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General Electric

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Breakdown of Organizational Behavior: What has Made GE so Successful

To make an organization successful there has to be an understanding of how to motivate, lead and shape the culture of the organization. Communication will be essential to be able to promote teamwork, leadership, diversity and an understanding of conflict and change. While having a good product and time to market will be important, the employees are critical and the study of what motivates and keeps employees loyal to the company will give an organization a greater competitive advantage. GE has been able to move forward and put policies into place that will make the organization more productive and keep employees loyal and developing because of leadership training and a commitment to integrity. "In many ways, however, Welch is an exception; very few top executives have been able to transform themselves from being analytically driven strategy directors to people-oriented strategy framers." (Bartlett)

GE's integrity policy is one way that they ensure that all employees are on the same page and have the same goals and ethical standards. People's perception of the company that they work for will affect their productivity and judgement. "Good people are attracted to a strong culture. Values bind GE together and give us confidence in the future." (Web) Work values, as well as a persons own social values will influence decision-making, and the two being in conflict can cause stress and create an unhappy and unproductive environment. GE has the training in place to provide the employee with the behavior that is expected by the employee, outside vendors, customers and the company itself. "The primary bases for job satisfaction for people with an individualism social value in order of importance will be (1) the congruence between the values reinforced on the job and individual's work values;" (Brown) GE's Code of Conduct and policies that have been established leave no doubt that GE wants all business to be conducted in a legal and ethical manner. They expect their employees to respect the customers, vendors and colleagues and that the company will respect their employees and encourage them to grow and expand their place within the company.

Motivating people is important to the organization to be able to accomplish goals. Establishing values and the culture of the organization is how the employees will know what is expected or the desired goal of the company but more will be needed to get people to want to achieve the same goals. There is a saying that one bad apple can ruin the bunch and that is true in an organization that can have energy drained from its employees by even just one negative force. An underqualified employee will not be motivated to work because they are discouraged or from fear of failure and an overqualified employee will not be challenged and become bored. So hiring quality people is the first and can be the most important step in having motivated employees. "The first step in the process of building superior human capital is input control: hiring the right person." At GE, Jack Welch made it common practice to take an active role in the hiring process. Other motivators will be communication, feedback, benefits, desired rewards, training and development. GE invests $1 billion per year in training and keeps their leaders up to date in developing their skills for coaching, mentoring and evaluating the employees. Given that employees are going to be very diverse what motivates them will also be just as diverse. "To this day, Welch demands that the rewards a leader disburses to people be highly differentiated--especially because GE is in so many different businesses." (Web) This move to motivate employees included having stock options for all employees not just the top executives, this type of move will keep employees at all levels feeling as if they are important which in turn keeps them productive. GE also has an Employee Management Survey (EMS) which an employee can discuss their strengths and contributions for the year and any future career plans. This allows the employee to take an active role in their evaluation and gives them the opportunity to evaluate management. This type of program will continue to keep employees happy and motivated to accomplish the goals of the company as they get to have input and development of certain areas of the business.

Communication is the backbone of what will make teamwork the most effective and continue to make the company successful. The size of the team can drive or hinder the success and many great ideas can come out of teamwork. GE has established a Six Sigma program which relies on teamwork to propel quality to the highest level. "Six Sigma is a rigorous quality initiative--a highly discipline process designed to reduce defects and drive improvements throughout our business." (Web) What will most likely happen is that four people from different areas will come together to fix a problem. They will need to determine what is the problem, how to fix it and how to tackle it. There have been five stages that have been developed: define measure, analyze, improve and control. It will be the main departments that are involved that will come together to determine what should be done and will have to work together to come up with creative and innovative ideas that they can all agree upon because there will some cases that departments may have different goals. "A strong team makes sure every member has a chance to help form goals. The trend in business is to empower teams with more authority. The logic is simple. The more involved you are in forming a goal, the more you have at stake to see it fulfilled." (Daley) Communication will be important for the team to be able to work together and come to any compromises that will be necessary to make sure that the highest quality is the number one goal.

While communication is important knowing how people communicate with respect to their culture, race or experiences will be significant as well. GE knows that there environment is diverse and global and they rely on information from all countries, all parts of the company throughout the world. At GE there is network forums such as African American Forum, Pacific American Forum, Hispanic Forum and Women's Forum that will help develop a diverse culture and employees who can work in that culture. Change can be very complicated as it will be resisted and at times only the surface has been changed and not what lies below. Diversity will demand that real changes be made so that the organization can continue and thrive. Diversity will present opportunities to the organization by obtaining new ideas and skills but only if the organization



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