, rather. Women aren’t exactly shy these days about voicing what it is they want, at home, in politics, and perhaps most especially in the workplace. But then, shyness was never really the issue — being heard was, and heard free from the potential for bias or stigma. Despite progress that’s been made in this arena, especially in the months following #MeToo, the possibility of being stigmatized for voicing one’s wants and experiences still too-often persists for one group in particular: female jobseekers.

1. Equal Pay

Simone de Beauvoir may have nailed it in “The Second Sex” — there is no women’s empowerment without women’s economic empowerment.

That famed treatise was published nearly seven decades ago, and yet, women still struggle to be financially valued at the same rate as men. The gender pay gap persists, with white women bringing in 85 cents, Black women 63 cents, and Latina women just 54 cents to the white man’s dollar in 2017, and we see equally stark pay disparities within the glittering gates of Hollywood. If the gap is ever truly going to be closed, greater corporate transparency and equality-ensuring measures are essential. Some companies, like Squarespace, have begun answering that call by publishing employees’ salary information, and others, like Amazon, have outlawed asking for candidates’ salary history in interviews.

If your employer is behind the times on promoting pay equality, it’s worth checking out Fairygodboss’ salary database, crowdsourced from users. If you determine you aren’t being paid at a rate that’s comparable to your male peers, there are some steps you can take, like talking to your boss — or finding a new job at a company that’s known for actually treating women fairly. Fairygodboss’ jobs board is full of openings at companies women love.

2. Flexibility

Your reputation as an inclusive, women-friendly employer won’t go far these days without offering the highly sought-after benefit of flexibility. For women, flexibility has been proven to correlate to higher levels of ambition — one 2013 survey from Catalyst found that having access to flexible work arrangements led to a 31% increase in women’s likeliness to aspire to senior executive- or CEO-level positions. And flexibility helps employers, too — other studies have shown that flexible workers are happier, more productive, and less likely to burn out, leading to lower turnover rates.

Flexibility can be incorporated to varying degrees — at some workplaces, employees can take advantage of fully built-out “flex time” policies, while at others, it simply means not having to sweat taking the afternoon off for a doctor’s appointment. To get the specifics on which employers offer flexible perks like part-time and telecommuting positions, check out Fairygodboss’ Work-Life Balance & Flexibility Guide.

3. Paid Parental Leave — for Both Parents

More than 75% of expecting moms report being excited to return to work — and yet, 43% end up leaving their jobs, according to research discussed in a recent webinar with Fairygodboss and Maven Clinic.

The factors behind this alarming statistic are manifold, but one thing is clear: companies must do a better job of supporting employees, of all genders, in their desire to start a family. And the most obvious place to start is by incorporating better, longer, and paid parental leave policies — something the United States as a whole is frightfully behind on. In fact, according to a recent Pew Research Center analysis, the U.S. is the only developed country in the world to not offer mandatory paid parental leave. Only 12% of U.S. workers have access to paid leave, and for those who do have access to it, the amount offered is often insufficient to the point of forcing women back to work before they or their child are ready.

A growing number of companies are taking it into their own hands to do right by mothers, though, like Deloitte, which recently expanded its leave policy to include 16 fully paid weeks for men and women to care for relatives. One Deloitte employee and Fairygodboss user applauded the company for its “excellent maternity leave,” writing in her review that “when returning (to work), you aren’t penalized,” while another said the firm is good at “providing new moms with the flexibility to dial down and spend more time with your kids as needed.”

Beyond reading user reviews of company policies, you can also easily compare parental leave perks through Fairygodboss’ maternity leave database.

4. Paid Sick Leave

Most of us have had at some point worked for an employer where taking the day off for an illness was not looked kindly upon. #ProTip for companies hoping to attract and retain women — don’t be that employer.

Offering paid sick leave (something else the U.S. is behind on compared to other developed countries) shows that employees’ wellness is a true priority at a company. And while there may be punchier ways of imparting the same message — like, say, on-site yoga classes — the cornerstone of promoting employees’ health is giving them the knowledge they won’t be financially punished if they or a child get sick. Paid sick leave is also something that stands out favorably to female jobseekers, in particular, many of whom still make up the bulk of America’s primary caretakers. As Fairygodboss users have testified to time and again, a company where women feel that not only they, but their family is supported is a company women are likely to stay at.

5. Professional Development Opportunities

What does impress female jobseekers much? The knowledge that their gender isn’t seen as a barrier to getting promoted at a company.

“Professional development” may feel like a buzzword nowadays, but its impact is anything but ephemeral. Women need mentors, and they need to be shown examples of career paths where women like them have seen success in advancing. Companies can make this a reality by offering female employees designated mentors and sponsorship initiatives, like IBM has done through its Pathways Program, a multi-faceted initiative that pairs mid-career technical women with career development resources like executive coaches, sponsors, workshops and learning labs.

