Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai told staff last week that the company’s productivity and focus isn't up to par. At an all-hands meeting, he introduced a concept called “Simplicity Sprint” to motivate employees.
Simplicity Sprint aims to gain ideas from the more than 174,000 employees on where to focus and improve efficiency.
“There are real concerns that our productivity as a whole is not where it needs to be for the headcount we have,” according to the media report, citing attendees and related internal documentation viewed by CNBC. “Google’s productivity as a company isn’t where it needs to be even with the head count it has.”
The idea is to become more focused on its products and customers, as well as way to minimize distractions and raise the bar on both product excellence and productivity.
CNBC also reported that employees at the meeting expressed concerns about layoffs across the tech industry
Non-farm business sector labor productivity fell 7.3% in the first quarter of 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported in June 2022, as output fell 2.3% and hours worked increased 5.4%. The BLS notes it is the largest decline in quarterly productivity since the third quarter of 1947, when the measure fell 11.7%.
Unit labor costs in this sector also increased 12.6% in the first quarter of 2022, reflecting a 4.4% increase in hourly compensation and a 7.3% decrease in productivity, according to BLS.
Pichai during the meeting said employees can share their ideas through August 15, through an internal survey that asks if management can reach out if they have follow-up questions.
Questions in the survey, per CNBC, include: What would help you work with greater clarity and efficiency to serve our users and customers? Where should we remove speed bumps to get to better results faster? How do we eliminate waste and stay entrepreneurial and focused as we grow?
“We are working to improve productivity and ensure that the great talent we do hire is aligned with our long-term priorities,” Pichai said during the company’s Q2 2022 earnings call last week.
Then he quickly pivoted and focused on productivity in artificial intelligence supports Google’s products.
“Years ago, we made a big bet on AI. We believe that it would be transformational for our business and for the world,” he said.
“We are still in the early days, yet AI already underpins many of our most helpful products and services. For example, AI is helping us create entirely new ways to search. People are using Google Lens to do visual searches more than 8 billion times per month. A new feature called multisearch helps people find what they need using words and images at the same time.”