Google’s CEO has told his employees they need to improve their focus and productivity as the tech giant faces fierce economic headwinds that make employees worry they may lose their jobs.
Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, told his employees at a sweeping meeting on Wednesday that he would ask for ideas on how best to get “better results faster.”
“I wanted to give some extra context after our earnings results, and ask for your help as well,” Pichai told his employees in the comments first reported by CNBC.
“It is clear that we are facing a challenging macro environment with more uncertainty going forward.”
“There are real concerns that our productivity as a whole is not where it should be in relation to the number of people we have,” he added.
Pichai wants to solicit employee input on how the company can “create a culture that is more mission-focused, more focused on our products, and more focused on the customer.”
“We must think about how to reduce distractions and raise the level of both product excellence and productivity,” he said.
Last week, Alphabet reported its slowest quarterly growth in two years as the digital advertising market feels the downturn.
In the three-month period that ended in June, Alphabet made $69.7 billion — up 13% from the same quarter last year.
But it was the lowest growth rate since the second quarter of 2020, when the company reported its only annual revenue decline in its history.
To turn things around, Pichai announced the launch of “Simplicity Sprint,” a new initiative in which management invites employees to come up with ideas on how to simplify productivity and speed up product development.
Pichai told his employees that the initiative aims to get “better results faster.”
Management distributed an internal questionnaire to employees who were invited to jot down ideas.
The survey includes questions such as: “What will help you operate more clearly and efficiently to serve our users and customers? Where should we remove speed pits to get better results faster? How do we eliminate waste and keep entrepreneurship and focus as we grow?”
Executives also tried to ease anxiety among workers that layoffs were imminent.
Google Chief Officer Fiona Ciccone told employees that the company is continuing to hire and that there are currently no plans to lay off employees.
Unfortunately, has not ruled out future layoffs.
“We are asking teams to be more focused and efficient and we are working to define what that means as a company as well,” Cicconi said.
“While we cannot be certain about the economy going forward, we are not currently looking to reduce the overall workforce at Google.”
Cicconi added: “I really understood there was some concern about this based on what we’re hearing from other companies and what they’re doing, and as Sundar mentioned, we’re still hiring for important roles.”