Rumor: Google Bonuses Now Tied To Social Success

    April 7, 2011

Got friends at Google who like pick up checks and let you play with their toys?  If so, consider embracing Google’s +1 initiative and whatever other social products the company rolls out, because a fresh report claims all employees’ bonuses are now in part tied to their performance.

Nicholas Carlson wrote this afternoon, “New Google CEO Larry Page, who stepped into the job this week, believes that Google needs to go ‘social’ to compete. . . .  To that end, he sent out a company-wide memo last Friday, alerting employees that 25% of their annual bonus will be tied to the success or failure of Google’s social strategy in 2011.”

Page reasoned according to Carlson, “This is a joint effort so it’s important that we all get behind it.”

That’s a risky move.  It may of course succeed in getting Google’s 25,000 or so employees to use +1, since clicking stuff is a small price to pay in return for lots of cash.  Many employees will probably pester their friends and families about +1, as well.

Threatening to reduce the amount of money people take home isn’t liable to win Page a lot of fans, however, especially since the concept is supposed to apply to all employees, not just the ones who work on social products.

Plus, if the issue causes anyone to think about quitting, then Google will risk lose talent in other areas.  (Or it could lose tons more cash if rumors about huge please-don’t-leave-us payments are true.)