Google Could Put Over 10,000 On Notice With Its New Rating System

With the current state of the economy, tech jobs have been disappearing rapidly and Google’s new system of performance reviews is giving employees a similar feeling.

Unlike Meta, Twitter, and Amazon which have faced layoffs this year, Google has reportedly introduced a new way of rating employee performance, according to Insider and The Information.

According to The Information, in May Google revealed a new means by which it will assess the work of its employees: GRAD, or “Googler Reviews and Development.”

According to Insider, who reported on internal documents, the new structure of bad apples makes it so that a larger percentage of teams will now fall into that category. Under the previous system, only 2% were categorized as such. At present, it is 6%.

In its most recent earnings report, parent company Alphabet- which is comprised of Google and YouTube- had 186,779 employees. If the new percentages were to be implemented, over 10,000 people would fall under the category of low performers.

The pandemic caused many companies in Google’s sector to go on a hiring spree. From March 2020 to March 2022, Google added 40,000 employees.

Some investors have called for Alphabet to lay off employees, as they believe it would be beneficial for the company financially.

Sir Christopher Hohn, a London-based hedge fund manager for TCI (a significant investor in Google), wrote to Alphabet expressing concern that “The company has too many employees and the cost per employee is too high.”

In addition, the letter stated that management needs to take aggressive action.

According to Google’s revised performance review system, “low performers” now encompass those in the bottom two categories instead of just one, as Insider reported. The second-to-last category is classified as “moderate impact,” which signifies that the person did not meet expectations for their position consistently.

Google managers now have to hold more “support check-ins” with their employees, which has caused an increase lately. Additionally, there is now a minimum number of these that managers must conduct.

A source close to the situation told the outlet that “Performance plans are the next step if folks don’t respond to the check-ins.”

In an email to Entrepreneur, Google stated-

“Earlier this year, we launched Googler Reviews and Development (GRAD) to help employee development, coaching, learning and career progression throughout the year. The new system helps establish clear expectations and provide employees with regular feedback on their performance.”

If this policy were to continue, it could result in the termination of employment for those who are not meeting expectations. However, it is not clear till now.

This year, Google reportedly downsized its workforce by removing certain projects. In 2008, during the Great Recession, Google lowered costs by cutting independent contractors.

Many tech companies have taken similar approaches, but Google has yet to make a full-scale layoff. Whether the GRAD system is just a way to increase employee performance or it will lead to further job cuts remains to be seen.

Regardless, with so many people now being labeled as “low performers,” many more could soon be put on notice. It remains to be seen how Google will manage the new system and how it will affect its workforce.

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