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Google pushes new performance appraisal system, more than 10,000 employees do not meet the standard

Earlier this year, Google introduced a stricter performance appraisal system within the company. Under the new standards, more than 10,000 Google employees may not meet the performance standards, thus facing the risk of layoffs.

The new performance evaluation tool, called GRAD, will change the way Google employees are rated on their performance. Under the new criteria, 6 percent of Google employees could receive a poor rating, up from 2 percent previously.

According to Google’s latest report, the company has 186,000 employees. If the new standards are followed, about 11,000 employees across the company will have substandard performance.

With the wave of layoffs in the tech industry hitting Meta, Amazon and other tech companies, Google employees are increasingly worried that they may be the next to be laid off. Google has avoided mass layoffs in the past, but some employees are starting to worry that Google will reduce the number of employees and cut operating costs based on a new performance appraisal system.

Failure to meet appraisal standards may give Google a reason to put employees on the performance evaluation plan list before sweeping them off their feet.

According to Google’s internal guidelines, in the new performance appraisal system, even the second-lowest scoring “medium impact” appraisal means that the employee “does not consistently meet expected levels or standards. The guidelines state that employees should not be forced to assign metrics, but that the company expects to “generally meet” metric assignments. The guidelines also emphasize that the new performance appraisal system may lead to more changes in teams with fewer than 5,000 employees.

In recent weeks, team managers have been inviting employees to briefings on underperformance. According to internal documents, managers will need to meet before they can give employees the two lowest ratings in the new performance appraisal system. Previously, it was reported that Google requires 10 percent of employees in every department across the company to be flagged for substandard performance.

A person familiar with the matter said, “If an employee doesn’t respond to being hit with a performance substandard, the next step is to be put on a performance evaluation plan.”

This week, rights investor TCI Fund Management called for Google to lay off employees. One analyst said that cutting staff based on performance reviews is not enough, and he called on the company to take more aggressive action.

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