Google hopes to make its performance reviews less of a burden on employees by making them only happen once a year instead of twice a year, which requires less paperwork and changes the way employees are rated. According to a report from Information47 percent of Google employees didn’t think their time was well spent under the previous performance appraisal system.
It’s often hard to pinpoint how internal changes can affect end users, but Google as a company has a reputation for pulling the plug on products or letting them wither without proper attention. However, at some point, real humans had to work on those projects; It’s always possible that if employees can focus on their actual jobs instead of having to worry every few months about proving they deserve a raise, we could see Google’s products get more of the support they deserve.
(Plus, of course, it’s nice to know that workers aren’t having a hard time when their work benefits us.)
According to a public site, Google will switch to its new system this month. He calls it GRAD, which stands for Googler Reviews and Development. The page explains that employees will still communicate with their managers throughout the year for feedback and planning for career development, but will only receive performance ratings once a year. Google says its new scale “will reflect the fact that most Google employees make a significant impact every day.”
According Information, the entire system is based on the impact employees have with ratings ranging from “insufficient impact” to “outstanding” or “transformational” impact. The significant impact is right in the middle.
This is not necessarily how many other rating systems work. For example, Microsoft used to use a “stacked” classification system, in which management had to designate specific numbers of employees as high performers and low performers. At the time, former employees said it made their job feel like competition; instead of focusing on what would make the product better, they had to focus on what would make them Look the best compared to their co-workers. Microsoft overhauled its performance review system in 2013 and removed ratings so it could focus on impact and growth.
There are also harder systems. In 2021, Amazon is reportedly aiming to cut about 6 percent of its employees per year through an opaque system of performance improvement plans. Employees reported that they were not told they would have to make improvements if they wanted to stay with the company.
For its part, Google says that while it is reducing the number of performance reviews, it will continue to run promotions twice a year. Pay has been a controversial topic among some company employees recently. At a general meeting late last year, Google’s vice president of compensation said the company would not make general raises to keep up with inflation. The rise in costs has only gotten worse since then.