General Motors announced in November of 2018 that it is downsizing and laying off 14,000 workers. GM is the company that accepted the bailout money from the government in 2008, along with Chrysler and Ford. According to this article, Ford didn’t really need the bailout money since they had properly adjusted their costs before the economic downturn. But, they wanted to be included to remain competitive.
Today, GM is scrambling to make changes while Ford announced in January, 2018, that they were planning to pay their employees $7,600 in profit sharing, $100 more than the year before, despite lower profits in 2018.
To sum it up, GM misread the market, their union and employees and are forced to go through drastic measures to catch up by redirecting their efforts into manufacturing electric cars. Already, they are trying to move their manufacturing out of the U.S.
On the other hand, Ford continues to be profitable right now because they had a close ear to their customers, employees, and their union all along.
What’s my point? Even the biggest companies realize eventually that their gold is in relationships. So, what can you and your company do right now to be more like Ford?
- Get close to the people you serve starting with your employees.
- Encourage your employees to get close to your customers and listen.
- Develop your relationship with today’s culture, including political and economic trends.
Predicting what will happen to General Motors and their new direction is a difficult challenge. Will they make this move and then go back to their old ways? Time will tell. The only thing you can truly control is your own focus. Follow those three steps mentioned above and be ready for what will surely be eye opening information as to what you need to produce and how to produce it.