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Googlers hated their performance review process, so CEO Sundar Pichai changed them to just once a year

May 5, 2022, 4:56 PM UTC

Some things are objectively better in multitudes; think cookies, dogs, or flowers. But two isn’t always better than one when it comes to performance reviews. At least according to some Google employees, who have been demanding an end to Google’s customary biannual reviews. 

At Wednesday’s town hall, CEO Sundar Pichai announced an overhaul of how Googlers get managed. 

Already facing a staff disgruntled by Google’s three-day in-person policy, Pichai appears to be picking his battles and concessions when trying to appeal to tech workers who have been offered immense leverage by the Great Resignation. Having already tried bringing Lizzo to Google headquarters to improve morale, the tech giant is now moving to change some contested policies.

According to Google’s blog on the new system, promotions will still be offered twice a year. The new metric of success will be evaluated by the system called Googler Reviews and Development (GRAD). GRAD will still be about an employee’s annual progress and is centered around “employee development, learning, and progression throughout the year,” as stated in the company’s blog.

There’s evidence of widespread dissatisfaction with the old system. A survey of Google staff found that only 53% of Googlers considered the twice-a-year reviews to be “time well spent,” as reported by The Information.

In response to employee feedback, the Google blog said, evaluations have been scaled back, but check-ins remain consistent as managers will offer feedback on expectations throughout the year. Google’s blog adds that one of these check-ins will emphasize “​​learning and career development at Google.” The difference between check-ins and evaluations is not clear.

New evaluations will include “transformative impact, outstanding impact, significant impact, moderate impact, and not enough impact,” reports Seeking Alpha. Most employees will end up in the middle tier of significant impact, according to The Information.

When contacted for comment, Google referred Fortune to its official statements on the blog.

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