- There were 23.8 million managers, first-line supervisors, and administrators in the American workforce in 2014.
- Managers/administrators made up 17.6% of the U.S. workforce and received nearly 30% of total compensation.
- This comes out to 1 manager/administrator for every 4.7 employees
- An analysis of well-run companies shows that it should easily be possible to double the manager/emplooyee ratio to 10:1 (freeing up 12.5 million workers to do something more productive)
- As much as 50% of all internal compliance activity is of questionable value. (eg. budgeting, performance review)
- Non-managerial workers spend 16% of their time on internal compliance. This translates to an annual waste of 8.9 million worker years, or 8.9 million workers.
In total then, there are 21.4 million workers (12.5m + 8.9m) creating little to no economic value in the U.S. In other words, current economic output could be maintained with 15% fewer people in the labor force.
Some interesting case studies:
- Its return on equity has surpassed that of its European peers every year since 1971.
- Consistently posted industry-beating cost-to-income and loan-loss ratios.
- In the organization of 12,000 associates, there are only three levels.
- Operating decisions are almost entirely decentralized (counter to conventional banking wisdom).
- Each branch makes its own loan decisions, sets its own pricing on loans and deposits, controls its own marketing budget, runs its own website (on a shared platform), and serves all customer segments — from individuals to multinationals — within its catchment area.
GE’s Durham plant
- more than 300 technicians and a single supervisor: the plant manager.
- more than twice as productive as its sister plants in GE Aviation.
The manager/employee ratio in these and other vanguard organizations is more than double the U.S. average.