‘How Are We Supposed to Ever Feel Safe Again?:’ Google Staff Seeks ‘Psychological Safety’ After Layoffs

Noogler Hat for new Google employees
Flickr/ banky177

Google workers are feeling psychologically shaken after the company announced plans to lay off 12,000 of its workforce amid a general slump in the tech industry.

Workers at the tech giant aired their dismay at one of the company’s regular all-hands meetings on Monday, with comments from some employees reported by Business Insider.

Sabo mocks Google CEO Sundar Pichai

Sabo mocks Google CEO Sundar Pichai (unsavoryagents.com)

Google boss Sundar Pichai is masked up ( Drew Angerer /Getty)

“The layoffs seem random,” submitted one worker. “I am pro-Google, but I’m pretty shook right now. Help me understand. Should I keep working super hard? Does it matter?”

Another Google staffer asked how the company could “reestablish psychological safety” for its employees in the wake of the layoffs, with another worker noting the company’s commitment that “psychological safety is paramount.”

The employee lamented that laid-off workers were “chosen by VPs who didn’t know the people.”

“How are we supposed to ever feel safe again?” asked the worker.

Philipp Schindler, Google’s chief business officer, attempted to narrow down the definition of “psychological safety,” explaining that it did not mean safety from layoffs or tough economic conditions.

Psychological safety, said Schindler, means “an environment where people feel safe to speak up, where they want to take risks, where they want to solicit feedback, make mistakes, question the status quo for example.”

While the company tries to “minimize disruption,” said Schindler, “if you interpret psychological safety as removing all uncertainty, we can’t do this.”

Google’s all-hands meetings have been the scene of emotional outbursts from employees in the past. The meeting following Donald Trump’s election in 2016, a video recording of which was leaked to Breitbart News, included sobbing executives, group hugs, and promises to use the company’s power to prevent similar outcomes in the future.

Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.


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