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What's ahead? The opportunity to making positive and meaningful change in our world. But we can’t do it alone. Here are ways you can help us increase our impact.

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GM People At-A-Glance

GM People

Building a culture to win by living our Purpose and Values

  • Employee engagement has increased 50 percent since the first survey in 2012 that measured global engagement for employees of all levels and in every country.
  • Continued to shape the employee engagement survey process in order to garner meaningful learnings about how engagement is progressing around the world.
  • Expanded the employee engagement survey for 2016 to include global hourly employees for the first time to have a comprehensive view of our workforce.
  • Executed a workplace safety management system that includes performance and technical standards and a comprehensive global internal communications strategy.
  • Focus on populations with the most significant gaps in engagement.
  • Provide best-in-class career development tools and resources.
  • Focus on global leadership development through behavioral change.
  • Continue to realize improvements across all five workplace safety key performance indicators.
  • Managing the expectations and unique perspectives of four generations in the workplace.
  • Continuing to address the career development needs of loyal (tenured) employees with as much mindful intent as new hires.
  • Focusing on expanding the idea that ‘culture is how we act and behave’ so that GM’s Purpose and Values are personal to employees not just propaganda on company walls.


In order to stay competitive and relevant as a company, our global workforce must:

  • Embrace rapid change as part of our efforts to put the customer at the center of everything we do.
  • Adopt behaviors that demonstrate an individual commitment to live our GM Values.
  • Build relationships before we need them.
  • Increase the level of accountability at every level of the organization.

As these personal and professional shifts occur, we will be creating a workplace of choice as well – one that attracts and retains the industry’s best talent by creating ongoing opportunity for individual growth and development.

We emphasize positive leadership behaviors throughout our organization, including accountability, candor and performing with excellence. We encourage employees to look past their own roles to see the possibilities that lie beyond horizons and around corners. Though some may read this as rhetoric, there is an internal commitment at GM today to prove any critic wrong and to create an authentic movement toward transparency and trust.

GM employee installs wheels and tires on a pre-production 2016 Chevrolet Camaro for testing.

Employee Engagement

The vision of GM’s employee engagement strategy is simple: Generate a positive work environment to drive long-term success by creating a place where employees feel inspired to do their best work and feel valued for doing it.

We strive every day to engage our employees in a meaningful way, so that we may further instill our Purpose and Values into our global workforce. We know that top talent is attracted to companies that are recognized externally for being among the best or most admired in the world. What employees say, why they choose to stay and whether they choose to give their best at work is a unique formula that is part personal and part professional.

Today, we are building our corporate culture by giving GM employees five things they need, not only as employees, but also as unique individuals:

  • To be valued and to do valuable work.
  • To make their time count rather than to be counted.
  • To know that their leaders know how much effort their work takes.
  • To know what skills will keep them in critical roles or what roles are giving them critical skills.
  • To be provided with the truth behind business decisions and strategy rather than protection from change.

Our objective is to create a workplace of choice built on dimensions that are consistently demonstrated by best-in-class companies: teamwork, fairness, trust, growth, commitment, recognition and impact.

Appropriately, we measure employee engagement through our Global Workplace of Choice Survey – a name that signals our recognition that employees have a choice about where they work. The 2016 employee engagement survey conducted in April continues to validate that employees perceive the internal culture at GM is improving. 2016 is the year GM expanded the scope to include its global hourly workforce. For the first time leaders and employees could view the survey results as a true enterprise and were excited to learn that as a whole, GM experienced a significant increase in engagement from its last survey in 2014. Employee perception of the company and pride in work is on the rise.

This survey process itself is one of continuous improvement. Given that GM surpassed the global employer average for engagement in 2014, our focus in 2015 was on how to close the gap between above average and best-in-class. We also decided to expand the survey to include our global hourly employees, who make up approximately two-thirds of our workforce and are closest to our products on a day-to-day basis. This expansion also is important symbolically as it signals that we are eliminating “silos” between our salaried and hourly populations – a criticism of GM in the past.