It’s this kind of emphasis on female talent advancement that no doubt leads women at IBM to leave such glowing reviews on Fairygodboss; one user wrote that at IBM, she had “the opportunity to reinvent myself over and over again with the endless support and encouragement,” while another noted that the tech giant “encourages skills development & growth opportunities across the organization, and for employees to design their career path.”


(Content courtesy of Ellevate) 

7 reasons why you should include a salary range in your job postings

7 reasons why you should include a salary range in your job postings

A question we often asked at Bee Happy HR – Your Diverse Talent Hive is whether you should post salary ranges on job postings. Our answer is almost always yes. If you would like a complimentary consultant reach out today. We would love to post your job posting on our Women in Biz Network Diversity-Driven Career Board. 


smiling woman

The question of whether or not to disclose salaries in job ads is one that generally sparks much debate. It’s a contentious issue. Naysayers will often talk about how it can weaken negotiating abilities or give competitors a gratuitous glance at your rates of pay. Mitigating current employee jealousy also gets bandied about when salary ranges are discussed. While these are factors to consider, it’s also worth looking at the other side of the coin. The benefits may far outweigh the shortcomings…

1. It’s one of the first things job seekers look for

According to SHRM, when looking at a job posting, compensation and benefits are the primary things that most candidates are looking for. It is a motivating factor and one that shouldn’t be easily ignored.

In fact, LinkedIn has said that 70% of professionals will want to hear about salary in the first message from a recruiter. So cut out the middleman and include it in the job posting. It’ll save you time while simultaneously giving vital information to potentially interested candidates.

2. Candidates will try to find out anyway

Whether it’s the first thing they ask or if they do their own sleuthing on sites like Glassdoor or, candidates want to know what kind of salary to expect. And a lot of the information is out there anyway. Concealing compensation from candidates is all smokescreen – in the end, every potential employee has to be offered something. Be up-front and show transparency. Remember, salary is important but isn’t always the deciding factor.

3. Diversity, equity, and inclusion

Transparency across all company policies, behaviour, and performance is becoming of increasing importance in any business. Whether it’s in terms of impact to the environment, treatment of staff, diversity, etc., the corporate veil is being quickly tugged down. One way to ensure that your organization is on a committed path to equality and fairness is to disclose salary ranges. It is a very powerful action that illustrates how your company isn’t interested in dangerous mystique. Our resident job postings expert Katrina Kibben believes that pay transparency is a ‘trust builder’ and keeping them secret creates emotional liability.

4. Millennials want it that way

In Jennifer Deal’s hugely successful book ‘What Millennials Want From Work’, she found that:

Millennials are most likely to discuss their compensation with their parents (71%) or their friends (47%). In comparison, older staff are substantially less likely to discuss their compensation with co-workers (19%), friends (24%) or parents (31%).”

Openness about finance is a deep-rooted trend among this cohort. And considering the fact that millennials will make up 75% of the workforce by 2025, it is perhaps worth thinking about this in terms of how to attract them. If salary ranges appeal to this generation then it makes sense to include them in job postings.

5.) Candidates don’t often leave jobs to be paid at the same level

According to the 2020 Compensation Best Practices Report by Payscale, one of the major reasons why employees leave companies is for a higher salary. It’s important to understand that salary history does not give you a guide as to how much a candidate is worth. Maybe their most recent salary was $35,000, but it’s been that figure for the past 4 years due to a pay freeze within the organization. Does that mean that the candidate is going to be willing to accept a salary of $36,000 with your company? Maybe not. Upfront details about what a position is worth will encourage applications from strong, dedicated candidates.

6. It is becoming more normalized

One of the greatest barriers to including a salary scale on job postings is tradition. Legacy has a LOT to answer for when it comes to certain hiring practices. Required years of experience, particular college degrees, and many more ultimately irrelevant requirements. So when it comes to job postings, companies often have a set way of operating which might be incorrect. Thankfully, change is on the horizon and many companies are already embracing the benefits of transparency. GlitchBasecamp, and Buffer have all very publicly bucked the trend – it’s even becoming law in some states in America.

7. Standing out from the pack

It’s understandable that some companies would be hesitant to include a salary range in their job postings. Smaller or niche businesses may not be able to compete with the larger enterprises and don’t want to seem like a secondary tier. And, while money is of course a big motivator for job seekers, it isn’t always the primary impetus. Non-cash benefits like superior cultures and remote opportunities can also sway opinion. But, the transparency and ease that including a salary range affords cannot be overlooked. At the end of the day a candidate will only accept what they’re worth, so why deceive?