Google’s GRAD review system ‘goes tougher’: What this may mean for the company’s employees

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Google reportedly introduced a new performance review system earlier this year. Called ‘Google Reviews and Development’ (GRAD), the system brings in a new rating system. Reports suggest that it will put employees who receive low scores at higher risk of getting laid-off from the company. While Google spokesperson Chris Pappas recently confirmed the GRAD system to Forbes, new details about the rating system have emerged suggesting how the company may be planning to implement the process.
Citing internal communications CNBC reports that in the all-hands meeting, Google executives presented more details of its new performance review process that is expected to go live next year. Under the new system, Google reportedly estimates 6% of full-time employees will fall into a low-ranking category as compared to 2% before. Additionally, the review system will make it harder for employees to achieve high marks. Google projects 22% of employees will be rated within one of the two highest categories, as compared to 27% before.

Google employees have reportedly complained about procedural and technical issues with GRAD by saying that the employees may not be accurately rated.
Job cuts as per the new ranking system
The details mentioned in the CNBC report is in line with an article published by The Information last month. “Under the new system, managers have been asked to categorise 6% of employees, or roughly 10,000 people, as low performers in terms of their impact for the business,” the report said citing people with knowledge of the system. Alphabet had a workforce of nearly 187,000 at the end of the last quarter.
The new rating system was announced in May and apart from tough scoring, it will also help managers avoid paying low-performing employees bonuses and stock grants.

No ‘assurances’ from Sundar Pichai
The all-hands meeting where the details of GRAD were explained, company CEO Sundar Pichai reportedly declined to reassure employees about job cuts at Google.
“It’s really tough to predict the future, so unfortunately, I can’t honestly sit here and make forward-looking commitments,” Pichai said during the meeting. He said that the company is trying hard “to make important decisions, be disciplined, prioritise where we can, rationalise where we can, so that we are set up to better weather the storm, regardless of what’s ahead”.
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