GE is planning on making big changes to how they evaluate their employees

GE is planning on making big changes to how they evaluate their employees
Image Credit: Thomas Hawk

General Electric (GE) is one big company. They employ over 310,000 people and so any changes that they make to how they choose to manage those people is obviously big news. The people who run GE understand the importance of information technology and have decided that they want to transform how their company operates in order to remain successful in an ever changing marketplace. What this means is that they have decided to make some big changes to how they are going to go about evaluating their employees. If GE is changing, then should he person with the CIO job also be changing?

Why Change?

Despite being a very, very large company, GE is run like just about any other company out there. Perhaps it would be better to say that most companies are run like GE is. Each year GE employees sit down with their managers in order to conduct an annual evaluation process. The result of this discussion is that each employee is assigned a ranking that consists of one of five labels that range from “unsatisfactory” to “role model”. This system has been in place at GE for the past 40 years.

Things are changing at GE. Their CEO, Jeffrey Immelt is in the process of attempting to reshape the company. What he wants to do is to have the company once again focus on its core industrial business. In order to make this happen, GE realizes that it is going to have to get its workers to work in a different way. The company has spent the past few years attempting to reimagine just exactly how each of its workers could do their work. The company’s focus has been on trying to get their employees to do more experimentation and take more risks.

As the company prepares to make changes to how they evaluate their employees, they realize that this may cause problems. There will be employees who probably prefer the simplicity and familiarity of the existing label ranking system. The company is going to have to be aware of this and they are going to have to take steps to make sure that these employees are educated as to why the new system is going to be better for both the company and for them.

What Will The New GE Look Like?

So if GE is thinking about making changes to the way that they evaluate their employees, what will the new system look like? The first part of the system does away with the concept of workers and their manager only meeting once a year to talk about the worker’s job performance. Instead, GE is encouraging their employees and their managers to exchange frequent feedback. This feedback can take on many different forms. The company has created a mobile application called PD@GE for both parties to use. They are also encouraging in person meetings and phone discussions.

As each of these interactions take place over the course of a year, the results of these talks will all be compiled into a performance summary that will be created at the end of the year. The reason that GE is willing to make this big change is because it is what their employees have been asking for. In the new modern work climate, today’s workers expect more feedback from their managers. At the same time, companies have the right to expect their employees to act quickly on the feedback that is provided to them.

GE is hopeful that by getting rid of their ratings system, they will be able to create a workplace where richer and more meaningful conversations will occur between managers and employees. The hope is that neither party will now get distracted by a label being applied to the worker. The managers at GE are going to have to change now. They will be expected to provide their employees with meaningful feedback on how they have performed in the past and then provide them with specific steps that they need to take in order to improve their situation.

What All Of This Means For You

GE is planning on making some changes in how they evaluate their employees. This is a big deal because so many other firms have based the way that they run their companies on how GE does it. The marketplace is changing and GE believes that these changes are needed. The big question is if the person in the CIO position needs to start to think about making the same sets of changes?

GE has done their annual employee evaluations just like every other company does them. The worker meets with their boss and gets assigned one of five labels that indicate how good their work was over the past year. GE the company is trying to change. Going forward they want to focus on their core industrial business. In order to do this, GE is doing away with the annual performance meeting and replacing it with a series of worker / manager discussions that occur during the year. The thinking is that the manager can give feedback quicker and workers can then change how they work much quicker also.

What GE is trying to do sounds like a good idea. One significant problem that they may run into is that they are trying to change a system that has been in place for a very long time. They are going to have to move very carefully and they are going to have to make sure that all questions can be answered during the time of change. If they can do this, then GE should have many more happy employees who no longer have to be worried about being labeled.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Department Leadership Skills™

Question For You: How many times during the year do you think GE managers and workers should have a talk about the employee’s job performance?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Successful CIO Blog is updated.

P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Successful CIO Newsletter are now available. Learn what you need to know to do the job. Subscribe now: Click Here!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

You would think that by now, with all that has been written about the importance of information technology and the advantages of moving your IT operations into the cloud, the decision to move a company’s applications and storage into the cloud would be a no-brainer for the person with the CIO job. However, we’ve all made potentially decades of costly investments into our so-called “legacy systems” and these guys are both rigid and difficult to scale. Attempting to make any changes to them scares the pants off of us!

{ 0 comments }

CIOs Start To Become More Important

by drjim on August 16, 2017

Companies are starting to realize the value of their CIOs

Companies are starting to realize the value of their CIOs
Image Credit: las – initially

The importance of a CIO can be measured in a number of different ways. One such way is how often the CEO seeks out the CIO for consultation. In the not so distant past, this is something that would happen rarely. Generally, this would only happen if something had gone wrong such as a service outage or a security breech. However, this is now starting to change. The people with the CEO job are starting to realize that software has become central to the business and this means that they need to form a much close relationship with their CIO.

Why Are Things Changing For CIOs

There was a time when CIOs were struggling to get respect. Sure, companies knew that they needed a CIO, but they didn’t really value the position. Back in the day it was increasingly common for CIOs to be asked to report to the CFO so that they wouldn’t bother or distract the CEO. In some companies this may have made sense because of the large IT budget that the IT department was in charge of spending; however, for most companies it simply meant that the CIO rarely ever talked with the CEO.

All of this is starting to change now. A recent study revealed that 53% of CIOs report directly to the CEO – this number had been 46% just a few years ago. What CEOs are slowly starting to realize is that their relationship with their CIOs is going to be key to the competitiveness of their business. The reason that CEOs are now seeking to have a deeper relationship with their CIOs is because the CEO knows more about the importance of information technology. What all of this means is that now everyone wants more from their CIO.

