News: Inside Alphabet's performance improvement plan

Performance Management

Inside Alphabet's performance improvement plan

CEO Sundar Pichai has asked employees to help create a company culture that is “more focused" on products and customers.
Inside Alphabet's performance improvement plan

Google parent company Alphabet announced the launch of a new program meant to improve efficiency and employee focus.

In an all-hands meeting, CEO Sundar Pichai revealed “Simplicity Sprint”, an effort designed to help the tech giant deal with the current economic environment. The Alphabet chief told employees that the company isn’t where it needs to be even with the number of workers it has.

“I wanted to give some additional context following our earnings results, and ask for your help as well,” Pichai said. “It’s clear we are facing a challenging macro environment with more uncertainty ahead.”

Read more: Google CEO Sundar Pichai on hybrid work success

Pichai went on to ask employees to help create a company culture that is “more mission-focused, more focused on our products, more customer focused.” He also asked workers to reduce distractions, and to raise the standard for product excellence and productivity.

Alphabet’s recent struggles

Pichai’s announcement of Simplicity Sprint comes after Alphabet reported weaker-than-expected earnings and revenue for a second straight quarter. The company’s revenue growth grounded to 13% in the quarter. 

Just a year before, Alphabet’s revenue growth was at 62%. Many observers believe the company benefited much from the high consumer spending following the post-Covid reopening of the economy.

Ruth Porat, Alphabet’s Chief Financial Officer, said she expected some of the challenges that the company is facing will continue in the near term. However, she added that Alphabet doesn’t necessarily provide formal guidance.

Alphabet had earlier announced the slowdown of the company’s hiring and investments through 2023. It also urged staff to work “with greater urgency” and “more hunger” compared to efforts during the company’s “sunnier days.”

Read more: Creating a compelling culture for the workplace of the future

Asking employees’ ‘help’

As part of the new effort, Pichai said they will also launch an internal survey where employees would be asked about their thoughts. Management would reach out to staff if they have any follow-up questions. Workers can submit their ideas to the company through Aug. 15.

“I would love to get all your help,” Pichai told attendees at Wednesday’s meeting.

The CEO explained that Simplicity Sprint was a way for the company to “get better results faster.”

Aside from asking for employees’ opinions on the new effort, the survey may also have other purposes. According to a report by CNBC, the document featured questions that could help Alphabet find out which specific areas it can cut back on.

Some of the questions included in the survey were, “What would help you work with greater clarity and efficiency to serve our users and customers?” and “Where should we remove speed bumps to get to better results faster?” 

Even before the announcement, the situation at Alphabet had already been contentious between executives and staffers. Several employees reportedly gave the company less than satisfactory marks regarding pay, promotions, and execution in the annual “Googlegeist” survey.

In May, Alphabet revealed plans to improve its performance evaluation process. The company hopes the move will result in better pay for employees while also reducing the impact of bureaucracy on worker compensation and raises.

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Topics: Performance Management, Culture, Leadership

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