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Google not looking at lay-offs yet but tells employees to pull their finger out

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Google wants employees to be more productive at work given the tougher economic conditions, according to CNBC. The company has launched its ‘Simplicity Sprint’ to improve efficiency and employee focus. CEO Sundar Pichai told employees at a recent meeting that the company's productivity was below where it should be and that this needs to change.

At the meeting, he was quoted as saying:

“There are real concerns that our productivity as a whole is not where it needs to be for the headcount we have. [We need to] create a culture that is more mission-focused, more focused on our products, more customer focused. We should think about how we can minimize distractions and really raise the bar on both product excellence and productivity.”

To ensure employees stay on board with the plans, Pichai solicited feedback from employees. The firm will take ideas until August 15th via an internal survey. Some questions on the survey included:

  • 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?

Suspecting that efficiency meant lay-offs, employees asked whether the firm was looking at sacking people. Chief People Officer Fiona Cicconi responded, saying that the company is not looking to reduce the overall workforce, but it can’t be sure it won’t in the future if the economy gets worse. To reassure staff, she pointed out that Google was still hiring new people for “critical roles”.

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