Nearly six months ago, Shopify promised staffers it would raise everyone's salary, hoping to keep people from jumping ship as their share-based pay slumped along with the company's stock price. Instead, after a hastily assembled performance review process, the e-commerce software giant decided to give only a select number of employees a pay raise.
It also decided to quietly cut about 50 workers in June, a prelude to broader layoffs in July. The switch reflects just how much the employment dynamic has changed at tech firms amid mounting economic worries and a renewed investor focus on profitability.
While widespread layoffs have captured headlines, tech executives behind the scenes have been turning up the heat on employees by giving performance reviews more teeth — setting the stage for a steady stream of worker exits in the coming months. For staff used to being coddled with softball reviews, the new approach represents a stark change in tone.
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