In order to increase productivity and sharpen employee attention in the face of an unsteady economic climate, Google is introducing a new initiative called “Simplicity Sprint.”
According to attendance and accompanying internal paperwork seen by CNBC, the Alphabet business held its usual all-hands meeting last Wednesday with a somewhat urgent tone as employees expressed worry regarding layoffs and CEO Sundar Pichai requested advice. Even with the number of employees it has, Google’s productivity as a company isn’t where it needs to be, according to Sundar Pichai, the firm’s CEO.
“I wanted to give some additional context following our earnings results, and ask for your help as well,” Pichai began by mentioning Tuesday’s Q2 results report for the corporation. “It’s clear we are facing a challenging macro environment with more uncertainty ahead.”
He added, “There are real concerns that our productivity as a whole is not where it needs to be for the headcount we have.” He requested assistance from the staff “create a culture that is more mission-focused, more focused on our products, more customer focused. We should think about how we can minimize distractions and really raise the bar on both product excellence and productivity.”
It comes after the business on Tuesday posted weaker-than-expected earnings and revenue for the second consecutive quarter. From 62 percent a year earlier, when the company was profiting from the post-pandemic reopening and rising consumer spending, revenue growth slowed to 13 percent in the quarter. Although the business doesn’t provide official guidance, CFO Ruth Porat stated that she anticipated some of the issues to persist in the near future.
Additionally, it follows Pichai’s recent announcement that the company would scale down recruiting and investment until 2023 while requesting that workers work “with greater urgency” and “more hunger” than they did “on sunnier days.”
“I would love to get all your help,” Pichai stated in front of the company’s more than 170,000 full-time employees on Wednesday during the all-hands meeting.
Pichai launched the “Simplicity Sprint” project to crowdsource concepts for rapid product development in order to achieve this. Software development and tech companies sometimes refer to short, concentrated pushes toward a common goal as “sprints.”
Pichai announced that through an internal poll that asks if management can get in touch with them if they have more questions, the business is inviting staff members to offer their views through August 15th.
In the meeting, Pichai stated that it was an effort on the part of the firm to “get better results faster.” It was revealed by the poll, which CNBC watched, that it might also be used to make cuts in some places.
The survey includes the following inquiries: “What would help you work with greater clarity and efficiency to serve our users and customers? Where should we remove speed bumps to get to better results faster? How do we eliminate waste and stay entrepreneurial and focused as we grow?”
The request also comes as the business works to reduce hostilities between workers and management after personnel gave the business particularly dismal grades on compensation, promotions, and execution in a yearly “Googlegeist” poll.
At the time, executive Prabhakar Raghavan wrote, “it indicates we need to pay more emphasis to breaking bureaucracy.” He cited a 7 percent decline in views regarding Google’s execution. Raghavan, who is in charge of search, advertising, maps, and other areas, is one of the most significant and prominent executives at the organisation.
The corporation said in May that it would revamp its performance evaluation procedure, which will result in higher remuneration while attempting to cut down on the red tape surrounding compensation and raises.
A certain amount of anxiety
Executives addressed staff’ concerns about probable layoffs during the all-hands meeting on Wednesday. One of the most popular inquiries was “In light of Sundar’s statement that sharpening Google’s focus ‘means consolidating where investments overlap and streamlining processes,’ should we expect layoffs?”
Fiona Cicconi, Google’s top people officer, received the query from Pichai.
Although Cicconi stated that the company is still hiring and does not currently have any plans for layoffs, she did not completely rule it out.
“We’re asking teams to be more focused and efficient and we’re working out what that means as a company as well. Even though we can’t be sure of the economy in the future, we’re not currently looking to reduce Google’s overall workforce.”
She also mentioned that, “I really get that there is some anxiety around this based on what we’re hearing from other companies and what they’re doing and as Sundar mentioned, we’re still hiring for critical roles.” She reminded staff members that this year continues to be the busiest hiring year in business history.
Alphabet reported that its headcount increased by 21% to 174,014 full-time employees in the second quarter from 144,056 the year before. Sundar Pichai, the CEO of the firm, warned staff in a note that “we’re not immune to economic headwinds” last month. The company has since announced that it will limit the pace of hiring and spending through 2023.
The wider economic difficulties were repeatedly mentioned by Pichai. “If you’re looking to what’s happening externally — I’m sure you’re all reading the news— the people in businesses who uses Google products are facing their own challenges right now.”