Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks on stage at the annual Google I/O Developer Conference in Mountain View, Calif., May 8, 2018.
Stephen Lam | Reuters
Google is launching a new initiative called the “Simplicity Sprint” to improve efficiency and empower employees in an uncertain economic environment.
of alphabet The tone was somewhat tense as the company held its regular all-hands meeting last Wednesday, where employees voiced concerns about layoffs and the CEO. Thunder Pichai It asked employees for their input, according to attendees and relevant internal documents seen by CNBC. Pichai told employees at a conference that Google’s productivity as a company hasn’t reached the level it needs even with more employees.
“Following our financial results, we wanted to provide additional background information and ask for your help as well,” Pichai said, referring to the company’s second-quarter earnings call on Tuesday. . “It is clear that we are facing a challenging macro environment with more uncertainty ahead,” he said.
He said, “There’s a real concern that our overall productivity isn’t at the level we need it to be for the people we have.” , asked us to help create a product-focused, customer-focused culture that minimizes distractions and really raises the bar for both product excellence and productivity. We have to think of a way.”
come after company on tuesday report It was the second quarter in a row that revenues and profits were below expectations. Revenue growth slowed to 13% in the fourth quarter from 62% a year earlier, when consumer spending rose as the company benefited from reopening after the COVID-19 pandemic. CFO Ruth Porat said she expects some of the challenges to continue for the foreseeable future, but said the company has not provided formal guidance.
Recently, I will come next to Pichai announced It will slow down the pace of hiring and investment until 2023, asking employees to work “more urgently” and “hungry” rather than “sunny days.”
“We look forward to your support,” Pichai said at an all-hands meeting on Wednesday, addressing more than 170,000 full-time employees.
To that end, Pichai introduced the Simplicity Sprint initiative to crowdsource ideas for faster product development. A “sprint” is a term often used in software development and tech startups to describe a short, focused push toward a common goal.
Pichai said the company is keeping the floor open for employees to share ideas until Aug. 15, and will ask if management can get in touch with them if they have any follow-up questions. It is done through a survey.
It’s an attempt by the company to “get better results faster,” Pichai said at the conference.
The survey questions included, “What helps you work more clearly and efficiently to serve your users and customers? Where can we remove speed bumps to get better results faster?” How do we stay lean, stay entrepreneurial, and stay focused as we grow?”
The demand also comes as the company seeks to ease tensions between employees and executives after its annual meeting. “Googlegeist” questionnaire indicated that the staff specifically gave the company bad point About salaries, promotions and enforcement.
Prabhakar Raghavan, an executive at the time, highlighted a 7% drop in opinion on Google’s enforcement, writing, “This means more attention needs to be paid to overthrowing bureaucracy.” . mapping and other areas.
In May, the company announced We want to cut down on the bureaucracy around compensation and raises, while overhauling the performance appraisal processes that lead to higher salaries.
At Wednesday’s all-hands meeting, executives addressed employee concerns about possible layoffs. One of the top-rated questions was, in light of Sundar’s statement that clarifying Google’s focus means ‘consolidating overlapping investments and streamlining processes’. should we expect?”
Pichai took this question to Google’s Chief People Officer, Fiona Cicconi.
Cicconi said the company is still hiring and has no current plans for layoffs, but didn’t rule it out.
“We are asking our teams to be more focused and efficient, and what that means for us as a company. We have no intention of reducing our overall headcount.”
She also added, “I really understand there is some trepidation about this based on what we’re hearing from other companies and what they’re doing. We are hiring for key roles. She asked employees to remember that this is still the biggest hiring year in the company’s history.
In the second quarter, Alphabet announced a 21% increase in full-time employees to 174,014, up from 144,056 a year earlier. However, the company said last month that throw As for the pace of hiring and investment through 2023, Mr. Pichai said in a memo to employees, “We are not immune to economic headwinds.”
Pichai repeatedly referred to broader economic headwinds. “If you’re keeping an eye on what’s going on outside, you’re probably reading the news, but the people using his Google products in the enterprise are facing their own challenges right now. increase.”