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GE's Talent Machine: The Making of a CEO Case Solution

Solution Id Length Case Author Case Publisher
1459 629 Words (1 Pages) Christopher A. Bartlett, Andrew N. McLean Harvard Business School : 304049
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GE has faced severe turbulence due to economic depression prevalent around the globe. The decline in the market value of GE’s stock has left employees and investors perturbed. Fortunately, employee turnover has remained low due to slow economy; this turnover has a high probability of increasing as the economy steps out of the recessionary phase. To keep employees, the backbone of the company, motivated, some measures need to be taken.

Case Analysis for GE's Talent Machine: The Making of a CEO Case Solution

The vitality curve depicted a model which assimilated feedback, training, coaching, and clear target into a single procedure. Employees perceived it to be the locus and fountain of a meritocracy based culture of GE. It is an integral component of the organizational culture and kept employees motivated by ensuring that high level performance was rewarded; it acted as a catalyst in the motivational process. Despite all this, GE’s “highly valued 70%” were pulled out by other companies like Bank America. To counter this problem, employees should be made to feel valued by adding flexibility in the ranking system. To make the contrast between 80th percentile and 11th percentile more visible, an additional hierarchical layer should be added, or the top layer should be made more flexible. A system is required, which highlights and rewards individual high level of performance throughout the organization instead of a system which just focuses on the top level of management.

Recruitment is one of the most vital functions that run GE’s talent machine. To enhance competent service based global business, the talent pool should be expanded by focusing on an MBA recruitment program i.e. by hiring MBAs with an inclination towards the marketing management career. To attract a creative and innovative pool of talent, the company should expand its Commercial Leadership Program by increasing the number of universities from which it recruits. To avoid the pitfall of high MBA turnover faced in the past, the company should strengthen its reputation as the developer of top class managers. The company should initiate belligerent hiring from the international arena so that its reliance on U.S.A. based programs can be reduced. The ethnic structure of company’s workforce should highlight that 40% of the revenues are made overseas.

Among the many countries, GE also operates in those where the hierarchical position is considered to be a status symbol, and as Welch converted Cordiner’s 29 PLs in seven expanded executive level bands, it has developed a perception in employees’ mind that promotional opportunities have decreased drastically. Employees do not consider one notch up promotion, as an achievement. A clear cut solution i.e. increase in number of executive level bands and professional bands, would simply pull the company back towards bureaucracy, for which Welch developed these bands in the first place. So, job enrichments and positive reinforcement (e.g. bringing the employee in the spotlight if he gives high-performance) should be used as psychological rewards in GE’s culture so that the employees’ negative perception about executive level broad bands can be diluted.

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