The Chicago Journal

Google employees stressed about new performance review system

Google settles to pay $392 million to 40 states
Google settles to pay $392 million to 40 states

Google: Only a small number of Google employees, according to internal discussions, are expected to receive great performance ratings, with many more perhaps receiving low ratings.

The company’s upcoming implementation of a new performance review system will also endanger the security of underperforming employees.

The news

Google officials recently provided further information on the company’s new performance evaluation system during a meeting and a separate presentation last week.

The company estimates that under the new policy, 6% of full-time employees will fall to low-ranking groups, increasing their likelihood of receiving corrective action from the prior 2%.

High marks will also be more challenging to achieve.

In contrast to the previous prediction of 27%, Google forecasts that 22% of employees will be rated in one of the top two categories.

Employees must do the “near-impossible” and offer more than “thought possible” in order to be in the highest-rated category, Transformative Impact.


The company’s performance evaluation procedure, Google Reviews and Development (GRAD), was revealed earlier this year.

There have apparently been more employee concerns about GRAD’s procedural and technical issues as year-end deadlines have gotten closer.

Many people are concerned that the evaluations they receive won’t be accurate.

Recent cutbacks in the technology industry have made the situation more pressing.

Although Google has avoided massive job cuts like those at Meta, some employees are concerned they could be the next.

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Although Google officials have long emphasized transparency, employees have complained that headcount inquiries have not been appropriately answered.

Some workers think the corporation may reduce staff as a result of the new review system.

The headcount has been the main source of stress for employees in the latter months of 2022.

After years of explosive expansion, Google CEO Sundar Pichai was compelled to explain Google’s shifting attitude in September.

Executives did not totally rule out the possibility of layoffs despite the small savings.

At an all-hands meeting in November, a number of employees questioned the management about their projected headcount.

Additionally, employees questioned whether officials had improperly regulated staffing when Google increased its workforce by 24% year over year in Q3 2022.

The company employed 186,779 full-time staff members as of the third quarter, in addition to a comparable number of contractors.

According to recent GRAD filings, the company will review stock, salary, and bonuses.

The new system expects handing out more money per individual overall.

The document concludes by stating that Google will keep paying between the top 5% and 10% of market values.


Many of the most frequently asked topics from the most recent all-hands conference focused heavily on the stress associated with year-end performance reports.

Employees don’t believe Google’s management will be open and honest about its employment count, according to the questions.

“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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Earlier this month, reports of “support check-ins” for personnel surfaced.

On the days before year-end deadlines, support check-ins are typically linked linked to poor performance ratings.

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

Fiona Cicconi discussed the GRAD concerns at a recent meeting, 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.”

Google employees, according to Cicconi, require more time to change their course.

Executives have been questioned by staff members about if they are obliged to transfer employees to lower performance categories in order to cut headcount in 2023.

The staff weren’t fully convinced despite the management’s frequent claims that there were no quotas.

The question of whether Google was becoming a “stack-ranking” company like Amazon, which ranks employees’ performance based on quotas, was also put to the executives.

“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?”

CEO Sundar Pichai made it clear that he is unsure of what the future holds while avoiding direct questions from the general public.

“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

Opinions expressed by The Chicago Journal contributors are their own.