By: Colin Lodewick | March 15, 2022The results of Google’s famous annual survey are out, and it seems that employees aren’t as happy about their compensation as they used to be.
The “Googlegeist” measures employee satisfaction with regards to things like leadership, compensation, diversity, and company values. The company conducted its 2022 survey in January, and the results were obtained by CNBC.
Around 53% of Google employees said their pay is competitive — a drop of 5 points from last year, while 56% said their pay is “fair and equitable” — down 8 points, according to the survey. In the company’s cloud division, the number of participants who described the promotional process as fair declined 2 points, to 54%.
Competitive pay has become a major issue for companies big and small across all industries, as they fight to attract and retain their workers.
More workers are quitting jobs than ever before, in a movement that has been dubbed “The Great Resignation.” At least 4 million workers have left their jobs every month since July 2021, peaking in November with the highest number of quits ever recorded by the Bureau of Labor Statistics since it started keeping track in 2000.
Tech companies—a traditionally hot sector—are scrambling to keep up. In February, Amazon announced that it was doubling its maximum base salary to $350,000 in the face of a competitive labor market.
Alphabet CEO Sundhar Pichai told employees in an email announcing the results that the survey is “one of the most important ways” the company gauges workplace satisfaction, CNBC reported.
"We know that our employees have many choices about where they work, so we work to ensure that they are very well compensated," said a Google spokesperson in a statement shared with Fortune. "That's why we've always provided top of market compensation across salary, equity, leave, and a suite of benefits. Getting employee feedback is important and we'll continue to ensure we pay competitively everywhere our employees work and help them grow their careers at Google.”
Leadership and Google’s overall mission received relatively high scores; Pichai received a favorability rating of 86%, while the company’s mission to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” was rated at 90%. Employees gave the company’s values an 85% favorability rating.
The Googlegeist survey also comes at a time when more companies, including tech giants, are navigating return-to-office plans. Google plans to bring its workforce back April 4, while Meta is slated to return March 28—both companies are offering their workforce hybrid schedules.
But not all the tech giants are requiring a return to the office. Twitter, LinkedIn and Salesforce are all offering employees the opportunity to work from home indefinitely.This year’s survey is not the only sign of employee dissatisfaction at Google. In January of last year, a coalition of Google employees announced the formation of the Alphabet Workers Union to advocate for workplace equity and the ideal of tech being used only for good.
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Google employees say its return-to-office plan is unfair
Googlers said the company enforces remote work policies for some, but not others.
By: Lizzy Lawrence | March 16, 2022
Some Google employees are calling out the company for unevenly applying its remote work policies, Business Insider reported Tuesday. Google is bringing Bay Area employees back to the office at least three days per week starting April 4. But while some team members are spared from in-person work policies, others are no longer allowed to work remotely, employees say.
Employees raised their complaints at a company all-hands last Thursday, submitting questions through a system called Dory. Two popular questions involved remote work, according to Insider.
"Google made record profits through the pandemic (and WFH), traffic has already increased (at least in Bay Area) with gas prices at record high, and people have different preferences for WFH vs work from office," one question said. "Why is the RTO policy not 'Work from office when you want or when it makes sense to?'" Another submitter said some teams "blanket ban" remote work, with Google rejecting applications "even if managers are supportive."
Workers told Insider that Google's remote work policies felt arbitrary. One employee said a colleague was barred from remote work even though their manager was allowed to work from home. Bay Area employees who wish to work remotely from other states might face pay cuts: Google will lower pay if employees relocate to cities like Durham, North Carolina, and Houston, Texas.
This isn't the first time Google's remote work plans have upset its employees. In July, CNET reported that employees were angered by "hypocritical" remote work policies, allowing senior executive Urs Hölzle to work indefinitely from New Zealand while lower-level employees had to go through an application process.
Other big tech companies are also opening their offices for corporate employees in the coming weeks. But not everyone's requiring in-person work. Twitter will let employees work from home forever, if they want. The pandemic has made workers accustomed to a flexible work environment, and many find required, in-person work unappealing.