Google chief warns bloated staff of ‘real concerns’ about productivity

Between slowing revenue growth and an increasingly bleak outlook for tech companies in general, Google is putting its employees to work harder shifts.

In the midst of a larger market downturn in recent months, the tech sector has arguably had the worst of it.

Thousands of tech company employees have been laid off, and with chatter growing that an inevitable economic contraction is looming, more speculative stocks such as tech are bracing for the worst.

At Google—one of the biggest tech players today—executives are urging employees to pick up the slack.

“There are real concerns that our productivity as a whole is not where it needs to be for the number of staff we have,” Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Google parent Alphabet, reportedly told employees last week.

Google’s goals

In a meeting between Google executives and employees, Pichai said the company’s productivity has fallen short of its goals given its headcount, CNBC reported, after speaking with attendees and reviewing internal documents.

Pichai reportedly asked employees to help promote by creating a company culture that would be “more mission-focused, more focused on our products, more focused on the customer.”

“We should think about how we can minimize distractions and really raise the bar on both product excellence and productivity,” he added.

Google did not immediately respond Luckhis request for comment on the report.

Google employees reportedly raised concerns about possible layoffs at the meeting. Last month, Pichai issued an internal memo to Google staff announcing that the company would “slow the pace of hiring for the remainder of the year.”

In the letter, Pichai wrote that the company should become “more entrepreneurial” and work with “greater urgency, sharper focus and more hunger than we’ve shown on sunnier days.”

A week later, Google officially began a two-week hiring freeze, which is set to continue this week.

To help foster entrepreneurship at the company, Pichai announced a new initiative that will facilitate employee feedback and welcome new ideas, according to CNBC.

The initiative will take the form of a survey and will reportedly seek input from employees on how to increase efficiency and productivity and how to create a company culture more focused on common growth goals.

“Economic Headwinds”

In his memo to employees last month, Pichai warned that Google is not immune to “financial headwinds” sweeping the tech world in the form of layoffs and hiring freezes.

Since May, several other tech companies—including Uber and Meta—have announced hiring freezes in some departments. Others, such as Netflix, have approved layoffs this year.

Those same financial woes may be part of why Pichai is asking employees to remain laser-focused on productivity, as unlimited growth in the tech space is no longer a guarantee amid this year’s market downturn.

Google parent Alphabet released its second-quarter earnings results last week, and while experts had predicted gloomy reports for tech companies, Alphabet posted relatively encouraging results, largely due to growth in ad revenue from Google searches related to with renewed retail and travel industries.

But while revenue has risen slightly, it has slowed since the early days of the pandemic.

Alphabet’s second-quarter 2022 revenue was 13% higher than the same period last year, a significant slowdown from the company’s 62% jump in revenue last year, largely due to higher spending in research and development and sales and marketing.

This story was originally featured on Fortune.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.