By deciding to include the hourly workforce in our engagement survey, we have taken on the logistical challenge of ensuring that every employee, regardless of location or role, can participate. For this reason, we elected to postpone the survey until the spring of 2016 to better allow our locations with large hourly populations to prepare. The survey timing also is in thoughtful consideration of global and world religious holidays.

This shift in our survey strategy demonstrates how we are working toward living our core value that “relationships matter,” by placing greater value on our employees’ input at all levels. We anticipate that gathering feedback that is more representative of our global workforce will provide critical insights to improve our business and workplace in the years ahead.

An employee in the Body Shop of GM’s manufacturing plant in Rayong, Thailand, takes precise digital measurements of a Chevrolet Captiva’s supportive structure to ensure the body parts are accurately assembled.

Innovative Engagement Programming

With a focus on global leadership development this year, we have expanded our Leadership Compass program beyond management, to include leaders at all levels. This award-winning program helps leaders learn the importance of our Purpose and Values and receive the tools they need to integrate that culture into their own teams.

Senior leadership and our top 300 leaders challenged themselves and their peers to recognize and reward employees for “living the GM behaviors.” During 2015, we institutionalized this concept by requiring, for the first time, midyear performance conversations between leaders and their employees. These reviews include a conversation about how employees’ roles and individual efforts are perceived in terms of GM behaviors, not just technical expertise.

GM2020 is another great example of the impact collaborative and transparent programs are having on employees from all levels and functions. This workplace initiative allows cross-functional employees to come together to reimagine the way we work at GM. The year 2020 marks a significant milestone in GM’s history as a company – it will be 10 years since the most recent IPO. As such, it is also a significant time to reflect on our cultural transformation.

In 2015, our GM2020: Engage New Possibilities event brought 200 employees together to envision new possibilities for making GM a better place to work. The participants were asked to consider: What if the company you worked for was a community you had to get involved in, instead of just a place to work? Each participant left with a new network, renewed faith in their ability to make change, as well as innovation tools and techniques to use with their teams. We challenged each participant to become an agent of change by thinking big, starting small and scaling fast. Employees also participated in a community service activity with a local Detroit school as part of the event. At the end of the year, all participants in the movement were invited to bring their leaders and teammates to a Living Museum, which showcased dozens of examples of the tangible impact employees are having across the company.

Other engagement activities during the year included:

  • CO: LAB Series, 24-hour, fast-paced, collaborative sessions where groups of 30 to 70 employees are challenged to solve specific business issues. In 2015, we hosted four new CO:LABs focused on workspace, the design innovation process, vehicle accessories and creative storage solutions for SUVs.
  • Catalyst Camp was created to give employees the proper tools to make change. Participants dove more deeply into design thinking and the principles of human-centered design.
  • TED Talk Tuesdays were established as an opportunity for employees to learn something new and connect across the organization. These “Lunch and Learns” take place every other week, in various locations across the company.
  • Five new Global Engagement Webinars were produced on the DNA of Engagement, 25 Years of Engagement in 25 Minutes, Global Engagement Trends and Engaging Millennials. Each webinar saw more than 2,500 views and had over 200 live participants.

Workplace & Employer Awards

  • GM Australia was a finalist of the Australian Human Resources Institute’s Workplace Change Award.
  • GM Canada was recognized as a “Top 100 Employer” for 2015 by MediaCorp Canada Inc., for the fifth consecutive year.
  • GM China was recognized as one of China’s Top Employers by the Top Employer Institute.
  • GM China recently received an award from the Shanghai Municipal Police Headquarters for excellence in security management.
  • GM Korea won the Grand Prize in the Global Contribution category of the 2015 Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
  • GM Mexico ranked No. 7 in the “Top Ten Super Companies” by Expansion magazine, for the third consecutive year, a ranking that assesses climate and organizational culture.


