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Microsoft may have recently announced that it is acquiring the professional social network LinkedIn for $26.2 billion, but LinkedIn will continue operating independently.
Its management culture has been shaped by its founder and chairman Reid Hoffman, its CEO Jeff Weiner, and its head of HR, SVP of Global Talent Organization Pat Wadors.
Wadors spoke with Business Insider earlier this year, and she told us that there is a set of criteria that every manager at LinkedIn is judged on. They apply to any leader at any organization.
These are the behaviors the best managers at LinkedIn exhibit.
1. They support their employees’ professional development
In his 2014 book “The Alliance,” cowritten with Ben Casnocha and Chris Yeh, Hoffman rethinks the relationship between managers and employees, explaining how employers can attract and retain the best employees through the formation of alliances where everyone wins.
Key to this approach is managers recognizing that the days of lifetime employment are long over, and that their employees won’t stay with them forever. At LinkedIn, Wadors said, the best managers push their employees to constantly grow and develop with new challenges and learning opportunities.
2. They continually review performance
Rather than waiting for the annual review to reveal insights into an employee’s performance, managers constantly keep a dialogue open with their team members.
“Reviews should not come with any surprises,” Wadors said. “They should be actually quite boring.”
3. They clearly set expectations
The best managers ensure that their employees know what is expected of them, and communicate them through discussions rather than a list of demands.
4. They foster an entrepreneur’s mentality
The best LinkedIn managers empower employees, telling them that they should always be thinking of new and better ways of doing things.
5. They encourage measured risk-taking
Wadors said that all employees should be able to say, “I have the autonomy to use my own judgment in getting the job done, within a framework. I’m encouraged to take intelligent risks for the better of LinkedIn and learn from my mistakes.”
LinkedIn’s culture incorporates the Silicon Valley ethos of not being afraid of failure, in the sense that if an experiment fails, it should be evaluated for lessons that can be immediately acted on, without stopping to mourn the loss.
6. They explain the company’s direction
The best LinkedIn managers are transparent, communicating the direction of the company to their team and explaining how they fit into its overall mission.
7. They walk the talk
And finally, the best managers exhibit all of the behaviors they demand of their employees.
Wadors said that employees have the best possible role model with their CEO Jeff Weiner, who is a strong and supportive presence within LinkedIn.