General Electric Company – Washington, DC
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Doesn't RecommendNeutral OutlookDisapproves of CEO
- Work/Life Balance
- Career Opportunities
- Comp & Benefits
- Senior Management
I worked at GE full-time (More than 8 years)
Salaries are pretty reasonable. Employees are generally highly skilled, super intelligent and passionate about their work. Many of them are extremely helpful and kind towards new employees, it's an old boy network in many of the plants, but if that can be dealt with, they are super courteous, caring and friendly. Some upper management can be quite supportive, fair and kind. Benefits are about average for a US corporation, these days. Projects can be very interesting or not. There is a vast amount of online courses and knowledge sharing events, that are interesting and helpful for personal growth. The GE intranet is informative and insightful. There is some leeway for hourly employees, to dress extremely casual and as they please, within reason. Smoking has been eliminated from all the GE campuses, which is really nice. Some GE sites have onsite cafeterias, the food is marginal to really great, depends on the location. The cafeteria prices are pretty reasonable, still. The GE newsletters arrive pretty often and they have some good information, as well. The corporate plants are cleaned inside on a regular basis and the rest rooms, are quite clean, overall. Computers et al, are generally in good working order, although sometimes there is a long wait to get a working phone or pc, on one's desk as a new employee. Some GE plants have a onsite Health Clinic, which is staffed with medical personnel, also a nice feature. GE, as a corporation offers a Philanthropic Matching Gifts program, which is of great benefit to the philanthropic minded employee and for the associated charities. Matching gifts has a limit of 50k donation, per employee/annually. Very nice program! The staff who manage this program are super courteous and helpful. Overall, it's pretty fair in many ways. In-plant, secured parking is found at many GE campuses, which is nice as well. GE also provides additional outside corporate discounts, (i.e., Verizon, Apple, Moissonite products, etc.), which are also nice to use if one is inclined, to do so.
Challenges include very little work/life balance. Salaries are great coming in as a new employee, but then drop off within a year or two. Some of the work can be really boring and unchallenging. There is little connection or communication between upper management and the lower level staff. Hourly employees are not well respected or treated fairly, in many instances. In some GE plants, bullying and employee to employee harassment is overlooked and ignored. Then, in other plants, this type of juvenile atmosphere is NOT tolerated at all. Time Management demands are very high, meetings are overbooked and many are really a waste of time. Manager to employee, favoritism abounds in some GE plants and not in others. Many of the upper management employees portray themselves as honest and caring, when they are not, which can be hard to deal with. HR, is of little help when there is discord between employees. Nepotism, is common in some of the smaller GE plants. The HSA/FSA Health programs are very difficult to navigate, when GE was using BOA ( Bank of America) it was disastrous, just awful customer service and no real GE support or backing. The employees pretty much had to fend for themselves, with BOA. Leaving for vacations and time off can be challenging, since the level of employees and amount of employees has been so cut back, there are more and more demands on the current employees. Meeting attendance is often mandatory, with little regard for anything else, but the meeting attendance. Intra-plant philanthropy is expected. Participation in onsite "feel good" events is mandatory, health fairs, job fairs, etc. Smoking is NOT allowed, which can be a down side for smokers, although I think it's great! The respect level from upper management to lower management is almost non-existent. The "all for one" mentality is often hard to deal with, especially when it is mainly for the good of the CEO and the Board members. Little concern is spent on the hourly employees, overall. Back door agreements between managers prevail, at many GE sites. There can be a high level of infighting between management and lower employees, who just want to get their work done on time. There is a heavy level of regard placed on metrics. GE does metrics, all day, every day on everything. The cost of this, the cost of that, the cost of something else and in 10 different ways. Yet, the metrics are often disregarded if they do not pan out or demonstrate what has already been assumed by upper level management. GE is a highly time based organization, with a 1950's old boy network style of management, where nepotism and favorites often prevail. The implied ethics mentality also prevails, GE states over and over "That it is always the biggest Gorilla, in the room" and it can have its way, at all cost. This can be hard to swallow at times, especially when the employees have ethics pushed down their throats on a regular basis. Upper management often uses ethics as they see fit, and will bend the rules to their sway and advantages if necessary.
Advice to Management
Take a hard look at this once great corporation and bring it back on track. I wanted to work for GE ever since I was a little child, at the NY World's Fair and I achieved that goal. When I began at GE, I was so happy and proud to be there, but as time went on, the "bubble faded from the wine", and pretty quickly for me. I felt let down and disheartened, by the nepotism and the goings on at various GE plants. I felt that GE cared more about the bottom line than anything else. I saw cruelty perpetrated from employee to employee and from contractor to employee, with little control from HR or from the ethics committee. Many instances, employees (especially hourly) were treated really badly and no one said anything or made it stop. Employees, need and want respect, they work really hard and many put their whole hearts into their jobs, and that should be honoured and respected and it is not. The choosing of favourite employees over another is unfair and quite hurtful. I lost my own GE job, because of gossip, rumours directed at me and because of nepotism. HR was of little help to me, when I was in trouble due to rumours and gossip from an employee's contractor wife, it was a terrible experience and a terrible situation, where I had little recourse, but to leave. That was really painful to have worked so hard and so long for GE only to be tossed aside like an old rag, when the chips were down.