Academic journal article Career Planning and Adult Development Journal

Career Development at GM: Accelerating Careers through Core Values and Conversations

Academic journal article Career Planning and Adult Development Journal

Career Development at GM: Accelerating Careers through Core Values and Conversations

Article excerpt

With the impending exodus of Baby Boomer employees, and the need to stay current with rapid technological advances, it is important, now more than ever, to develop employees in order to prepare them for key positions in the organization. First identified in a 1997 McKinsey study, The War for Talent is upon us, and we must fight for it. Keeping our employees developed and engaged is the key. In fact, feedback from a 2012 Workplace of Choice survey at General Motors drove the organization to place special attention in 2013 on enterprise-wide actions. These actions included the development of core values, closing employee engagement gaps and building effective career development resources for global employees. Recent focus has included the communication of GM's core values, further development of global career development resources, conducting a second (2014) Workplace of Choice global employees survey to measure and manage progress, and continuing support of women advancement programs. This article addresses how GM is providing innovative career development resources to more than 70,000 early, mid and late career employees at nearly 400 locations on six continents to recruit and retain the world's best talent.

Career Resources Built for Employees, by Employees

Building global best career development resources for employees is vital to GM's plan to close the engagement gap. One of GM's first responses to addressing career development for global employees was the creation of a global career development team within the larger Global Talent & Development group. Tasked with creating career development programs and resources for early, mid and late career employees, the new career development team reviewed the recent anonymous, open-ended feedback from the 2012 Workplace of Choice survey. The team discovered that GM global employees most desired more connection with leaders on career and tools for effective career conversations and development planning. Employee feedback also called for more career resources accessible from a central location as well as visible career paths to help employees design their careers. As a result, the career development team leveraged (and continues to leverage) existing career materials developed by business units and global regions, and developed common tools so that career resources were truly built for employees, by employees. The most notable and popular career resources today include the Career Development and Advancement Group and My GM Bucket List. Created by a GM engineer passionate about career development, the Career Development and Advancement Group is a social collaboration forum within GM's internal social collaboration network GM OverDrive. This forum is so popular that it has the most members of all GM OverDrive groups. My GM Bucket List is a one page resource that employees use to list 25 things they want to accomplish while at GM. This is a very popular tool that the team repurposed from a GM employee's personally developed career planner. Ongoing input from employees via additional pulse surveys and focus groups helps the career development team fine-tune career resources.

One Gateway to Career Development at GM

Feedback from both Workplace of Choice surveys and employee focus groups led to the creation of one global career development website providing employees quick access to all new and existing career resources across global GM. Consisting of three major sections dedicated to designing, discussing and developing careers, the site also includes real time polling on career topics and a feed to the Career Development and Advancement Group in GM OverDrive to help the career development team and leaders follow trending career questions and topics. Future efforts include the addition of a mentoring webpage to the site (providing downloadable learning resources and links to best practices to help employees find a mentor/be a mentor).

GM's Career Development Model: The 3Ds

Resources on the website are organized into three distinct sections:

* Design My Vision,

* Discuss My Career and

* Develop My Career

in order to assist employees with different needs at different stages. …

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