Management Review Tools from Google

My monthly check-ins at Gravity Switch always had 4 questions:

  • What’s your favorite thing about your job?
  • What’s your least favorite thing about your job?
  • What’s one thing someone can do to make your experience better?
  • What’s one thing YOU can do for someone else to make their experience better?

They’re all pretty open-ended but they cover a lot of ground. If someone is in crisis (either at work or personally) I would ask them to send me a daily email with the following:

Rate your stress level on the following scale:

  1. Totally relaxed (whatever man)
  2. Feeling good, excited about what’s going on at work This is ideal
  3. Minor stress directed at one or more things
  4. Vibrating
  5. Fuck


Most people write a sentence or paragraph about “why” and often for people in crisis their comments are about 70% work-related and 30% personal (didn’t sleep well this week, health issues continue to plague my spouse, whatever).

Google has a list of the “best practices” from their best managers. Different format, but similar in terms of mix of clearly defined metrics and open-ended questions.

Some agenda items Google suggests include:

  • Check-in and catch-up questions: “What can I help you with?” and “What have you been up to?”
  • Roadblocks or issues
  • Goal updates
  • Administrative topics (e.g., upcoming vacations, expense reports)
  • Next steps to confirm actions and agreements
  • Career development and coaching

They’re also sharing some other “review-related tools” including how they rate their managers. Read more at Quartz