The hiring and retention of top talent is always a strategic priority and, increasingly, a challenging one. The current strong economy and heated job market mean that the best-qualified candidates are likely entertaining multiple job options. In addition, our increasing focus on technologies such as connectivity, autonomous and artificial intelligence, to name a few, requires us to compete not only against other automotive companies but leading companies from the technology sector, as well. We are competing effectively, as evidenced by our hiring an employee for a STEM position every 26 minutes, on average.
Our recruitment efforts are often the responsibility of internal talent acquisition teams, who we believe are best able to convey GM’s strengths and stories in a personal, engaging way. We reach out to prospective employees via social media, and bring our purpose to life with the Made for More Employee Value Proposition.
Benefits that help new hires balance their jobs with other aspects of their lives increase GM’s appeal. For example, our paid parental leave applies to all U.S. salaried employees, offering mothers, fathers and adoptive parents two weeks of paid leave in addition to the six to eight weeks allowed for birth mothers. We also are the only automaker to partner with SoFi to help eligible U.S. employees refinance their student loans. In addition, the Take 2 internship program for parents, caregivers and/or trailing spouses with backgrounds in engineering, manufacturing and other technical areas provides a valuable reentry point for individuals who have spent time out of the job market.
Our ability to meet the needs and expectations of an increasingly diverse and global customer base is tied closely to diversity and inclusiveness within our teams.
Career development remains one of the top concerns for our employees around the world. We continue to increase the number and variety of career resources available to help employees grow their careers within GM. Formal performance management and individual tools for employees to use on their own are helping us address employee retention and development. Offering competitive benefits and promoting work-life balance further allows us to retain employees and enables the greatest possible returns on our investments in talent.
Our development process is available to employees at all levels, from new hires to senior executives. Crucially, this process is not prescriptive. We provide guidance and offer diverse opportunities, while encouraging employees to build skills and gain experiences that interest them most. We offer programs in partnership with academic institutions such as Harvard, Stanford and the University of Michigan. These programs bring new perspectives on matters such as creativity and design thinking that are preparing employees for emerging trends in our industry. GM-specific programs like JumpStart for new hires and Crucial Conversations for people leaders remain popular and effective, building both on-the-job competencies and coaching on skills like communication and trust.
GM’s approach to employee engagement 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. The GM Recognition program endeavors to make appreciation for others a part of employees’ daily routines, using an online platform that allows employees to say thank you to their peers and leaders to provide rewards for outstanding work.
We know that top talent is attracted to companies that are recognized externally for being among the best or most admired in the world. Today, we are strengthening our corporate culture by giving GM employees five things they need, not only as employees, but also as individuals:
GM provides opportunities to do meaningful and challenging work.
By giving all people an opportunity to succeed, we are building a stronger company.
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. We measure engagement through our global Workplace of Choice survey, which includes both salaried and hourly workers. Results from our most recent survey, conducted in spring 2018, revealed that employee engagement is at an all-time high and above global averages.
An integral part of GM’s mission to build a workplace of choice is creating an inclusive culture that welcomes and celebrates a diverse workforce. Our employee surveys regularly reveal the high value that people at every level of GM place on diversity in the workplace, which is why we have established employee development programs that address both individual and business needs, as well as effective recruitment programs that reach out to diverse populations.
Not only do these wide-ranging outreach efforts help us build the type of workforce we all desire, but they also serve an important business purpose. A McKinsey & Company study found that most companies who are demographically diverse are far more likely to outperform their less diverse industry peers. We believe that our ability to meet the needs and expectations of an increasingly diverse and global customer base is tied closely to diversity and inclusiveness within.
We have strong and stable relationships with labor unions.
To this end, we are focused on:
GM has long been a global leader in advocating for women’s equality in the workplace, with women in nearly 32 percent of our top management positions. We are signatories to the Equal Pay Pledge, which reflects the value we place on gender equity, our commitment to fostering a diverse and welcoming workplace that values the contributions of all employees, and our shared belief that employees’ protected categories, including gender, should not factor into compensation decisions. We believe that fair and equitable pay should be an essential element of any successful business model, and we are proud to stand with other companies that share this same value. In 2017, we conducted a gap analysis to identify any pay discrepancies. Where discrepancies were found, we made adjustments, and we continue to be committed to this work.
The GM Executive Leadership Team, chaired by our Chairman & CEO, serves as the company’s senior diversity council. Other diversity-focused councils within our organization include the Supplier Diversity Council, Employee Resource Group Leader Council, Disabilities Advisory Council, Minority Dealer Development Council, Women Dealer Development Council, Eyes Right (Veterans Council) and the ERG Executive Champions Roundtable. Further, our Global Chief Diversity Officer chairs the Strategic Diversity Working Group, which aligns all D&I efforts globally and incorporates inputs from marketing, communications, corporate relations/philanthropy, talent acquisition, public policy and legal. In addition, GM’s diversity initiatives are routinely reviewed with the executive leadership team and the Board of Directors.
We respect our employees’ right to freedom of association in all countries and comply with our obligation to satisfy all local labor laws and regulations. GM works with about 29 unions globally, representing approximately 69 percent of our global workforce covered by collective bargaining agreements. GM’s relationships with labor unions are generally healthy and stable business partnerships. Consistent with our respect for employees and their bargaining representatives, we have worked collaboratively with our union partners to realize significant increases in performance.
GM is 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 anticorruption. As a UNGC signatory, 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 interactions 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.
We manage our labor relations regionally, with a global focus. The labor relations responsibility is held with the global manufacturing leader, with partnerships that go to the highest level of the GM organization. Regular meetings are held with our union partners, starting with the CEO and the UAW Leadership meeting quarterly. Regional vice presidents of manufacturing enjoy face-to-face meetings with the unions when visiting the manufacturing sites globally, and plant managers around the globe discuss business issues on a daily basis with the local unions. All of these relationships assist in being able to make adjustments as needed due to schedules, economy swings or product decisions. As in all areas of our business, relationships are the key, and much time is devoted by GM Leadership to developing these relationships with our union partners.