Google’s CEO has a brilliantly simple plan for recession-proofing his staff. Any business can use it


In a recent email to all staff, Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai mentioned the potential for a recession and how it could affect the company. “We must be entrepreneurial by working with greater urgency, sharper focus and more hunger than we have shown on sunny days,” he wrote. Many thought Pichai’s words sounded dark, according to TechCrunch, which missed the overarching message in the email.

What Pichai really meant was that he had a brilliantly simple plan to help top employees not only weather uncertain times, but also become recession-proof. It boils down to just three words: “be more enterprising”.

As one of the most in-demand employers in the world, Google naturally has some of the most in-demand employees in the world. By encouraging employees to act “entrepreneurially,” Pichai is helping to elevate Googlers even further. In turn, making them even more valuable.

So instead of cutting staff to cut costs, the plan is to increase staff to make them more productive and valuable to the company. It shows that there are ways to cut costs without cutting staff. And it’s something almost any business can use as a first line of defense in times of economic uncertainty.

As Pichai takes the first step by setting expectations and advising staff to act on his plan, there are three key ways employees can connect the dots between entrepreneurship and increased productivity to effectively reduce costs. And it’s not just for employees, but also for entrepreneurs who want to change the weather.

1. Leave your comfort zone

It’s easy for employees at a trillion-dollar company to get too comfortable. With “comfortable” roles, more money than most can really imagine, and thousands of staff around the world, it’s easy to settle into one particular role and dwell in the box that contains it. But it’s important to get out of your comfort zone and feel some degree of uncertainty like entrepreneurs do.

Entrepreneurs are used to operating under a high degree of uncertainty. Not knowing what will come around every turn—or even knowing when the turn will come—entrepreneurs have to work harder and be very calculated about how to achieve their goals. When you turn off autopilot, you get the hunger and innovation that comes with it.

2. Be resourceful

Early-stage entrepreneurs typically operate with a limited budget and few resources. It is therefore vital to maximize existing resources as much as possible to help build or maintain sustainability. With this frugal approach, they maximize their resources, saving them money and working far more efficiently. However, employees are often not so aware of the resources they use and how they use them. If you can encourage them to take an entrepreneurial approach, there will not only be less waste, but far greater efficiency.

3. Motivate yourself with challenges

Entrepreneurs generally enjoy chasing something bigger – because they tend to see more than what is, and instead see what could be. Entrepreneurs and employees often differ in how they see an obstacle. Being more entrepreneurial, employees will also see challenges as motivators rather than burdens. They will get excited about the possibilities for them, instead of being stressed.

In an ideal world, every employee would think like an entrepreneur. Not only does it give them that hunger that drives them, but it makes them the best employees they can be. It’s what inspires innovation, drives change, and builds trillion-dollar businesses.

For employees who want to be excited about what they do, Pichai’s plan will help them keep their place at the company. In the process, it will help separate those who are excited for the road ahead and those who are just along for the ride.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own and not those of Inc.com.



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