Article: Google wants a leaner budget for employee perks

Compensation & Benefits

Google wants a leaner budget for employee perks

Once the hub of a fun and energetic office culture, Google is now changing its strategy when it comes to employee perks. Will more belt-tightening measures follow?
Google wants a leaner budget for employee perks

Google CEO Sundar Pichai told his workers not to equate fun with money. The tech giant is just one of several tech firms hit hard by the slowdown of the world economy. This has forced business leaders to take drastic measures to keep the ship afloat including budget cuts and mass layoffs.

The company is yet to announce any workforce cuts. However, the company has adopted cost-cutting measures and other cultural changes. These included cuts to travel and entertainment budgets, which did not sit well with workers.

Read more: Is Google getting ready for layoffs?

‘Nickel-and-diming employees’

Attendees at a recent Google townhall event used the opportunity to air their grievances, particularly about what they believe was the company’s strategy of “nickel-and-diming employees”. Many question why Google was cutting travel and swag budgets when the company supposedly made “record profits and huge cash reserves” coming out of the pandemic. 

Pichai gave a measured response. “Look, I hope all of you are reading the news, externally,” he said.

“The fact that you know, we are being a bit more responsible through one of the toughest macroeconomic conditions underway in the past decade, I think it’s important that as a company, we pull together to get through moments like this.”

Read more: Inside Alphabet's performance improvement plan

Google’s recent struggles

Google has made no secret about its struggles over the past few months. In July,  the company reported  weaker-than-expected earnings and revenue for the second straight quarter. It is also bracing for a potential dip in its third-quarter sales growth into the single digits, which would be a far cry from the over 40% growth it had the year prior.  

While Pichai admits that the economy has played a significant part in Google’s struggles, he believes the company is also having a hard time dealing with an expanding bureaucracy. 

“We don’t get to choose the macroeconomic conditions always,” Pichai reminded his employees.

To address the situation, Google launched its “Simplicity Sprint” program to solicit ideas from within the company on how to “eliminate waste” and “get to better results faster”.

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Topics: Compensation & Benefits, Culture, Employee Engagement

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