The perfect team – Google it


The perfect team – Google it

There’s probably no organisation on the planet that has researched and continues to assess the optimum ingredients of successful teams than Google. They have their own way with words – HR becomes ‘Google’s People Operations’ and all employees are ‘Googlers’ and they’re committed to finding out what makes a team, pod, work groupor autonomous collective (whichever you prefer) a really effective entity.

In 2015 they carried out a piece of research called Project Aristotle and the results are worthy of any organisation’s attention; whether you’re a clinical director or support worker if you’re part of a team it makes interesting reading.

They were looking for a ‘magical algorithm’ but found that there were five key dynamics, rather than people, that separated the successful teams at Google from the average and struggling groups. To summarise:

  1. Psychological safety: Can we take risks on this team without feeling insecure or embarrassed?
  2. Dependability: Can we count on each other to do high quality work on time?
  3. Structure & clarity: Are goals, roles, and execution plans on our team clear?
  4. Meaning of work: Are we working on something that is personally important for each of us?
  5. Impact of work: Do we fundamentally believe that the work we’re doing matters?

Of all five conclusions psychological safety was considered to be the most important. Everyone worries about what their colleagues think about them and how their competence, awareness and positivity are perceived. Put simply, at some level, we all worry about our colleagues thinking we’re stupid (or at least all Googlers do).

So what did they do with this information? They created the gTeams exercise where all teams checked in on the five dynamics and created a ‘group norm’ which might include every team member sharing a risk that they’d taken recently with the group.

The method’s seen astounding results, whether applied to sales departments or teams of engineers.

Essentially what Google has developed is a strong and effective culture and what we can learn from this is that if our own culture is effective we can strengthen it by recruiting the kind of staff who ‘fit’ our organisational outlook.

At Recovery Recruitment we take great care to understand our clients’ and candidates’ approach to their practice and do everything we can to ensure that the perfect fit takes place.


To discuss any requirements with a member of our team, please contact us for an informal, no obligation discussion.


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