Getting s#%& done: The Google Snippets method

Earlier this year the Faculty of Human Sciences Learning Collective began to implement Google Snippets to increase productivity, communications and culture. We may be a small team but we do a lot of work!

This is a short story of how we customised it for our context and how it could even be utilised for learning!

In a nutshell…

No more unproductive meetings. Everyone is empowered to be a productive, flexible and autonomous worker while the team is kept aligned and working in sync.

Google Snippets 1.0

The Process

Step 1

On Monday morning you email:

  • a list of your accomplishments (what you did last week)
  • identify your current objectives (what you plan to do this week).

After some experimentation, we collectively decided to keep to three (3) dot points under each heading – it’s not a complete list of everything you did, but the strategic highlights:

An example snippet

Step 2

This list is then collated and shared publicly internally on Tuesday. Everyone in the team can see the collective ‘done’ and ‘doing’ list.

Our trial period led us to find that the weekly team meeting was now a bit redundant. We use snippets weekly and meet face-to-face officially once a month.

Step 3

Also on Tuesday, teammates share gratitude, give feedback, make connections and start conversations. Recognition is no longer bound to the manager in the command-and-control-management framework.

We found in our experience that feedback, connections and exchanges were followed up in person (because we work on the same floor). That said, some of us are still seeking the ‘accomplishment unicorn’… :

Google Snippets 2.0

The Reason

Snippets are a single, high-signal place for information that makes it far easier to:

  • keep everyone in the loop
  • make everyone accountable
  • help make connections
  • celebrate individual accomplishments

Everything is transparent.

It gives individuals a weekly 10-15 minute period to reflect on our own progress (and those of our team) and determine our focus for the next week.

Teammates can visibly see how peers spend their time, follow up on connections, and give appreciation. While the manager not only contributes but simultaneously gets a bird’s eye overview, and can identify internal or external roadblocks.

The Impact

Snippets:

  • are minimally disruptive to employee flow
  • are asynchronous
  • require no face time

And, most importantly, it allows individuals to progress towards a meaningful goal – the #1 motivator for employees at work!

This is probably the sixth reason why Rebecca loves her job …

Snippets in Learning 

Here are just a few applications:

  • to share student productivity habits:
    an iLearn Discussion Forum in first year unit
  • to monitor group assignment contributions:
    an iLearn Dialogue between team members
  • to communication project progress:
    a capstone, honours, MRes, PhD candidate with their supervisor(s)

Read more about snippets via I Done This Blog – that’s not a typo!

2 thoughts on “Getting s#%& done: The Google Snippets method”

  1. Hey Bec – thanks for sharing this – I’m going to try it! BTW what do you use for collating and sharing the team snippets back? The mq wiki?

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