Google’s “TGIF” weekly meeting symbolizes the company’s belief in a transparent corporate culture and gives employees the opportunity to discuss future plans with management, foreign media outlet The Verge reported. But in the face of repeated leaks of the content of the meeting, Google has changed the meeting to a monthly meeting and shifted its focus from employees’ political concerns to other places.
Sundar Pichai, Google’s chief executive, said in an email to employees on Thursday that tGIF meetings, which were once a week, would now be held once a month and would focus only on “product and business strategy”.
In the note, Pichai began by praising Google’s achievements through its large workforce. “But elsewhere, such as TGIF, our scale is challenging our growth,” he wrote. Traditionally, TGIF provides a place to meet, share progress and ask questions, but it doesn’t work in its current form. “
Employees, he writes, “have different expectations for TGIF, some want to hear about “product launches and business strategies” and some want “answers on other topics.” Only about 25 percent of the company watches meetings every week, says Mr Pichai.
He also said that “after each TGIF, we are coordinating efforts to share our dialogue outside the company” and that these efforts “affect our ability to use TGIF as a forum for frank dialogue on important topics.” “
Although the note did not specifically mention any leaks, the company has been criticized in recent years for protesting Google’s partnership with the Pentagon. These disputes are often leaked through the media. Last year, the far-right publication Breitbart also released a leaked video of the first TGIF meeting since the 2016 U.S. presidential election, showing some Google employees agreeing with The Idea of a Trump presidency.
In the past, TGIF has been a place where employees raise concerns with management and discuss broader issues. Mr Pichai said only in an email that the company would “continue to discuss important workplace issues in the meeting”.
For years, Google has taken drastic steps to prevent leaks, even setting up dedicated email addresses for employees to report other employees who may be sending messages outside. But the latest crackdown appears to have escalated: earlier this week, Bloomberg News reported that an employee had been fired for sending the names and details of other employees to the media.
“Now we have the opportunity to build the type of company we want to be by investing in a better way to communicate on a large scale,” Pichai’s report concludes. “Look forward to doing this with you. “
The full e-mail Pichai sent to employees read as follows:
Topics: TGIF and Internal Forums
(TL); DR – We will make changes to TGIF and provide a new portfolio of internal forums in 2020. We will ask for your feedback along the way. ]
Hello, Google employees!
Many aspects of the past month made me proud to be a Google employee: thanks to ML’s advances, we have greatly improved our core Search products. We’ve made incredible breakthroughs in quantum computing, which will give us a whole new way to solve computing problems in the next few years. Both milestones demonstrate how our scale allows us to invest in long-term technical issues to drive significant improvements.
But elsewhere,” such as TGIF, our scale is challenging our growth. TGIF has traditionally provided a place to meet, share progress and ask questions, but it cannot run in its current form. Here are some of the biggest challenges:
First, people have different expectations about TGIF. Some people hear more about Google’s product launches and business strategies, others hear answers on other topics. By presenting the differences on a weekly basis, we can’t do both well.
Second, unfortunately, after each TGIF, we are coordinating efforts to prevent our conversations from being shared outside the company. I know this is new to many of you, and it affects our ability to use TGIF as a forum for frank dialogue on important topics.
Third, with the expansion of the size of the company and the expansion of geographical distribution, the audience has steadily declined. In any given week, only about 25 per cent of people watch TGIFs, up from 80 per cent a decade ago. Google employees, by contrast, are more involved in local and PA matters.
Participation in product and functional areas meetings is a natural and positive development for us. When we meet people in our discussions and understand their backgrounds, we can have more substantive and richer conversations about what we do for our users. We will continue to invest in our PA and full-featured products and ensure that Google’s leadership, including me, makes more regular appearances here. Of course, we still need to share products and business strategies across the company, celebrate great work, learn from failures, and ask tough questions. So we’re going to try something different in 2020:
TGIF will be a monthly meeting on product and business strategy and will be a question-and-answer session on the topics discussed.
We will continue to hold regular Social TGIF sits in offices around the world (which is very important, how the original concept of TGIF began).
We will continue to hold meetings on important workplace issues.
And we will continue to explore new ways to engage large-scale multinationals with more than 100,000 multinationals across multiple time zones. One thing we want to do is share more videos, such as those about quantum computing, to gain insight into what our team is doing.
We hope that these forum combinations will provide a better experience for Google employees. We know you only have that time to attend the meeting, and we hope to spend a lot of time. We also have to think about how to spend our time in the company. In fact, we would like to thank our users for their unwavering focus on our mission and our goal of creating more useful Google products for everyone.
As we’re trying new things, we’ll get your feedback when we launch these forums. The TGIF team will set up panel discussions to hear from Google employees. If you would like to share your comments, please visit go /internal-forums.
By creatively addressing important issues, we can achieve this scale – that’s how we develop. Now we have the opportunity to shape the type of company we want to be by investing in better ways to communicate on a large scale. Look forward to working with you to do this.