Google has avoided mass layoffs so far, but employees worry their time may be comingGoogle has avoided mass layoffs so far, but employees worry their time may be comingGiphy GIFGiphy GIF

Google has avoided mass layoffs so far, but employees worry their time may be coming

Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks on stage during the annual Google I/O developers conference in Mountain View, California, May 8, 2018.
While Google has so far avoided the widespread job cuts that have hit tech companies, particularly those supported by a slumping ad market, ...
...internal anxiety is on the rise, according to documents viewed by CNBC and employees who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
‘Don’t fire us please’
Concerns about terminations are mounting, at least in certain corners. One internal meme shared with CNBC shows a before-and-after animated character.
“It appears that we added 36k full-time role YoY, increasing headcount by about 24%,” one top-rated question read.
“Many teams feel like they are losing headcount, not gaining it. Where did this headcount go? In hindsight, and given concerns around productivity, should we have hired so rapidly?”
One question read: “Can we get some more clarity on how we’re approaching headcount for 2023? Do we have any sense of how long we need to plan for difficult headwinds?”
Other questioners asked if employees “should expect any direct consequence to our teams, direction and/or compensation to reduced profits we saw ... the earnings call” and wondered, “how are we going to achieve 20% more productivity? Will refocus be enough or are we expecting layoffs?”
Change to performance reviews
Furthering employee stress levels was a recent change to performance reviews and upcoming evaluation check-ins.
A Google spokesperson said in an emailed statement that the GRAD system was launched “to help employee development, coaching, learning and ... progression throughout the year,” adding that it “helps establish clear expectations and provide employees with regular feedback.”
The planned overhaul has already run into problems.
The document, viewed by CNBC, says for those who receive the review, “the current performance trajectory is headed toward, or already is in, a lower rating.”
Last month, a Google vice president of corporate engineering said employees need to remove Memegen links from their profile pages, internally known as ...
...“Moma.” Engineering directors said in an internal message that having a Memegen link on profiles “prevents Googlers from sharpening their focus.”
Workers naturally flocked to Memegen to make fun of the decision.