What everyone is starting to realize is that at more and more companies, software is at the heart of a lot of new business models. What we are seeing is that the person in the CIO position is becoming very involved in setting and executing corporate strategy. In a lot of firms, spending on IT projects and staff may be the company’s single biggest outlay. This has resulted in CEOs starting to take a more active role in deciding things like financial allocations, priorities, and staffing for the IT department.

What Is Going To Be Expected From CIOs Going Forward?

One of the reasons that the company is starting to rely more and more on their CIOs is that they had the realization that IT runs through just about every project that the company is working on. No matter if it is related to the supply chain, consumer loyalty, or changes that they are making to their stores, IT plays a key role.

What this means for a CIO is that you need to expect to be spending more of your time working with the other C-level executives. This time is going to take away from the time that you spend with the other member of your IT team. CIOs are now going to be expected to remain current on such topics as business trends as well as technology. For any given project, there is the possibility that it may end up touching all of the company’s IT infrastructure.

What this all means for CIOs is that they need to expect to be interacting with the CEO more often. This can take the form of text, email, and phone. More importantly, they will probably meet face-to-face also. A key reason for all of this interaction with the CEO is because IT is often responsible for spearheading new projects and new products. IT is becoming more involved in company efforts to retain customers and enter new markets.

What All Of This Means For You

There was a time that CIOs were simply seen as yet one more necessary employee. They performed an important job, but CEOs were busy and they didn’t have a lot of time to be bothered talking with their CIOs. As companies have become more and more dependent on the software that runs them, the role of the CIO has grown in importance and now CEOs and CIOs are spending more and more time together.

CEOs are starting to become aware of the importance of software in their company. This means that they now appreciate how important the CIO has become. As IT budgets have grown larger and larger, in many firms the IT budget is one of the company’s biggest expenses. Additionally, we are seeing is that CIOs are becoming very involved in setting and executing corporate strategy. Since IT is a part of every project that the company is currently undertaking, the CIO has become involved in every project. This means that CIOs are going to be spending more time with other C-level executives. Additionally, the CEO will probably also be requesting more and more of the CIO’s time.

Becoming an important part of the team that is running the company is a two-edged sword. Yes, it is good to be appreciated and it may even make it easier for you to get the funding that your IT department needs. However, because of your new-found importance your time is going to be requested by more and more people. In order to be a successful CIO, you are going to have make sure that you can manage your time so that you are able to get everything that you need to get done, done.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Department Leadership Skills™

Question For You: Do you think that CIOs need to limit the amount of time that they spend with the CEO?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Successful CIO Blog is updated.

P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Successful CIO Newsletter are now available. Learn what you need to know to do the job. Subscribe now: Click Here!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

General Electric (GE) is one big company. They employ over 310,000 people and so any changes that they make to how they choose to manage those people is obviously big news. The people who run GE understand the importance of information technology and have decided that they want to transform how their company operates in order to remain successful in an ever changing marketplace. What this means is that they have decided to make some big changes to how they are going to go about evaluating their employees. If GE is changing, then should he person with the CIO job also be changing?

{ 0 comments }

How Should A CIO Go About Hiring A Data Scientist?

August 9, 2017

I’m pretty sure that all of us CIOs would be more than willing to admit that because of the importance of information technology, we are currently being flooded with data. Most of us would say that we have too much data in our lives. We understand that it is part of what the person with […]

Read the full article →

Why Hope Is So Important To Being A Successful CIO

August 2, 2017

When we think about what it takes to make a CIO successful, what comes to your mind? Is it technical knowledge: clouds, network security, virtualization, etc.? Is it understanding the importance of information technology? Is it superior people management skills? I’m more than willing to agree that all of these are important things for the […]

Read the full article →

Are CIOs Ready To Enter The World Of 3D Printed Metal Objects?

July 26, 2017

Just in case you missed it, the world around us is changing. Although CIOs like to surround themselves with things like servers, software, clouds, and secure networks, we need to keep in mind that our company employs us for a reason. They understand the importance of information technology and they want us to help them […]

Read the full article →

What’s The Best Device For Your Workplace: Laptop, Tablet, Or Mobile Phone?

July 19, 2017

You know, it really was not all that long ago that when we got ready for work we just grabbed our lunch and headed out the door. We knew that when we got to work our desktop computer would be sitting there ready for us to start to use it. Over time things have changed. […]

Read the full article →

CIOs Need To Learn How To Transform Their Factory Into The Future

July 12, 2017

As the person with the CIO job, you spend a lot of your time thinking about importance of information technology which includes things like the cloud, securing the network, etc. However, the company that you work for is in business to do one thing – make money. They generally do this by running a factory […]

Read the full article →

GE Is Changing How They Evaluate Their Employees, Should You?

June 28, 2017

I’m pretty sure that we all know who General Electic (GE) is. The company has been around for 124 years and employees over 315,000 people. The company has made everything from toasters to railway locomotives to aircraft engines to nuclear power plants. They truly understand the importance of information technology. As impressive as all of […]

Read the full article →

A CIO’s Code Of Ethics For Managing Company Data

June 21, 2017

As the person with the CIO job, it turns out that you have a daily job in which you are the person who is responsible for keeping control over your company’s data. Not only do you have to make good decisions about who can get access to the company’s data, but you also have to […]

Read the full article →

How Can CIOs Help Their Staff To Better Understand Millennials?

June 14, 2017

As the person with the CIO job it is your responsibility to make sure that your direct reports are doing a good job of managing their staff. After all, collectively these are the people who make up your IT department and your ability to deliver on the importance of information technology depends on their abilities. […]

Read the full article →