Define and discuss "mastery." According to the author, how does one achieve "mastery"? Do you agree or disagree with the author's observations about mastery? (Chapter 9)
According to the author, mastery is a deliberate practice that entails intentional repetition of tasks that are similar to immediate correction, experimentation, and feedback. Attaining or achieving mastery does not need an individual to spend several hours in learning. Instead, it entails approaching learning in a different way from the rest of the individuals. Attaining mastery needs one to shard activities to minor actions and repeat the same actions relentlessly. Every time they do this, they observe the things that take place and make invisible adjustments and even improve. Engaging in the same activity without experiment is not enough. Thus, one needs to engage in different experiments to successfully achieve mastery. In being successful in different fields, mastery is essential as it enables an individual to perform the assigned tasks efficiently. I agree with the author's observations concerning mastery because one should correct the several steps, he or she engages in by getting the feedback of the small tasks performed which is only possible through experimentation. Also, one cannot engage in a task once and be a master in it.
Identify & discuss some of the ways in which Google is building a learning organization. Specifically, what kinds of courses should organizations invest in for the benefit of their employees? What kind of training courses should organizations avoid? (Chapter 9)
Google builds a learning organization in different ways including spreading the principles of mindfulness in Google through a course like "Search Inside Yourself" and introduction of Googler2Googler (G2G) program in which the Googlers enlist en masse of teaching each other. The G2G classes provide a stimulating change of the mental scenery and help in the creation of a generative and creative work environment. Also, Google has created the right direction in building a learning organization. The kinds of courses that organizations should invest in to benefit their employees are the ones that change behavior. An organization can know this using Kirkpatrick's model in which entails asking the students about their reaction of training, assessing change ins a student's attitude or knowledge, and behavior where participants are asked the extent in which their behavior changed, and looking at the actual results of the program (training).On the other hand, the kind of training courses that organizations should avoid are the ones that take long hours which the learners may quickly forget.
Describe and discuss the traditional system of compensation. Discuss the authors' views of "fairness" and "equality" According to the author why do most organizations confuse the notions of equality and fairness? (Chapter 10)
The traditional system of compensation is one in which people are paid low salaries and are promised IPO like stock awards. However, it is the senior management that gets high salaries. However, this method of compensation does not attract the brightest talents which most organizations need. According to the author, "fairness" in pay is where pay is commensurate with one's contribution. Due to this, there should be a difference in payment of an individual. On the other hand, "equality" is where people are paid the same. The author argues that most of the organizations confuse the notations of "fairness" and "equality" by thinking that a middle performer is also an average performer and that being fair is paying people equally. However, this is not usually the case as some people who are in junior positions perform better than the individuals in senior positions. It all depends on the impact one has on an organization.
Do you agree or disagree with the author's assumption of the value of exceptional people? Explain why you agree or disagree. (Chapter 10)
I agree with the author's assumption of exceptional people that they are far much better than the other people and received rewards yearly. I agree because it is the performance of these people that make them exceptional as compared to the rest of the people and that is the reason, they are valuable. When comparing them the rest of the people, they are exceptional in the way they perform their task and in terms of productivity. Thus, they deserve all the rewards they get since they add more value to the organizations and ensures that it is successful. It is because of this that most of the organizations do not want the exceptional people to quit or even move to other organizations. Also, these kinds of people are very diligent in their work, and they ensure they provide their best. Thus, I highly agree with the author's assumption regarding the value of exceptional people.
According to the author, do "cash" or "non-cash" awards make people happier? What are some of the examples that he gives to prove his point? Why does the author say that organizations should reward "thoughtful failure"? (Chapter 10)
According to the author, it is noncash awards that make people happier. He points out that when one is given a cash reward, he or she will compare it with the amount of salary he or she gets and what it is able to purchase. Some of the examples given include if the cash reward can buy a cellphone or can it help in getting a new car. Consequently, non-cash rewards normally stay in memory for a person forever. Examples of non-cash rewards include experiences like a dinner for two, team parties, trips, or even gifts such as a Nexus 7 tablet which triggers an emotional response of a person. It is important to reward failure according to the author since it shows an act of taking a risk and if it is not rewarded, then in future people will fear taking risks because they are not sure if they will fail or be successful.
What are Employee Resource Groups (ERG's)? How do these groups help improve life at Google? Identify some of these groups that could be set up in public organizations. (Chapter 11)
Employee Resource Groups refer to the groups which employees in organizations join based on their shared characteristics or even their life experiences. These groups normally offer support to the employees and their families, enhance career development, and contribute to the personal development in a company's work environment. The Employee Resource Groups help in improving life at Google by promoting its culture, bringing Googlers together, and enhancing a deeper connection with those outside Google. The groups have changed the way people view Google as they engage in different activities which promotes the well being of the communities and even give them more knowledge on issues related to technology. Some of the groups in ERG which can be set up in public organizations include Hispanic Googler Network, The Special Needs Network, American Indian Network, Filipino Googler Network, and [email protected] Therefore, these ERG's are essential in every organization, and the employees should be given the chance of creating and joining them.
Describe and discuss the process of "Nudging." According to the author, how can nudging be used to help people become healthy, wealthy & wise? (Chapter 12)
Nudge refers to any facet of the choice architecture which changes the behaviors of people in a way that is predictable without altering their economic incentives or forbidding any actions. The process of nudging includes using wisdom to be transparent in the organization's cultural cornerstone, not reminding people of the company's limits on free will, and intervening at the moments of decision making. Nudging can be used to help people become healthy, wealthy, and wise by helping people make better decisions. Decisions play an essential role in the life of every individual because when one makes the right choice, then it will have a positive impact on one's life. Nudges should be mainly about mainly influencing a choice and not dictating it. A sense of humanity usually compels individuals to be compassion, transparent, and thoughtful when deploying nudges. Therefore, nudging is encouraged in the organization in helping people make the best decisions.
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