Googlers fear tougher performance reviews will be used to lay them off


As if performance reviews aren’t positioned to be stressful enough in a year clouded by exhaustive debates about returning to the office, lost productivity and the future of work, Google employees are bracing for more job anxiety as the Silicon Valley giant intensifies. your year-end performance review process.

Google, The information reported at the beginning of last week, has asked managers to identify 6% of employees, roughly 10,000 people, as “underperformers” in terms of their impact on the company’s bottom line. The old system asked them to identify the 2% of underperforming employees. This means that the number of people capable of getting high grades, regardless of what it looks like, is shrinking.

On the heels of thousands of cuts in the tech industry, employees are on edge.

a staff member told Insider of layoff speculation at the company that “leadership hasn’t written it off when pressed, but hasn’t given any indication that it will happen either.”

Typically, performance reviews can be seen as practically useless because companies often confuse the message: what they mean with performance. And while that’s not entirely in the direct bottom line for individual Google employees, the company hasn’t minced words to show it cares about revenue.

In its most recent third quarter, in which CEO Sundar Pichai said the company would sharpen its business focus, Google reported revenue rose 6%, its second-slowest growth range in roughly the past decade. And revenue per employee fell nearly 15% that quarter, compared with the same period a year earlier.

Google executives say the performance review changes are simply a way to improve output for employees who, after working through a pandemic for more than two years, have realigned to new ideas of balancing work. work and life. But workers at the company see the changes as little more than a case of layoffs as revenues fall and a recession looms in the new year, The Information reported.

You can’t blame them for looking at it that way: The tech sector has been in a lot of trouble post-pandemic lockdown, after a boon for the industry saw companies like Meta and Google grow rapidly and hire relentlessly. All of that fell apart.

In November alone, tech companies have announced 31,200 job cuts, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a firm that advises employers on layoffs.

Meta laid off 11,000 employees earlier in the month, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg acknowledging that the company miscalculated the benefit of the pandemic as it expanded its business and workforce. Elon Musk cut half of Twitter’s workforce after taking the helm. Prior to that, Snap laid off roughly 20% of employees, and Netflix, Coinbase, Robinhood, and Tesla cut their workforce. Amazon recently said it plans to cut approximately 10,000 employees.

Google has already been quietly cutting costs, cut travel budgets while rejecting team functions and social outings, along with shutting down entire teams that required some employees to reapply for different roles. The company has yet to announce any significant widespread layoffs, but the writing seems to be on the wall if you ask its workers: Those inside and outside of the Mountain View headquarters are looking to see if the tech giant will be next to put employees on the cut .

“Google executives will want to fire people,” a former Google executive told Insider. “Just to clean up the culture by making people a little more scared.”

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