Google employee satisfaction with pay and promotions plummets, surveys show

Google’s headquarters spans a sprawling campus in Mountain View, California.

Stephen Shankland/CNET

Google may need to get more aggressive with employee compensation as new internal “Googlegeist” surveys show staff increasingly dissatisfied with compensation and promotion prospects.

The results of the survey, viewed by CNBC, shows that only 53% of respondents said their compensation was competitive with similar positions elsewhere. This is a drop of 12 points compared to last year. According to the results, 56% said their compensation was “fair and equitable”, eight points lower than the previous year. Finally, 64% of employees are satisfied with their compensation, believing that it reflects their performance, even if it is down three points. The annual surveys would have been carried out in January.

In the cloud group, only 54% of employees said the promotion process was fair, down two points. In an internal email from Thomas Kurian, CEO of Cloud Services, he said there was “a lack of criteria for promotions” and a “lack of transparency,” according to CNBC.

Prabhakar Raghavan, senior vice president responsible for research and other products, reportedly said in an internal email that 61% of employees said they were unable to meet their goals. He wrote that “we need to make sure that you manage to reach your full potential and that you continue to learn and grow in your career here,” according to CNBC.

“We know that our employees have many choices when it comes to where they work, so we’re working to make sure they’re very well compensated,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement to CNET. “That’s why we’ve always provided above-market compensation in terms of salary, equity, time off and a range of benefits. It’s important to get employee feedback and we’ll continue to make sure that we pay competitively wherever our employees work and help them grow their careers at Google.”

In an August statement, Google said: “We always pay at the top of the local market based on where an employee works from.” Last year, Reuters said the company is considering pay cuts for workers who choose to leave major offices permanently. Salary reductions for employees leaving California and New York could be up to 25% depending on where an employee moved, according to Initiated.

The median compensation for Alphabet employees was $273,493 in 2020, according to S&P Global. This includes compensation for the CEO and senior management. The median salary of Facebook employees in 2019 was $228,651 according to SEC documents analyzed by Wired. Apple’s median salary through 2021 was significantly lower than $68,254probably due to the fact that retail store employees are also lumped into the calculation.

Google employees seem happy with executive leadership and the company’s core mission. Google CEO Sundar Pichai reportedly received an 86% thumbs up from employees, with 74% saying he inspires them and that his “decisions and strategies allow Google to do a great job “. Google’s mission to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” looms large for employees. The company’s core mission received a rating of 90% and its values ​​hit 85%, according to CNBC. Almost all respondents working under Raghavan, 96%, said Google’s products are helpful to people.

Google also reportedly received high marks from employees for diversity and inclusion. Between 82% and 90% of employees surveyed have a favorable opinion of “belonging” and feel that their opinions are valued.

Google employees have been working remotely since the start of the pandemic, but the company expects most workers to return to the office in a hybrid model on April 4. Employees will be required to be in the office at least three days a week. The return date was moved to early January due to the spread of the omicron variant.

Corrected, March. 15: A previous version of this article incorrectly said that 46% of respondents felt their compensation was competitive. This number is actually 53%.

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