  • GM Mexico was awarded the Socially Responsible Company (ESR) Certification by the Mexican Center for Philanthropy (CEMEFI) and the Alliance for Corporate Social Responsibility in Mexico (AliaRSE).
  • GM U.S. was given the silver “Collaboration” Learning in Practice award by Chief Learning Officer magazine for its global collaboration between leaders, HR teams, functions, regions and employees on career development initiatives.
  • Vauxhall was rated in the “Top 60 Employers” by, which identifies employers most popular among young people leaving school in the U.K. who were part of an apprenticeship.
  • Vauxhall was named one of Britain’s Top Employers by the Top Employers Institute for the fifth year in a row.
  • GM Egypt was named “Best Place to Work for Women” by AmCham MENA Regional Council.

Employees at the GM Customer Engagement Center in Warren, Michigan

Career Development

Attracting and retaining the world’s best and brightest people – both within and beyond the automotive industry – is one of our biggest priorities and essential to winning in a competitive marketplace.

OnStar employees in Shanghai, China

We continue to increase the amount and variety of career resources available to help employees grow their careers within GM. Career development remains one of the top concerns for our employees around the world. Formal performance management and individual tools for employees to use on their own are helping us address employee engagement, retention and development.

Based on our 2014 survey feedback, we know that employees desire more experiences and exposure during their GM career, including opportunities to discuss their career interests with others. To this end, our 2015 global career development strategy focused around:

  • Growing early-career functional rotational programs.
  • Providing rotational and lateral experiences to mid- and late-career employees.
  • Launching global mentoring resources.
  • Working as one company to offer employees career guidance in a variety of delivery methods.

This strategy continued to evolve in 2015 as we conducted ongoing conversations with all five global regions and functional human resource teams throughout the year.

Career Development Resources

We integrate the company’s Purpose and Values throughout existing and new career development learning resources for employees. In 2015, we linked three critical components of career success – resume, networking and personal brand – to our Values of customers, relationships and excellence, so that employees better understand the impact our Values have on their careers. We also mapped many of our online learning resources to each of the Values to help employees better understand and embrace the Values. All career development communications reinforce our Purpose and Values and involve input and execution from global regions and functions. In addition, our new quarterly, global Career Matters eMagazine for employees includes career articles that directly link our Purpose and Values to career topics and include messages from both employees and leaders.


Career presentations, facilitated by GM leaders and HR professionals throughout 2015 at functional career days, global webinars, leadership discussion panels and more, reinforce the connection between GM’s core values and career success. For instance, during our monthly new-hire orientation day event, Starting Line, a member of our Executive Leadership Team visits with new hires about our workplace vision. At functional Career Days, leaders share their career stories and advice for growing a career at GM. These “Career Talk” panel discussions draw standing room only crowds and are growing in popularity at functional and global GM Career Day events.

In 2015, we worked to enhance our Technical Rotation and Career Knowledge (TRACK) early career rotational development program and launched the program’s first cross-functional TRACK Learning Summit, which received favorable feedback from attendees. We also launched our first enterprise self-service mentoring learning resources for employees and began piloting a mentor-matching technology tool with a small pilot group of cross-functional employees.

GM’s Career Days remain our most popular Career Development Month activity, with presentations that encourage career growth and provide transparency around our talent development and human resource processes. The inclusion of onsite job fairs during the Career Days allows employees to build relationships with leaders within their business function and learn more about other functional teams.

We also created a new online gamification component, Career Development Month Quest, where employees find hidden badges in our online career resources to win prizes, while learning about career development in a fun, competitive way. Our global Career Development website continues to provide resources that help employees build awareness to proactively manage and grow their careers, with the support and engagement they need from their leaders.

This year we observed that employees tend to participate more in onsite career presentations and events as opposed to virtual webinars and online learning. Accordingly, we plan to expand onsite career activities in 2016. As part of our effort to continuously evolve and update programming, GM will reevaluate current career development resources and use feedback from the upcoming 2016 survey to enhance our global offerings.

We continue to increase the number of resources available to employees for career development.

We continue to increase the number of resources available to employees for career development.

We continue to increase the number of resources available to employees for career development.

