I need to improve my productivity and focus

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.

According to attendees and relevant internal documents seen by CNBC, Alphabet held its usual all hands last Wednesday, with employees expressing concerns over the layoffs and CEO Sundar Pichai asking employees for their input. The tone was somewhat urgent. Google CEO Sundar Pichai told employees at a conference that Google’s productivity as a company wasn’t at the level it needed even with more people.

“Following our financial results, I wanted to provide some additional background and enlist 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.”

That comes after the company reported lower-than-expected earnings and earnings for the second straight quarter on Tuesday. Quarterly revenue growth slowed to 13% from 62% a year earlier, when the company benefited from its post-pandemic reopening and increased consumer spending. 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.

And even after Pichai recently announced it would slow down the pace of hiring and investment through 2023, asking employees to work “more urgently” and “hungrier” than indicated on a “sunny day.” I have.

“Simple Sprint”

“We look forward to your support,” Pichai said at an all-hands meeting on Wednesday before more than 170,000 full-time employees.

To that end, Pichai introduced the “Simplicity Sprint” initiative to crowdsource ideas to accelerate product development. “Sprint” is a term often used in software development and tech startups to describe a short, focused push towards 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. I am conducting an investigation.

It’s an attempt by the company to “get better results faster,” Pichai said at the conference.

Survey questions included, “What helps you work more clearly and efficiently to serve your users and customers? Where can you remove speed bumps to get better results faster?” How do we stay lean, stay entrepreneurial, and stay focused as we grow?”

The request also comes as the company seeks to ease tensions between employees and executives after an annual “Googlegeist” survey showed employees rated particularly poorly on pay, promotions and performance. It is also done when

Prabhakar Raghavan, an executive at the time, highlighted a 7% drop in opinion of Google’s enforcement, writing, “This means more attention needs to be paid to overthrowing bureaucracy.” . mapping, and other areas.

In May, the company said it would overhaul its performance review process and hoped to cut down on bureaucracy around compensation and raises, while bringing about salary increases.

“A little uneasy”

At Wednesday’s all-hands meeting, management 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 said, “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 said its headcount increased 21% to 174,014 full-time employees from 144,056 a year earlier. But the company last month said it would slow its pace of hiring and investment through 2023, and CEO Sundar 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 their companies are facing their own challenges right now. increase.” I need to improve my productivity and focus

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