Employee development is crucial to delivering our vision of building great products that contribute to a better world. The most important thing we can do is stay focused on creating a skilled and motivated workforce. We do that by continuing to invest in our employees, strengthening their technical and leadership skills and recognizing them for delivering results that cultivate success. As we continue to grow our Company, we must also continue to grow the capabilities of our people.
We have been standardizing, simplifying and integrating talent-management processes; implementing global competency frameworks; and enhancing leadership development programs for experienced managers. And, we believe we have fostered a flexible and safe working environment in which people are respected and valued for the work that they do.
All employees at Ford are encouraged to invest in their own professional development by developing an Individual Development Plan, or IDP, to help them meet current and future goals while maximizing performance in their current assignments. Using the IDP, employees work with their managers to help them identify strengths and areas for improvement, and then create customized plans for their individual developmental needs.
We provide a comprehensive range of learning and development resources that align with ONE Ford and the key competencies required to support each functional area. These resources include virtual, web-based and classroom training, experiential learning, special projects, task forces, mentoring and coaching, social networking, and team “lunch and learn” and other similar workshops. All of these seek to foster functional and technical excellence, encourage teamwork, promote Ford values and enhance our ability to deliver results.
Similar to our vehicle development strategy, our learning and development strategy has been to leverage our global scale and standardize as much as possible. We are creating internal “colleges” that provide education and training in areas ranging from finance and information technology to product development and marketing. We also offer global leadership development programs including the following: the Global Leadership Summit, which is aimed at executives and general managers; the Global Executive Leadership Program, which is geared toward directors and senior managers; and the Experienced Leader Program, aimed at middle management. We also offer the Salaried Supervisor Institute/Program (SSI) for new or experienced leaders who want to enhance their ONE Ford skills. ONE Ford is designed to build our employees’ individual capability as well as our organization’s capability to drive the business forward.
We’re also focused on ways to develop our workforce of the future. Looking ahead, we will need to fill an increasing number of positions with highly skilled individuals who have backgrounds in specialized and technical fields of study. Yet, we recognize an impending shortage of candidates with these skills. As such, we have developed a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) strategy, championed by our CEO and executive leadership team, which leverages our current programs to develop skills for the future. Developing a future pool of talent is essential not only to the success of Ford Motor Company, but also to the success of our dealers, our suppliers and the overall automotive industry.
Through partnerships with the Ford Fund and the community, we have actively supported programs that build these skills. We are also developing our own programs targeted at students along the education pipeline. Examples of Ford’s STEM outreach include:
In late 2012, we announced that Alan Mulally will continue to serve as Ford president and CEO through at least 2014. At the same time, we named Mark Fields as the Company’s new chief operating officer. Mulally will continue leading the long-term strategic development of the ONE Ford plan and its continuous improvement. Fields, who continues to report to Mulally, is now responsible for all business operations.
In 2011, we piloted the Phased Retirement Program (PRP), a voluntary program available for retirement-eligible employees that allows them to work half-time at full pay for a period of six months immediately prior to exiting the Company. The program is beneficial to employees, giving them the opportunity to phase into retirement after many years in the workforce. The PRP also benefits the Company by enabling effective knowledge transfer from PRP participants to their successors. Due to the success of the pilot, we continued to offer the program in various U.S. business units of the Company in 2012 and again in 2013.