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Analysis: These Three Management Rules Helped Fix HealthCare.gov

February 28, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow For weeks after its launch, HealthCare.gov could barely be accessed, let alone enroll Americans in health insurance exchanges. Its failure and rapid rescue, as detailed by Steven Brill in Time magazine, shows what a difference it makes when engineers are managed well. On Oct. 17, a new engineering team—made up...

Blame Open Plan Offices for Making Cold and Flu Season Worse

February 27, 2014 The most popular office design in the United States is a large open plan office. People who have seen such offices half empty or full of sniffling people during the winter flu season won’t be surprised to hear they make people more likely to get sick. Compared to people in...

This Type of Commute Makes People More Miserable Than Any Other

February 13, 2014 Even when there isn’t a transportation strike or terrible weather, longer commutes make people unhappier and more anxious. A study released today by the United Kingdom’s Office for National Statistics confirms what most commuters already know but goes one step further. The research identifies the kind of commute that causes...

Analysis: Tech Companies Are Way Too Secretive for Their Own Good

February 13, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Tech companies have billions riding on the success of their products, so they have good reason to be secretive. But when it becomes a reflexive part of company culture, it can backfire. Amazon makes a habit of disclosing only the numbers it’s obligated to, and it keeps a tight leash...

How to Negotiate Your Salary When Everyone Knows What You Make

February 12, 2014 As more companies adopt transparent salary models, the rules of negotiation have turned upside down. In some instances, negotiating a salary is off the table. Social sharing app Buffer posts all employee salaries on its website, along with the formula it uses to arrive there. Since prospective candidates know what...

This Google Exec’s Success Shows How it Pays Off to Invest in Talent

February 12, 2014 Google is celebrated for its rigorously data-focused management and hiring culture. But the secret of one of its most successful executives, Sundar Pichai, lies in good old-fashioned team building. Currently a senior vice president at Google in charge of Chrome, Android, and apps, Pichai’s methods were discussed on a recent...

Setting Too Many Stretch Goals Can Backfire on Managers

February 7, 2014 Decades of research have supported the idea that specific, high goals boost productivity (pdf) by getting people to work harder, be more persistent, and and perform better. But financial quarters inevitably end and projects finish, which means that there’s always another difficult target or near-impossible deadline to achieve. Stacking high...

How Satya Nadella Will Lead Microsoft Differently

February 5, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Satya Nadella is ”honored,” “humbled,” and confident about Microsoft’s future. In his open letter to Microsoft employees, Nadella checked all of the boxes for a CEO introduction. The letter also serves to distance the company from outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer and its recent past, and lays out a philosophy of...