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General Motors: Driving global employee recognition

About General Motors





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Topics Covered:

Belonging and DEI

Rewards and recognition

General Motors (GM), a global automotive company, employs more than 160,000 employees in 26 countries across six continents. In 2017, GM revealed their vision to create a world with zero crashes, zero emissions, and zero congestion. To deliver on this vision, the organization needed to build an inclusive culture with diverse perspectives and global alignment.

To impact culture and make it purposeful, the team started out by aligning everyone and everything they do to a unique set of company values and behaviors. Recognition ‘for the same values or behaviors around the world’ would allow GM to create the active alignment and behavior-driven workforce they were seeking.

General Motors’ recognition program objectives

  1. One global program and platform
  2. Build strategic alignment to accelerate culture change
  3. Drive employee engagement
  4. Provide consistency and simplicity

“We wanted to be able to provide a consistent recognition experience globally for our global workforce through one platform,” says Sandra Garcia, Global Compensation — Strategic Initiatives Lead, Employee Recognition. “One global program that would allow us to align everybody behind our GM behaviors and values.”

Global teams require global solutions

Beyond the ability to recognize globally dispersed teams and break down silos, GM needed a recognition platform that would help them overcome global challenges such as budget control, appropriate governance, measurement, and visibility.

When leaders like Laura Jones, Executive Director of Human Resources — Global Product Group, tried to recognize global employees before adopting Achievers, it was a frustrating experience. “You had to go through all the different country systems,” she says. “It was always five extra steps. Having the Achievers recognition platform really helps us in our inclusivity mission because it makes this very large company feel a lot smaller.

Stacie Ruen, Global Talent Leader, Global Culture and People Development echoes the sentiment: “It allows for that connection of celebration across the broader organization and across agencies.”

A solution that delights employees and leaders alike

It’s not just HR that’s excited about the Achievers platform. With nine out of ten employees using the platform monthly, sending between 60,000 and 80,000 recognitions every month, leaders and employees alike are deeply engaged.

These recognitions are having a deep impact on the greater culture at GM. Sandra Garcia points out that employees feel that their contributions and behaviors are noticed by others – not only by their leaders, but also by their colleagues – which is helping create a sense of belonging and fostering a more inclusive workplace and culture at GM.

And that impact is being felt at every level of the organization. According to Recognition & Awards Manager Peter Komlosan, GM executives love the Achievers solution “because it makes the interaction that much easier amongst their fifty, one hundred, five-hundred-person staff. It’s right there for them to see, interact with, and enjoy with their employees.”

Learn from General Motors’ global experience

GM launched its GM Recognition Program, powered by Achievers, to 67,000 employees across 26 countries in 2017, and has seen growth in adoption and engagement in the years since. Watch the video above or read the PDF below to learn how the GM Recognition Program achieved success, including the following

  • 97% activation rate for the GM Recognition Program
  • 9 out of 10 employees are active in the program monthly
  • 60,000-80,000 recognitions sent monthly
  • Every employee receives at least 1 recognition monthly (on average)
  • People leaders at GM send an average of 4 recognitions per month

When I get a recognition, I’m like a kid on Christmas morning. I feel that not only have my leaders recognized my efforts, my peers have as well.

Tony Metzger

IT Business Analyst/Project Manager - General Motors

By putting it in one platform, it’s at the click of a button. You can also see what the global team is working on. You can also go four layers down as a leader. It’s just so exciting to be able to do that because as a leader I’ve always wanted to do it.

Laura Jones

Executive Director of Human Resources – Global Product Group - General Motors


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