The Role of Jack Welch in the Success of GE
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Jack Welch joined GE in 1980 and has ever since turned it into the most successful companies today. In an era driven by intense competition, understanding his role in the success of GE is extremely important for all of you who want to recreate the same magic in your company or business. One of the biggest challenges faced by all of us today is improving the performance of our workforce. And this is where Jack Welch succeeded. By understanding his techniques and strategies, it is possible that we can motivate our workforce to become better performers.

Jack Welch’s approach involved three main areas:

  • Goal Setting: One of the most important ways in which Jack Welch improved the performance of his employees was through goal setting and competition. Wide goals as well as specific objectives were set to ensure better performance from the individual employees as well as the team as a whole. In addition, he believed in allowing a little competition amongst employees to ensure that there was no complacency. Stretch goals or the setting of goals that are higher than what most managers would have set for themselves was a technique widely used by him to ensure better performance and increased productivity. He believed that when employees were close to achieving their goals, there is a slope of satisfaction, which is at a high and at this point, they would do anything to achieve the final goal, which in turn helps in improving the performance. Rewards and incentives were used for ensuring that they finally achieved their goals.

  • Empowering employees at all levels: Jack Welch believed that if all people were held responsible for their own work, they would end up making decisions that were better for their job. Liberation is important, especially when you are improving the performance and increasing efficiency of your workforce. With the case of GE, he found that there were nine layers of management, which led to an unresponsive bureaucracy, difficulty in communication, and an inward-focused company. So, when he accepted his job, his first step was to remove these nine layers, and ensuring that jobs overlapped and people started taking more responsibilities while also making independent decisions. This helped in eliminating processes that were not necessary, which in turn improved productivity while also improving the performance of the individual employee. Collaboration and creativity became the backbone of decision making, which boosted the success rate of GE.

  • Communicating goals and vision: When you want your organization to become successful, the best way to achieve it is by communicating openly, especially about your vision for the company as well as your goals. With open communication channels, you are actually opening yourself up for ideas and thoughts of others, which would ultimately help in enhancing creativity, improving collaboration while also increasing the feeling of ownership. According to Jack Welch, this fosters a better and more successful environment for the employees, which in turn results in organizational success.

Motivating employees and improving the performance of your workforce can be quite daunting. However, if you were to employ these three basic rules to your organization, chances of your success would increase by quite a few notches.  


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