GE’s business is fundamentally about people: our employees, our customers, our investors, our suppliers and the members of the communities where we live and operate. GE is a “We Company,” not a “Me Company.” We want people who listen more than they talk; leaders who build teams. We rely on skilled, motivated and empowered people to support our business success. We create solutions to some of the world’s toughest problems by working collaboratively. We recognize that maintaining deep, long-term relationships with all of our partners is a competitive advantage for us, and we continually work to align our Citizenship strategy and business priorities to support those relationships.
At the same time, these relationships are profoundly influenced by significant global trends, including globalization and growing interconnectedness; a rising middle class; and increasing youth populations who face uneven opportunities. One of our goals in Citizenship is to help our Company and our partners understand and address these trends.
GLOBALIZATION AND INTERCONNECTEDNESS
Some of the most profound changes affecting GE and the people we engage with come from increasing linkages in the global economy and the ability of individuals, businesses and others to share information around the world. Rapid economic changes and readily available information strengthen both the need and the ability to understand and engage with others.
Because of these linkages, a strong understanding of global cultures and geographic distinctions is critical to a multinational business. GE recognizes that customers and others are important collaborators in addressing these differences, particularly in the product-development cycle. A deep understanding of customer needs is critical to the most effective partnerships, particularly since our customers’ success complements our own. To this end, GE invites customers into the product-development process through global summits, cross-regional learning and rigorous product-impact evaluations, and we engage deeply with our other stakeholders. We are committed to strengthening these bonds and empowering each other to meet business, environmental and social needs. Whether GE is measuring our products’ impact on customers or convening a global summit to facilitate cross-regional learning and networking, the Company is committed to strengthening our bond with customers and growing our mutual accomplishments.
THE RISE OF THE MIDDLE CLASS
A burgeoning middle class around the world, and especially in developing economies, is rapidly changing expectations related to employment and quality of life. At GE, we see a multitude of opportunities to meet these expectations and drive GE’s global business.
In particular, we see opportunities to provide desirable work by hiring and retaining superior local talent in the global competition for a qualified workforce. Our people drive the growth of our businesses and strengthen our leadership position in the marketplace. While our employees number about 300,000—with more than half located outside the U.S.—quality is always a more important measure than quantity, and we need to maintain a positive environment for all of our employees to keep quality at its highest level.
YOUTH AND EMPLOYABILITY
As developing countries continue to drive global growth, increasing populations of young people look to businesses to provide much-needed opportunities to build careers, to support local communities, and to contribute to the local economy. At the same time, wealth, especially in developing countries, is neither uniformly distributed nor easily accumulated. GE understands that a growing youth population represents a strategic pool of future talent, and we can support opportunities to earn a livable income.
GE’s commitment to employee development is built on our strong, inclusive culture of collaboration, experiential learning and meritocracy. Training and developing employees are critical business drivers that lead to a high-performing environment. As GE continues to embrace growth in many parts of the world, we believe we have a role to play in supporting the education of the workforce of the future. Giving students access to quality education gives them powerful tools and enables them to fulfill their potential. Through a combination of grant funding, skills-based volunteerism and employee contributions, GE continues to support educational needs around the world.