our management approach to Talent

Topics Discussed in this Section:

Talent Acquisition

The hiring and retention of top talent is always a strategic priority and, increasingly, a challenging one. Continued strength in the economy and a 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 also leading companies from the technology sector.

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.

Colleges and universities remain an important source of talented recruits. To build connections with students, we sponsor and partner with numerous universities across the country. We also are the only automaker to partner with SoFi, an online personal finance company, 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.

Benefits that help new hires balance their jobs with other aspects of their lives increase GM’s appeal.

Benefits and Wellness

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. Birth mothers are also eligible to apply for up to two years of Dependent Care Leave, which, while unpaid, provides a job guarantee for up to one year.

GM places more emphasis on accomplishing work-related tasks than on spending a certain number of hours in the office. This improves employees’ work-life balance and enables them to address personal needs while still completing their work. In job assignments that are compatible, and with leadership approval, we allow flextime scheduling to accommodate individuals who prefer to start their workday early, as well as those who have reasons for working late. GM also allows telecommuting arrangements through which employees complete work away from a GM worksite and connect with their coworkers through email, telephone and web meetings. This can be an effective work arrangement for individuals who face a long commute between their home and worksite, or those who have personal responsibilities that require their presence at home for specific periods of time.

Health and well-being programs, such as on-site fitness facilities and a health concerns hotline, also help us both attract talent and reap the benefits of a healthier workforce.

The LifeSteps employee wellness program helps employees take an active role in their health. It provides U.S. salaried employees and their eligible family members with a broad range of tools for health education, risk identification, personal coaching, goal setting and tracking. Users can access this information using a dedicated program website and receive monthly communications on health topics such as nutrition, fitness and stress management.

When employees achieve agreed-upon objectives for a healthy lifestyle, such as providing certification of an annual preventive physical exam, they can receive cash incentives and/or Health Savings Account contributions. In 2018, 83 percent of eligible employees received this LifeSteps incentive.

of all new hires

Talent Development

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. Our Take 2 program for professionals returning to the workplace after time away helps level the playing field for individuals, often women, who are balancing careers along with other priorities. This program emphasizes the value of skills gained outside traditional workplace settings.

Talent Engagement

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. Today, we measure performance against our seven GM behaviors for employees.

The GM Recognition program reinforces our cultural behaviors and is used to recognize employees who demonstrate any one of our seven behaviors in their daily work. Using an online platform, fellow employees and leaders can make the recognitions and provide certain rewards for living our values and building our culture and 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:

  • 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.

We measure engagement through our global Workplace of Choice survey, which includes both salaried and hourly workers. A key metric associated with this survey is the percentage of employees who participate, which has shown steady improvement and at 87% for our salaried employees is above best-in-class. Together with our hourly employees, more than two-thirds of our total workforce voluntarily participated in the survey to share feedback and perspective on GM as their employer of choice. We strive for continuous improvement in engagement scores with a goal to score equal to or better on the biennial employee engagement survey. In recent years we have seen a dramatic increase in engagement scores among all employees, with results approaching the top quartile of companies. This improvement is underscored by GM’s inclusion among Achievers 50 Most Engaged Workplaces, the only original equipment manufacturer to make the list.

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.

Labor Relations

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 28 unions globally, representing approximately 63 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.

percent of
our global workforce is
covered by collective
bargaining agreements

We manage our labor relations regionally, with a global focus. The labor relations responsibility is held by 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 quarterly meetings between our CEO and UAW leadership. 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 local unions. All of these relationships assist in being able to make adjustments as needed due to schedules, economic swings or product decisions. GM leadership devotes time to work productively with our union partners. This spirit of collaboration continues even during challenging times. During GM’s workforce transition, announced in 2018, we were able to offer transfer opportunities to nearly all represented employees affected. We worked closely with our union partners to offer these opportunities, as well as retraining and skills-building programs for those who chose not to relocate within GM.

The way we manage labor relations is evolving as the nature of unions and the interactions among them evolve around the world. We work 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.

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.