Google Employers Are Calling In Doctors For “Safety”

( Employees at Google are experiencing psychological distress due to the company’s decision to lay off 12,000 employees amid a broader tech sector downturn.

The pool of Google employees isn’t strictly populated by steely-eyed, tough, hard-knuckled go-getters. They seem to be soft, neurotic nail-biters needing a crying room.

At one of the company’s regular all-hands meetings on Monday, workers of the internet giant expressed their neuroses, according to remarks from certain employees.

One typical worker bemoaned the fact that employees who were let go were “selected by VPs who didn’t know the folks.” Whatever that means.

The worker questioned, “How are we ever expected to feel secure again?”

Who told these workers that “job security” was a guarantee?

Perhaps the confusion was caused by Google when they pushed a “Psychological Safety” initiative in their corporate environment.

Google’s chief business officer, Philipp Schindler, made an effort to clarify what he meant by “psychological safety,” pointing out that it did not include protection against layoffs or challenging economic situations. It simply meant they would foster a climate where individuals “felt comfortable to speak out, where they want to take chances, where they want to request feedback, make errors, or challenge the status quo.”

It did not mean your job was guaranteed for life.

Schindler said that while the organization works to “minimize disturbance,” if you define psychological safety as eliminating all uncertainty, then this is something that cannot be accomplished.

Although psychological safety is more about feeling safe to be yourself around your coworkers than it is about job security, the way businesses handle these mass layoffs may give employees the impression that they and their coworkers could be fired at any time, regardless of their performance metrics.

According to Amy Edmondson, a Harvard specialist on psychological safety, how you respond to those trying times can affect psychological safety and other people’s willingness to take chances.

Delicate flowers, all.

Employees have previously let out passionate outbursts during Google’s all-hands meetings. The meeting after Donald Trump was elected president in 2016 included tearful executives, group embraces and pledges to utilize the company’s influence to stop similar results in the future.