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Even With All The Data in The World Google Relies on Employee Engagement Surveys



In an article for NBC the reporter Jennifer Elias broke the story of Google's concern for the upcoming recession and the low productivity was giving pause for employee engagement in an effort to increase productivity. Google CEO Sundar Pichai has recently announced a new initiative called "Simplicity Sprint" that aims to improve the company's productivity levels and increase efficiency in a toughening economy. The initiative is aimed at gathering ideas from the company's over 174,000 employees on how to achieve these goals. While the initiative is a step in the right direction, it is important to note that even with all the data in the world, Google still needed to directly ask their employees for feedback. This is where a customer experience management platform can be essential for companies.


During an all-hands meeting, Pichai expressed his concerns over the company's productivity levels and ability to navigate the challenging economy. The initiative comes after Google's second consecutive quarter of weaker-than-expected earnings and revenue, and revenue growth has slowed to 13% from 62% a year earlier. Pichai also announced that the company would slow the pace of hiring and investments through 2023 and asked employees to work "with greater urgency" and "more hunger" than shown "on sunnier days."


The Simplicity Sprint initiative is aimed at crowdsourcing ideas for quicker product development. Google is opening the floor for employees to share their ideas through an internal survey that asks if management can reach out if they have follow-up questions. The survey also shows that the initiative may also be used to cut back in certain areas. Questions in the survey 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?"


The request for employee input comes as the company tries to ease tensions between employees and executives after poor results in an annual "Googlegeist" survey. The survey showed that the company received particularly poor marks on pay, promotions, and execution. Highlighting a 7% dip in views about Google's execution, executive Prabhakar Raghavan at the time wrote "that means we need to bring more attention to busting bureaucracy." In May, the company announced it would overhaul its performance evaluation process that would result in increased salaries while hoping to reduce the bureaucracy around compensation and raises.


During the all-hands meeting, executives addressed employees' concerns about potential layoffs. While Google is still hiring and does not have plans for layoffs right now, Fiona Cicconi, Google's Chief People Officer, did not rule it out. She said that the company is asking teams to be more focused and efficient and that they are working out what that means as a company as well. She asked employees to remember that it's still the biggest hiring year in the company's history.


Google's headcount rose 21% to 174,014 full-time employees from 144,056 the year prior. However, the company said last month it would slow the pace of hiring and investments through 2023, and Pichai told employees in a memo, "we're not immune to economic headwinds." Cicconi also acknowledged industry-wide concerns about layoffs but reiterated the need for greater efficiency and focus.


Even with all the data in the world, Google still needed to directly ask their employees for feedback on how to improve efficiency and focus. This highlights the importance of a customer experience management platform that allows companies to gather feedback from customers and employees alike. Such a platform can help companies gather valuable insights that they may not be able to get from data alone.


While Google CEO Sundar Pichai's Simplicity Sprint initiative is aimed at improving the company's productivity levels and increasing efficiency in an uncertain economic environment. The initiative will gather ideas from the company's over 174,000 employees on how to achieve these goals. While Google is not currently planning layoffs, executives have acknowledged the growing need for employee engagement and customer engagement.


If Google with all of its data and resources needs employee and customer feedback, how much more do the rest of us. If you would like to get in touch with us and find out how our software can help your business please contact us!

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