Global Career Development

Career development is a priority for GM around the world, and a variety of programs are implemented at the country level, geared to the unique needs of local employees.

In South America, we offered a talent fair for accelerated career development that focused specifically on GM women, as well as monthly employee activities centered on professional and personal development subjects such as design thinking, happiness and courage.

In the U.K., Vauxhall was one of a number of the U.K.’s leading businesses that signed up to deliver new and improved apprenticeships, as well as thousands of new youth vocational training schemes. We also continued the U.K. INSPIRE Leadership Development program, with more than 256 executives having been through the course that focuses on leadership qualities, inspiring communication, customer experience, raising the performance of teams and managing conflict.

In India, we improved leadership development by introducing four mandatory trainings to better transition new people into leadership roles. We also executed a Business Simulation workshop, Strategic Field Leadership Program, Extraordinary Leadership Coaching and HIPOT Development Mentoring Program, each designed to develop competencies and equip participants with an understanding of the essential skills that will drive their personal career growth.

In South Korea, we wanted to break down employee group silos, so we held sessions focused on each function that were open to anyone in the organization to learn more about other parts of the business and future career opportunities. In addition, we hosted Group Mentoring and services through our Career Consulting Center.

In North Africa, we created our “Find, Grow, Keep Women in GM” classroom training program for high-potential women. Over a six-month period, women participating received eight days of personal and professional development, to bolster their future career success.

In Mexico, we continued our annual offsite team training and development for each function, as well as focus groups for every site. More than 200 employees participated in different initiatives promoting career development during Career Development Month, and 100 employees were assisted through our Mentoring Program where they are paired up with company leaders.

An employee in the General Assembly shop at GM’s Rayong, Thailand, manufacturing plant during engine installation.

Global Safety & Industrial Hygiene

The safety of our employees, contractors, suppliers and all who visit our global locations is paramount, and we are committed to industry leadership in the field of global workplace safety and industrial hygiene.

We recognize that efforts to provide safe workplaces can always be improved, which is why we continued the process of transforming the safety culture at GM sites around the world.

Our efforts in 2015 continued to build toward the new vision we established a year ago: Live values that return people home safely. Every person. Every site. Every day. The five strategies to help us achieve this vision are:

  • Implement fatality prevention to drive and sustain ZERO fatalities.
  • Sustain a Safety Management System to assure compliance with regulations and conformance to GM standards.
  • Drive risk mitigation.
  • Leverage personal accountability and safety branding to transform our safety culture.
  • Utilize continuous improvement tools and technology to eliminate waste and drive business value.

Since launching this new vision and strategy, we have also put internal branding and marketing activities in place that elevate workplace safety to a personal level of “It’s Personal” for each person who enters a GM property.

Setting Priorities

Each year, we host a global meeting with safety and industrial hygiene leaders. Each region submits the priorities that it thinks will continue our journey to reach our vision in the coming year. Priorities are voted on, action plans are formed and then incorporated into the Method Execution Plan, a tool in our Global Manufacturing System used to track and execute our goals. In addition, these priorities are in our Global Safety and Industrial Hygiene Playbook. The priorities we identified for 2015 to be carried out at more than 200 locations across the globe included:

  • Conduct Safety Management System and performance standard self-assessments and develop a 2015-2016 gap closure plan.
  • Implement and launch the Management of Change (MOC) performance standard.
  • Implement the safety contract (construction, service provider, spot buy and production) management performance standard.
  • Develop reliance modules, including incident reporting and self-assessment.
  • Execute the Global Safety and Industrial Hygiene internal communications and awareness strategy.
  • Perform industrial hygiene exposure assessments (chemical and physical agents) and implement corrective action plans.

In 2015, significant progress was made in each of these priority areas. We commenced the execution of our Safety Management System, resulting in the development of 20 performance standards and eight technical standards that address our highest risk areas. We successfully implemented our internal workplace safety communications strategy, management of change, and safety contract management performance standards. We anticipate that we will begin seeing tangible results from these new and improved standards in the latter part of 2016.

