One of the most important aspects of GM’s transformation is the motivating of its employees who have been through a very rough period of uncertainty, constant changes of management, major cutbacks and the press all over the world criticizing the bailout and forecasting further downsizing. The goal is to retain the best talent because those people are the ones who are going to leave first when the future of the company is at stake.
To work towards this goal, managers should be able to motivate their employees using various types of incentives (financials and non financial) but this is not enough. It is crucial that the employees feel emotionally tied to the company and its culture. Moving forward to actions that need to be implemented, the managers setting of goals for their employees should be a result of discussion between the two parties at least once per 6 months or one year.
This implies that employees will feel like their goals are more realistic and adapted to their own vision of how their dream job would be and by setting smart objectives together and reviewing them on a yearly basis, every employee will have a sense of accomplishment and a relief from
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To develop more this idea, the executives should be closer to the lower levels of hierarchy so that the people feel that their needs are addressed and It would be a good idea to get feedback from each manager (maybe every 6 months) on the issues of employees and to address them individually, especially supporting the underperforming and acknowledging the work of the over performing with personal letters or meetings.
Another important aspect of the motivating procedure is communication and reducing of uncertainty. The high executives should communicate the good results on a frequent basis as was said before but it is crucial that the bad results or any kind of issues (as long as it is not sensitive information) are communicated as well so that employees don’t learn about their company’s problems from the news. For that to happen, an action could be that every manager should make short presentation of the state of the company and the contribution of their division at least once every 6 months so as to enhance the feeling of achievement and the team spirit. Finally, team building activities at least once or twice a week should be set throughout the whole company to convey a more ‘family’ culture and for the team to get to know each other and create strong relationships between each other and GM as a whole.
To survive within this fierce competition, GM definitely has to find new insights to increase its market shares. This means that, it needs to be efficient on every market it is implementing on. Nowadays, the new flows of innovative ideas come from the market and not necessarily from the company itself. By working along with local suppliers, GM will be able to detect the current top trends on the automobile industries for every area.
External sourcing is extremely important. Innovation has to stem from market research and not only from the likes of engineers and researchers. This enables the new models and innovations to be more suitable to the public and it speeds up the procedure of decision making for the engineers since the market dictates them what to do. Success of an innovation should be judged on its applicability and market appeal. These flows of ideas could be then exchanged if very successful to be applied on similar structured markets. This is called efficient and intelligent knowledge management. There should be a significant change within the organization by turning from brand- based to region-based innovative activities.
Moreover, to talk a bit about GM brands portfolio, focus should be on even fewer models, but more distinct. These cars should be very different from each other so that people could not compare two cars from two different manufacturers which look a lot alike but priced differently. They should definitely consider centralizing the innovation efforts and figure out what is the main competitive advantage of each brand and focus on it and enhance it. Innovation has to respond to market needs: they should have strong link with marketing and/or market research & universities to analyze the future needs of consumers. Change from inwards focus to focus on the market are to be set up by leading continuous market surveys to find out what people want and goals of each department should be market oriented.