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Google review system pressures employees

Image source: HCA Mag

Google: According to internal conversations, only a small percentage of Google employees are anticipated to obtain excellent performance assessments, with many more perhaps receiving low ratings.

The safety of underperforming employees will also be in jeopardy due to the company’s imminent introduction of a new performance review system.

The news

During a meeting and a separate presentation last week, Google officials recently revealed additional information on the company’s new performance review system.

According to the company’s projections, the new policy will cause 6% of full-time employees to fall to low-ranking groups, increasing the possibility that they will be subject to corrective action from the prior 2%.

It will be harder to get high marks as well.

Google predicts that 22% of employees will be rated in one of the top two categories, down from the previous prediction of 27%.

To be in the highest-rated category, Transformative Impact, employees must perform the “near-impossible” and provide more than “thought possible.”


Google Reviews and Development (GRAD), the company’s performance review process, was made public earlier this year.

With the approaching year-end deadlines, there appear to be growing employee worries regarding GRAD’s procedural and technical issues.

Many people worry that the evaluations they will get won’t be accurate.

The problem has grown more urgent as a result of recent budget cuts in the tech space.

Even while Google has avoided making significant job layoffs like Meta did, some employees worry they might be the next.

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Although Google officials have long promoted transparency, staff members have argued that their questions about headcount have not been adequately addressed.

Some employees believe the new review system will lead to a workforce reduction at the company.

In the latter months of 2022, the headcount has been the main cause of concern for the workforce.

Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google, was forced to explain Google’s shifting attitude in September after years of rapid growth.

Despite the modest savings, executives did not completely rule out the possibility of layoffs.

A number of staff members questioned the executives about their anticipated headcount at an all-hands meeting in November.

Additionally, when Google boosted its personnel by 24% year over year in Q3 2022, employees questioned whether officials had improperly controlled staffing.

As of the third quarter, the corporation had 186,779 full-time employees and a corresponding number of contractors.

The company will evaluate stock, salary, and bonuses, per recent GRAD filings.

The new system expects giving out more money overall per person.

According to the document, Google will continue to pay between the top 5% and 10% of market values.


The stress related to year-end performance reports was one of the most frequently selected questions from the most recent all-hands meeting.

Based on the questions, employees don’t think Google management would be upfront and sincere about its employment headcount.

“Why did Google push support check-in quotas in front-line managers days before the deadline?” one employee asked.

“I’ve been through a lot in Google in 5+ years, but this is a new low.”

Another said:

“It seems like a lot of last-minute support check-ins were forced through part of Cloud in order to meet a quota, causing a lot of distress.”

“With only two weeks to correct course, how is this helpful feedback? How do we prevent this from happening in the future?”

A top-rated employee said:

“The support check-in process is confusing, increasingly becoming a cause of stress and anxiety in Googlers, especially given the current economic situation and rumors around layoffs.”

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Reports of “support check-ins” for staff arose earlier this month.

Support check-ins are frequently associated with subpar performance ratings on the days leading up to year-end deadlines.

Employees said that administrators changed a number of the process stages on the closing days.

At a recent meeting, Fiona Cicconi spoke on the GRAD worries, saying, “I know it’s been bumpy.”

“It’s not ideal to have support check-ins occur so late in the review cycle, and we know that people need time to absorb the feedback and take action on it.”

According to Cicconi, Google employees need more time to change their course.

Staff members have questioned executives about whether they will move workers to lower performance categories in order to reduce headcount in 2023.

Despite the management’s repeated statements that there were no quotas, the staff wasn’t quite convinced.

The executives were also asked if Google was evolving into a “stack-ranking” business like Amazon, which rates workers’ performance based on quotas.

“Uncertainties around GRAD processes have been putting a lot of pressure on lower-level managers to pass down information,” said a highly-rated question.

“Layoffs across the industry has been a topic impacting Googlers, raising stress, anxiety, and burnout,” another read.

“There’s been no official comms on this, which raises even more concern around this. When will the company address this topic?”

Sundar Pichai, the CEO, avoided direct inquiries and stated that he is unsure about what the future holds.

“What we’ve been trying hard to do is, we are trying to prioritize where we can so we are set up to better weather the storm, regardless of what’s ahead,” said Pichai.

“We really don’t know what the future holds, so unfortunately, I cannot making forward looking commitments, but everything we’ve been planning on as a company for the past six to seven months has been: do all the hard work to try and work our way through this as best as possible so, that’s all I can say.”


Google tells employees more of them will be at risk for low performance ratings next year

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