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Reeking Of Rank

In the 20th century (remember what it was like way back when?), “neutronJack Welch unabashedly, successfully, and transparently used a ranking system to catapult GE to the top of the financial world by ex-communicating the bottom 10% on a yearly(?) schedule.

When leadership teams make a corpo-wide policy change, they do so in a sincere attempt to improve some performance metric in the org without inflicting too much collateral damage. For example, take the above policy of “ranking” employees. Orgs that rank their employees may “assert” that rankings will increase engagement, morale, and let people “know where they stand” in relation to their peers.

That’s all fine and dandy as long as the ranking system applies equally to each and every level in the org – especially if it’s asserted to be a guaranteed slam dunk for increasing employee engagement . Hell, if it’s a no-brainer, then why exclude the supervisor, manager, director, and C-level layers? After all they’re “employees” too, no?

I wonder if #1 Jack Welch ranked his direct reports and gracefully escorted his bottom 10% out the door every year?

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