Google employees in Switzerland have raised concerns about the company’s relatively new employee evaluation system that they believe could be used to lay off workers. A new report claims that the employees sent a letter to the company’s vice president of human resources outlining their worries, stating that “at least some managers were aggressively pressured to apply a quota” on the evaluation process. The employees that sent the letter believe that this quota allotment could lead to employees receiving negative ratings and potentially leading to job cuts.
A report by New York Times claims to have conducted interviews with current and former employees, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The report suggests that some Google employees are interpreting recent management decisions as warning signs that the company may be planning broader layoffs.
The closure of a small office, the cancellation of a content moderation project, and efforts to reduce budgets during 2023 planning meetings are other indicators of potential mass layoffs at the search giant. In addition, employees have reportedly been reacting to a program implemented in July to streamline operations and make the company more productive, as well as budget conversations in which some teams have been unable to hire more employees for next year. Google investors have asked the search giant to become more aggressive about protecting its profits. While prioritizing projects and selling real estate could be good options, the company might even have to take the layoff route.
Due to the economic downturn, the concerns among Google employees have been exacerbated by layoffs at other tech companies, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Amazon. Google’s strong financial performance, with billions of dollars in profits expected this year, is also not helping alleviate the concerns of a downturn. The company has also had to deal with a slowdown in the digital advertising market, leading to a 27 per cent drop in profits for Alphabet, Google’s parent company, in the third quarter, compared to the previous year.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai has earlier claimed that the company will be focusing on a set of “product and business priorities”. The brand will also slow hiring and reduce expenses. However, some recent posts on the Blind app (a platform where employees can post anonymously) showed that Google is still hiring new talent.