Organization : General Electric Company Industry : Diversified Abstract: GE is one of the world’s leading conglomerates with operations spread across eleven businesses. It has been adjudged as one of the top companies for executive development in the world in recognition of its ability to nurture executive talent. It further explains how a strong learning culture was developed at GE through innovative programs like Work-Out.
It also details the various employee training and education initiatives undertaken at GE and examines how these initiatives helped in improving employee productivity and performance. The Work-Out Program that GE developed to train its employees created such an impact that later other companies began to approach GE to try and develop similar programs for their employees. GE businesses like GE Consumer and Industrial were certified by professional associations as authorized providers of education and training for their respective areas of expertise.
GE spent around $1 billion on in-house Training and Development (T&D) every year. In addition, GE invested over $38 million annually for reimbursement of tuition fees for employees who enrolled for outside degree programs. One of the factors that contributed to the company’s success was its ability to train and develop its multinational, diverse workforce in a successful manner. GE was one of the first companies to establish a management development center to train and develop its employees.
During the 1980s, this center put the company on a growth trajectory that very few corporations could match. It inspired many other renowned companies like Boeing Co. , Home Depot and Toyota Motors to model their training centers on the one at GE. As a result of decentralization, GE had more than 100 divisions where earlier there were just eight major units. A general manager was appointed for each division, to oversee the division’s overall working. As a result of the decentralized structure, the company faced another challenge.
The new breed of managers needed to be trained to enable them to handle their divisions successfully. Therefore, establishment of a corporate training center for GE executives became the logical next step. GE had started implementing on-line training way back in the year 1998.
While it was analyzing the return on investment for one of its courses at GE Aircraft Engineering, the company discovered that the three-day course cost the company $47 an hour in terms of productivity loss per customer and $1,500 for travel and living expenses incurred on participants who had to be flown in from various locations to GE Transportation’s Cincinnati headquarters.
The existing training facility also needed a revamp and was estimated to cost $4. 5 million. It was at this point that the company decided to implement an online course instead. • List out the different kinds of Training and development initiatives undertaken in a large conglomerate Explore the Leadership training and development programs in a highly diversified company Explore the e-learning initiatives at GE and examine its benefits and drawbacks • •