Occupational physicians in South America driving GM employee’s health.

A Vauxhall General Assembly employee works on the final engine dress at Ellesmere Port, England.

Tracking Against our Key Performance Indicators

In 2015, we tracked well against all five of our Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) with the exception of fatalities, which we consider to be our most important KPI.

  • Fatalities – Our target is zero, so that every person who enters a GM facility leaves safely and unharmed. In 2015, we had one fatality.
  • A Sentinel Event – An injury, property damage, near-miss or unsafe act or condition that could have led to a fatality. Our goal is to prevent the recurrence of these events or risks. In 2015, we reported over 2,200 sentinel events, and our closure rate was 98 percent, with plans in place to close any open items. This KPI is critical to our fatality elimination efforts, as every sentinel event identified and corrected is a potential life saved.
  • Global Calls to Action – A global call to action is triggered by: a fatality, a sentinel event resulting in hospital admission or a permanently disabling injury. A global call to action requires a facility to evaluate its operations based on the root causes identified in the event, develop a corrective action plan and close each action. We had 14 global calls to action and our closure rate was 98 percent with a plan to close any items.
  • Sentinel Event – Proactive – We can learn from sentinel events and better predict where the next injury, property damage or near-miss event with fatality potential will occur so that we can eliminate those hazards. In 2015, while this KPI did not have a target, we determined that 57 percent of our sentinel events were proactive, meaning no one was hurt and no property damage occurred in these events.
  • Total Incident Rate – The number of recordable and nonrecordable injuries and illnesses per 100 full-time employees and contractors per year. This helps to identify hazards, eliminate risks and drive reporting for all incidents so that we can learn and assess areas for improvement. We will not publicly report on this KPI until an internal review is complete.

In 2016, we plan to add Permanent Disabling Injuries as a KPI.

Global Workplace Safety

We encourage each of our sites across the globe to participate in Global Safety Week, in whatever way is most appropriate to their local safety awareness needs. For example, in China, our SGMW Qingdao safety department led several safety workshops, trainings, quizzes and contests throughout the week, including a safe driving and traffic accident emergency response training, as well as a dry-powder fire extinguisher drill. We also produced multiple animated safety videos that were shared with our global workforce.

We recently developed a five-year LEARNING strategy that includes using our new video technology to produce videos on 20 different safety topics. We plan to produce five videos per year starting in 2016. We are also extending our internal safety communications strategy, as well as our safety branding and tag line: It’s Personal . . . Own It! GM is on the cutting edge with how this internal marketing will be used to drive employee accountability by impacting individual decision-making when beginning an activity in the workplace.

Arlington Assembly Plant

Labor Relations

We respect our employees’ right to freedom of association in all countries and comply with our obligations to satisfy all local labor laws and regulations.

GM works with about 40 unions globally, representing approximately 96 percent of our global manufacturing workforce. GM’s relationships with labor unions are generally healthy and stable business partnerships. In many instances, we have worked collaboratively with our union partners to realize significant increases in performance.

During 2015, GM became a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), which calls upon companies to align their strategies and operations with universal principles on such matters as labor, human rights, the environment and anti-corruption. By signing the UNGC, GM agrees to uphold 10 principles derived from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labour Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development and the United Nations Convention Against Corruption. GM’s participation in the UNGC underscores our confidence that we are operating in a consistent manner around the world to ensure the proper treatment of all employees.

The way we manage labor relations is evolving as the nature of unions and the interaction among them evolve around the world. We are increasingly working to share best practices and solutions among regions. As an example, our labor experts from our developed markets often mentor and advise labor personnel in emerging markets.

Global Engagement

Culture change happens locally and then scales globally. Therefore, we rely on our employees to champion efforts that support engagement and innovation throughout the company. They are shifting our workplace culture in a way that is bringing tangible change to every level of the organization. Success stories from around the globe in 2015 (click on pins below) showed how we are performing on our promise to build an engaging culture with a desire to win in the marketplace and in the hearts of customers.