In yesterday’s post I “bitched” about classmates who are late or fall asleep in class. Today we attended a conference room style meeting with one of the big bosses. It was about introducing ourselves, telling her a little bit about ourselves and then her telling us about her and how she made it to where she is. She drew a diagram similar to the one below.
Jack Welch, Chairman and CEO of General Electric from 1981 to 2001, described four categories of managers in General Electric’s year 2000 annual report.
Type 1: shares our values; makes the numbers — sky’s the limit!
Type 2: shares the values; misses the numbers — typically, another chance, or two.
Type 3: doesn’t share the values; doesn’t make the numbers — gone.
Type 4 is the toughest call of all: the manager who doesn’t share the values, but delivers the numbers. This type is the toughest to part with because organizations always want to deliver and to let someone go who gets the job done is yet another unnatural act. But we have to remove these Type 4s because they have the power, by themselves, to destroy the open, informal, trust-based culture we need to win today and tomorrow.
She gave credit to GE and it’s Chairman/CEO at the time. Her chart differed a little but had the same message. Here’s the chart she drew:
- These people are the worst of the worst. The company doesn’t want these people. Culture/values of someone’s character are pretty much defined by age 17. While they may be high performers it’s probably achieved unfairly and puts the company at risk.
- These people are awesome and often become leaders.
- These people can learn. They’re trainable. Retainable.
- These people will have to go too.
She spoke a lot about the type 1’s. These people short cut and may be dishonest. They break rules and feel they should get away with a lot because they have good sales. I’ve worked with these types. There was always that service advisor that was top in sales but constantly short-cutted and very often was caught lying. Management turned the other cheek. I HATED THAT.
Today, we were told that kind of behavior is unacceptable. She talked a lot about being late to work, back from lunches, interrupting one another, not helping one another, etc, etc have negative impacts. I’m 40 years old. It seemed infantile that we’d even need to have this kind of discussion. People just can’t follow the rules.
We were told on day 1 of training not to have cell phones on the desks. We were told when we didn’t need the computer we’d be told to “lock it” and this was important to make sure we’re paying attention to the trainer. Leaders will come into the class from time to time and look for this. I can’t tell you how many people have their cell phones on their desk ALL the time and occasionally text during class not knowing who can see them from behind. It’s like they don’t care. I see people typing away at their computer while our trainer is teaching. It’s all been noticed. They need bitch slapping.
Based on this afternoon’s “presentation”, management doesn’t feel low-culture employees are desirable or retainable. I think there might be a reduction in our team shortly after we get on the floor.