Keeping our employees engaged with our Company overall, and encouraging them to stay connected with their peers and their communities, is an essential component of our people strategy here at Ford. We believe it’s important to communicate with our workforce in ways that are open and transparent. We do so through a variety of interactive forums, from “town hall” meetings to intranet surveys and chats, from joint labor-management committees to diversity councils. We also use several publications, such as plant newsletters and our @Ford magazine, to communicate the latest information on the state of the Company and our products. In recent years, we have also increased our use of social media applications, such as Facebook, to inform and connect with our employees.
For our hourly employees, we work closely with their unions to develop agreements and governance plans over changes in our operations (e.g., reorganizations, plant shutdowns, employee transfers and reductions). In addition, joint labor/management committees are set up at each plant to give employees an opportunity to influence working conditions and practices.
For our salaried employees, most of whom are not covered by union agreements, we have a strong Code of Conduct and comprehensive Policy Letters and Directives covering topics, including diversity, relevant to our employees. We also practice regular two-way communication with all employees through webcasts, executive Q&A sessions between senior leadership and staff who wouldn’t typically have face-to-face meetings with top-level management, quarterly “town hall” meetings, manager-to-employee business cascades, surveys and informal communications. We survey our salaried employees twice annually using the Global Pulse and Engagement survey.
Our employees are also our customers, and they can be strong ambassadors for our products. In Michigan, information sessions called “Go Further Employee Events” are held to give employees the opportunity to view, learn about and test drive yet-to-be-released vehicles. This lets the employees see how our products are meeting the needs of customers, while providing factual information about the vehicles. Our employees can then promote the vehicles to their friends and families, which, in turn, can increase sales and help to strengthen the Ford brand.
Our Employee Resource Groups also conduct a number of events and initiatives each year to engage our employees, provide product insights and reach out to our communities. (See the Promoting a Diverse and Inclusive Workforce section for more on these groups.)
We also believe it’s important to engage our people within the communities in which we operate. Each year, we offer ways for thousands of our employees and retirees to participate in volunteer programs. We see these programs as not only critical to helping those in need, but pivotal to inspiring and energizing our employees around volunteerism and community service. Through these community initiatives, we support teamwork and build a sense of shared purpose and commitment. For more information, see the Community section.
To build awareness of and excitement about the launch of the all-new Ford Focus in Thailand, 200 Ford employees had a chance to test drive the vehicle in the scenic town of Khao Yai. The full-day immersion included classroom sessions and specially tailored test-drive stations designed to highlight specific Focus features.
In the first station, participants were encouraged to test drive four cars on a slalom track. The second station – the universal favorite – was all about safety. Driving on a curved test track, the Focus’ electronic stability features helped drivers negotiate a sharp bend with confidence, while the anti-lock brake system provided control and directional stability. The third station allowed employees to try out smart driver assistance technologies, including Active Park Assist, Blind Spot Information System and the hands-free Ford SYNC® system.
“It’s not often we get to test drive different vehicles within one day,” said Jirawat Jeeradeepalung, a Ford human resources manager who helped to organize the event. “The overall feedback from this event was truly satisfying.”