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Employee Learning and Development

Developing the skills and capabilities of our people is a key part of our strategic priority to build a capable and effective workforce.

Our learning and development vision is to create a learning organization where everyone has a passion for learning and the capability to continuously improve and transform the organization.

Our learning and development mission is to enable, encourage and provide high-impact learning experiences that make employees’ lives better and drive business growth and transformation.

A Learning Culture

Leadership and Professional Development

To build our capabilities, we continuously invest in developing the professional, technical and leadership skills of our employees. We are establishing a common global framework for how we approach innovation in a customer-centric way, and are incorporating the innovation skills our employees need into our leadership development programs and professional development offerings.

These include a number of programs specifically designed for current and aspiring executives, directors and managers:

  • The Global Leadership Summit: Aimed at executives and general managers responsible for global projects, departments and budgets, these programs are a combination of immersion in markets and the application of new skills.

  • Global Executive Leadership: Geared toward directors and senior managers associated with a region, but with responsibilities that extend to the global enterprise.

  • Experienced Leader Program: Aimed at middle management, the program helps grow the capabilities of our skill team leaders running regional large projects and functional departments.

  • Salaried Supervisor Institute: A program for new and experienced front-line leaders, which builds foundational leadership skills and hands-on applications.

  Read a case study from i4cp about how Ford is going “beyond best practice”

Our approach combines virtual web-based learning with classroom training, and spans simulations, project work, mentoring and coaching, social networking, workshops and team lunch-and-learn events. Together, these methods and tools support professional development, foster functional and technical excellence, encourage teamwork and leadership skills, promote One Ford values and drive improved performance.

Leading by Teaching

A key approach for us is Leading by Teaching, where we support our skilled and motivated people to develop themselves and each other. By teaching others, colleagues build self-awareness, gain opportunities for professional development and are exposed to a wide range of opinions; those being taught get exposure to leaders and subject matter experts, and acquire company-specific skills and knowledge in ways that foster engagement and enthusiasm for learning.

  Read about Ford’s new Resource and Engagement Center in South Africa

Supporting Career Development

Personal Development Plans

With operations on six continents, our workforce needs to be locally aware, globally mobile, adaptable and innovative; we also need strong leaders able to operate anywhere in the world. Our accelerated personal development plans and cultural awareness programs help our people succeed in a range of geographical and social contexts.

Ford offers competency frameworks and development plans for salaried employees, to help them determine where they are in their careers, maximize current performance and work toward future goals. Our learning solutions are made available in multiple languages at the MyLearning@Ford portal.

We also run a global Development Discussions for Supervisors course, to ensure that development plan discussions between managers and employees are effective, and that supervisors can guide and support the development of their team members.

In 2016, 52,273 salaried employees (84 percent of those who use our Talent Management System) completed Individual Development Plans online.

Building Emotional Intelligence

In an age when the importance of artificial intelligence (AI) and robots is increasing, people are expected to focus on skills and capabilities that AI has trouble replicating: understanding, motivating and interacting with humans.

In 2016, Ford joined Case Western Reserve University to participate in a unique study, which found that listening to, understanding and inspiring colleagues can account for as much as 31 percent of engineers’ effectiveness. Ford engineers – and their colleagues – were asked whether they love their workplace, and how they cooperate and discuss ideas. The study also found it was possible to predict how enthusiastic engineers would be about projects, just by knowing how those projects were communicated.

We also opened the Merkenich Innovation Hub in Germany, giving the 25,000 engineers who work across our global network of 10 engineering and research centers on-demand access to dedicated workshops, training and ideation sessions, research findings, and patent consultation. We plan to launch similar hubs around the world.

Better Connections Through Mindfulness

Ford of Canada has offered mindfulness training to employees at its headquarters for several years, continuing in 2017. Based on neuroscience research, mindfulness builds the core emotional intelligence skills needed for peak performance and effective leadership, fostering an organizational culture where employees are more present and connected with themselves and each other.