General Electric

The Challenge: GE selects 300 of its best young employees (ages 25 – 30) from around the world for a two-year on-the-job training program to stretch their skills and accelerate their careers. Yet they faced unprecedented attrition for this premier leadership training program due to the lure of internet startups and the demands of working halfway around the globe from their home bases. The HR head convinced GE management to regionalize this global program in order to reduce travel and increase time at home.

Our Findings: We found that while young leaders were annoyed by antiquated one-size-fits-all home-leave policies, they resonated very passionately with challenging opportunities in far-flung locations with colleagues from different backgrounds. Many yearned for better, more experienced managers and support in the program. When they were lured away from GE, they were taking on even greater challenges and workloads.

Our Strategy: Resonance gave employees a voice for these concerns, then initiated a new conversation about how to strengthen the program. The HR head canceled plans for regionalization, amended the home leave policies, upgraded training for project management and added real-time coaching.

The Results: After just 12 months, attrition dropped to nearly zero, and there was a substantial wait list to join the program. Effectiveness grew by every internal measure, as frontline managers gained new skills by real-time coaching. Our instrument gained Six Sigma certification from Crotonville’s “Black Belts” in GE’s exacting metric for quality.