Google is cutting back on its rigorous, twice-annual performance reviews after almost half of employees came out against them in surveys, The Information reported Wednesday.
Only 53% of Google employees said they considered the twice-annual reviews “time well spent” in surveys, CEO Sundar Pichai reportedly told employees on Wednesday. Starting in May, reviews will now only take place once a year, but promotions will still be possible twice a year.
Google’s performance reviews have historically required an extensive amount of work from employees and managers, including assessments and self-assessments on traits like problem-solving, thought leadership and “Googleyness,” as well as 360-degree feedback from peers.
The new reviews system, which Google is calling Googler Reviews and Development, or GRAD, won’t require as much preparation. Instead, employees will be graded within a new five-point rating system ranging from “transformative impact” to “not enough impact,” with most employees ranking in the middle at “significant impact,” The Information reported. A blog post from Google says that GRAD is meant to “reflect the fact that most Googlers deliver significant impact every day.”
As tech companies worry about hiring and retention, it’s clear that tech workers have more sway than ever — even when it comes to how often their performance is reviewed. And it’s not just Google: Meta also decided last year to cut back to one annual review, The Information pointed out.Not everyone agrees that it’s better to limit reviews to once per year. Annual reviews can be corrupted by recency bias, ChartHop CEO Ian White told Protocol in September. Some HR experts even recommend holding reviews once per quarter. But employees call the shots now, and — at least at Google — they want fewer reviews.