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Google Laid Off 12,000 Employees, Including The Head Of Mental Health And Wellbeing.

Google Laid Off 12,000 Employees, Including The Head Of Mental Health And Wellbeing.

Highlight:

  • Kristin Maczko was one of the 12,000 employees who were let go by the software company earlier this month.
  • Google and other significant behemoths like Microsoft, Meta, and Amazon have let go of thousands of employees.
  • Along with Maczko, Elizabeth Cha, another wellness team member, was let go earlier this month.

Kristin Maczko, Google’s director of global mental health and wellbeing, revealed that she was fired from the firm after serving for 15 years. Maczko was one of the 12,000 workers that the software giant let go earlier this month to reduce costs amid hazy macroeconomic conditions. Additionally, Maczkoo has emphasised that “several workers on the Mental Health and wellbeing team” had been fired by Google.

Many affected Google employees have recently used social media to discuss their experiences with the mass layoffs. There are numerous instances of employees older than 15 years being let go. Other major behemoths besides Google, like Microsoft, Meta, and Amazon, have laid off hundreds of employees in the past two months.

Google

After beginning her work in Google’s statistics and finance division, Maczko moved to the mental health and wellbeing team. She took over as team leader in 2021, and she has a background in the field of psychology. She says in the post: “These last few days, I’ve experienced many emotions. I regret saying goodbye to my many friends and coworkers at Google. I’m getting used to starting a new life and approaching the transition with tenderness and interest in what my next chapter might hold.”

Elizabeth Cha, who also worked on the well-being team with Maczko, was let go earlier this month. Cha, the scale program’s head, said in a post that she was fired after 19 years with the business. Like many workers, she joined the corporation after graduation but was fired without warning. “I hate to leave the individuals I’ve grown to consider family. A tie that was too hastily broken, “writing on LinkedIn.

Numerous such instances concerning impacted workers in the tech industries were documented by India Today Tech. Over 200,000 IT workers, many of whom are from India, have allegedly been laid off since November of last year, according to a Washington Post story. These Indian employees scramble to find new jobs to save their H1-B and L1 visas.

As previously stated, Google has let go of numerous workers with more than 15 years of service. An Indian engineer who had worked for the company for 20 years was recently let go. Additionally, a different engineer alleged that the business fired her only hours before she was due to give birth to her second child. The employee’s husband also works for the company. He is Natasha Nesiba. He does not, however, lose his position.

Google

The year 2023 has yet to start well for the workers. One reality stands out like a beacon amid the widespread layoffs, horror stories of impersonal emails alerting employees of their last day at the company, personnel being instructed to stop reporting without so much as a by-your-leave, and even Hunger Games-like situations being recounted by ex-IT professionals where they are being rounded off and sent packing without even a notice, and that reality is this: despite all the fancy words of prioritising mental health, the vast majority of organisations do not.

Numerous conflicts over “talent” may occur, yet the “human” component of “human capital” is often disregarded. At a recent town hall, numerous recently laid-off people urged top managers to reassure them that their jobs were secure. One of the workers remarked, “Should I keep exerting myself so much? Is it important?” Another worker asked, “How will we ever feel safe again?”

Employees at Google have expressed concerns about the layoffs process, claiming that it wasn’t fair or based on performance. They think that many top achievers were asked to leave and that the layoffs were random.

Pichai disagreed with these workers during the town hall and insisted that layoffs were not random. “Cuts were made in a very planned, prioritised fashion; nothing was arbitrary,” he explicitly stated. Pichai said during the town hall, “We’ve carried out a rigorous assessment across product areas and departments to ensure that our employees and their responsibilities align with our highest corporate values.

In the coming weeks, layoffs at Google will spread to other regions, including India. They have already started in the US. Pichai also disclosed that Google would reduce senior staff’s annual incentives as part of a cost-cutting initiative. “The annual bonus for all positions above the senior vice president level will be reduced “quite significantly.” Compensation for top positions is based on business performance, “The Google CEO addressed the town hall. Pichai is also included in this, as his pay increased significantly last month.

Why Neglecting Mental Health Might Cost Google a Lot?

Google

Despite the tech giant’s efforts to save expenses, research indicates that the long-term effects of ignoring employee mental health and well-being can be terrible for the business. A Forbes research from 2019 claims that failing to care for employees’ mental health might cost companies between $80-100 billion annually! This expense is brought on by lost workdays from depression and low self-esteem, as well as rising drug and hospitalisation costs for employees who are suicidal or persistently depressed.

Most individuals with untreated and undiagnosed mental health issues have higher absenteeism and productivity losses. The WHO estimates that depression and anxiety cost the world 12 billion working days. According to a 2022 study by Deloitte, disregarding mental health has cost Indian businesses almost $14 billion, or Rs. 1.1 lakh crore! It should serve as an alarm to business owners. Want to keep the top employees? Trying to reduce attrition? Consequently, don’t minimise employee mental health!

Edited by Prakriti Arora

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