The President, John Mack, started to initiate change with his “One-Firm Firm” strategy and mission which essentially started to integrate vertically and horizontally divisions across the company. The basis was to incentivize and motivate junior level employees to believe in their own long-term career with the company and become part of the family; Morgan Stanley didn’t need to be a 3-5 year career stop/resume builder, but rather a firm to grow within personally and professionally. While this message was built across the firm, there are a variety of measures Mack needs to also initiate to engrain the practical implications of it into Morgan Stanley employees.
First, Mack can establish professional development and training initiatives, especially for junior level associates that showed tremendous promise in management, leadership and commercial skills. Second, a clear path forward needs to be presented to new employees, showing them that delivering exceptional results would not only lead to compensation bonuses but also new opportunities within the firm. More than money motivated the new workforce, and these opportunities would create an incentive to invest into the firm’s long-term vision. Finally, Mack can initiate a forced ranking system, spurring competition across the firm. In the financial sector, competition externally can be cutthroat, and planting the same attitude internally will better position the workforce for winning clients and contracts. Morgan Stanley needs competitors, winners and strong individuals; a forced ranking system that made employees realize their jobs could be on the line if they do not deliver was appropriate for the discipline the firm sought.
The new 360 system is a step in the right direction but needs tremendous development and revision in order to deliver the results that Mack is seeking. The primary shortcoming of the system is that employees choose those who evaluate them, and ultimately the results are limited by an individual’s personal emotions that may prevent truthful, honest feedback and criticism. This sort of feedback should not be something a manager is fearful of providing; in fact most employees in the 90’s generation workforce would prefer to know what it will take for them to grow instead of continuing to receive the sugar coated appraisal reviews. The overall process in the 360 program is overwhelming for the employee; in the end the appraisal system should seamlessly integrate into the employees routines in order to get the most truthful results.
The content that is evaluated in the 360 program is, as mentioned previously, a step in the right direction but does not dive deep enough to provide an employee with the feedback necessary for true growth to occur. Without a doubt there will be employees that take offense to criticism. However, the most positive results of the program will come from employees that receive and accept feedback, negative and positive, and are able to use that to grow.