To be successful as a Digital Industrial company, we must have a culture of simplification. We must adopt behaviors that allow us to work faster and be more agile and customer-focused. Employee feedback is critical as we continue to work together on our culture. In fact, some of our best work to be simpler and faster — FastWorks, the GE Beliefs, and Performance Development — has come about as a result of employee input. We are making progress, but we can do more.

In 2016, GE’s senior leaders, including our Chairman, Jeff Immelt, met with promising young GE leaders from around the world to discuss culture issues. The senior leaders met with these culture advisory groups on a regular basis so they could better appreciate GE through these young leaders’ eyes. Jeff Immelt invited his culture advisory group to answer three questions — “What does our GE do?”, “How should GE work?” and “Why not us?” The group’s answers to these questions can be found in GE’s 2015 Annual Report here.

We also said goodbye to the old GE opinion survey (GEOS) and introduced the Culture Compass to get more real-time feedback from employees on how we are doing on changing our culture. The Culture Compass is:

  • Simpler. We prioritized what we needed to know from employees to ensure that we are driving a culture of simplification. We focused on meaningful topics (e.g., customer success, speed, agility, empowerment, horizontal connection, constructive conflict) and reduced the number of questions to 10.
  • More transparent. Employees have access to the results — un-filtered and un-sanitized. Employees and leaders see results together, at the same time.
  • Faster. We collect feedback from employees for one week. After the questions are answered, results are available immediately. No more waiting.
  • More frequent. We solicited employee feedback twice in 2016, in July and again in November.
  • Personal. All employees, not leadership, own the results and the actions. Employees are empowered to draw their own conclusions and take action based on what will produce the best results for their customers (versus waiting for someone to tell them what needs to change).

Culture Compass Results
Some key findings of the Company-wide survey revealed:

  • Our best scores were in areas related to:
    • Acting with the speed our customers demand
    • Being empowered to make decisions
    • Actively debating issues to identify the best path forward
  • Our biggest opportunities were in areas related to:
    • Stopping work that is not creating value
    • Having IT tools that make it easier to get work done
    • The speed of horizontal decisions
  • We must continue our efforts and accelerate GE’s transformation into a faster, more agile and more customer-focused company.