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Talent Engagement

Developing Talented People

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 Mission, Purpose and Values into our global workforce.

We are striving to approach talent engagement from the perspective of “one workforce.” As an example, in 2021, we aim to achieve a consistent onboarding program for all employees globally, regardless of function. The 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.

Creating a culture of recognition and feedback is an important part of achieving this objective. The GM Recognition program reinforces our eight GM cultural behaviors for employees and is used to recognize salaried employees who demonstrate any one of our behaviors in their daily work. Using an online platform, fellow employees and leaders can post recognitions and provide certain rewards for living our values, 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.

We measure engagement through our global Workplace of Choice survey, which goes to all employees. The full survey is typically conducted every two years in addition to two to three shorter pulse surveys per year. More than 83,000 employees provided feedback on the most recent survey, which revealed 66% engagement—the highest level since we began collecting data in 2012. Our new inclusion index, which combines eight inclusion-related questions, came in at 70% to set the baseline for us.

The survey also revealed significant increases in communication-related drivers of engagement, which had been identified as an area for improvement in previous surveys. These results are attributable to actions taken by leaders throughout 2020, which ranged from clear communication around GM’s COVID-19 response to statements in support of social justice. Throughout the various phases of the pandemic, our CEO Mary Barra has communicated with employees weekly, sharing updates across our entire workforce through internal communication tools.

Another theme from responses to the Workplace of Choice survey was a desire for improved tools and experiences that support talent discussions and decisions. The new Workday platform, described in Talent Development, will help meet this need. We also will continue to prioritize areas such as career growth, inclusion and wellness.

We strive for continuous improvement in engagement scores. To this end, beginning in 2020, GM’s senior leadership team and senior executives were given aspirational engagement targets. We also assigned all leaders a common 2020 performance management goal in order to emphasize their role in creating an engaged workplace culture that embraces feedback and recognition.