Google is well-known for the way they treat their employees. While the average business cannot afford to feed their employees three meals a day, among other benefits, USA Today does have some ideas your small business can learn from them.

Launch and iterate. Even the smartest of the hyper-educated Google leaders cannot predict which products and features will attract a sizable user base. Instead, they urge teams to launch quickly and iterate — in other words, stick with, and perfect, what’s working — based on what they learn from their users. Rather than spending time perfecting a product that might not work, get it out there, and let the feedback guide future development.

Fail fast. If you try a lot of stuff by launching early and iterating, you’ll fail at most attempts. This is the secret to innovation. Failure is not a bad thing, but slow failure in the market is. Launch, iterate and declare the failures as quickly as you can. Most importantly, learn from those failures to help guide future efforts.

Ask forgiveness, not permission. This mantra was important to mobilize every Google employee in the company to do the things they felt were right without worrying about what approvals they needed to do it. The idea is to remove barriers and to empower employees to act quickly.

Reward employees for taking initiative, and treat their missteps as any other failure — something to learn from, but not to dwell on. What is most important is they become stewards of your company to make the best decisions without seeking 100 approvals to do so.

Photo by Robert Scoble

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