Ford Motors Company is one of the first in the American market, which was founded by the famous entrepreneur and inventor Henry Ford. The many offices and departments worldwide mean not only the international popularity of the company’s cars but also the need to train and coordinate tens of thousands of employees. Since the company embodies all the principles of social responsibility, it is one of the best employers. At the same time, Ford has been one of the first throughout history to introduce new ways of training employees, which also provides them with high profits and return on investment. For this reason, this paper will examine Ford’s employee training approaches and tools to determine the causes and consequences of employee training and development for the company.
The company offers various technical training options for its employees and people involved in servicing Ford cars. First, new employees have 30 days during which they have resources, support, and training from their mentors and colleagues. Such a program could be extended for a year to cover elements of different departments’ work (Ford Motor Company, 2020). In addition, any service company can receive online or on-site training on Ford machines to the same extent as the company’s official dealers (“Technical training, ” n.d.). Anyone can find a shorter program on Ford’s YouTube Channel (“Technical training, ” n.d.). In this way, Ford cars are assembled and serviced by the best specialists.
The development of Ford learning content is reflected in the variety and relevance of employees’ training and courses. First, Ford understands the importance of effective leadership and offers classes for leaders of all levels, including online lessons, simulations, meetings, and workshops (“Employee learning,” 2017). All employees can also use competency plans and courses to develop their skills, including emotional intelligence, which is highly desirable for successful teamwork (Employee learning,” 2017). Another feature is the variety of programs for high school and college students, for example, The High School Science Technology Program or internship for students (Ford Motor Company, 2020). These programs help to attract and mentor future specialists of the company.
Ford is heavily dependent on technological developments. For this reason, in 2019, Ford renovated its UAW-Ford Technical Training Center by making the latest technology available for employees’ training (“UAW-Ford Technical,” n.d.). Thus, Ford’s hourly workers and employees can be trained to work with standard technologies or take new courses in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering focused on the skills of robotics, drone piloting, and 3D modeling (Ford Motor Company, 2020). However, technology training at Ford has always been developed, since the company has been using virtual reality to simulate and train employees’ skills since the 2000s, as well as online learning (“Ford Motor Company,” 2020). In addition, while technology training for employees was forced in 2020-2021 by the pandemic, Ford used online tools to minimize productivity losses the most successfully.
Online Training Tools
Ford applied online training even before the pandemic, and for example, in 2016, more than 52 thousand employees completed Individual Development Plans online (“Employee learning,” 2017). The company also uses the MyLearning @ Ford portal – the Learning Experience Platform – where various courses are collected, and the achievements of employees are tracked (“Employee learning,” 2017). Ford has also used virtual reality to study car mechanics, which allows many employees to learn technical skills in a safe environment (Ford Motor Company, 2020). However, in 2020, the company developed an online learning and internship system for students with immersion in a real-life work environment, mentoring, and assignments, which helped them achieve sufficiently (Ford Motor Company,2021). Consequently, the company uses available technology and capabilities to support the development of its employees.
Ethics and Compliance Training
It should also be noted that Ford systematically conducts training on work ethics, and safety, against discrimination, harassment and unethical work behavior (Ford Motor Company, 2021). These lectures and discussions help the company to clearly state its position on important ethical aspects and reinforce them in the corporate culture. Hence, all employees are conscious of a work ethic that promotes diversity, and team-friendliness and reduces conflict. Consequently, this training also affects the performance of the company as a healthy and tolerant corporate culture is the basis for the organization’s work.
An important aspect of Ford’s approach to learning and development is that the company also cares about the parties involved in its work. For this reason, Ford offers training to suppliers on human rights, working conditions, business ethics, and the environment. For example, the Partnership for A Cleaner Environment (PACE) aims to train suppliers to use tools and approaches to reduce GHG emissions, waste, and other pollution factors (Ford Motor Company, 2021). A company’s reputation largely depends on the actions of its partners, and cooperation with suppliers that provide a green supply chain improves companies reputation (Quintana-García et al., 2021). Consequently, this training allows Ford to work with responsible suppliers and create conditions for their trusting and close cooperation.
Preparation of Future Workers
Training for new staff members is required for the employee to understand the company and departments’ specifics since even the best specialist cannot know all the corporate details of the new employer. In addition to the structure and management features, the employee gets acquainted with technologies and techniques that are unique to the company, and convenient training and courses allow them to master them quickly. Since the company provides internships and training for students, Ford can choose employees from among them and save time and money on additional training. Moreover, employees usually acquire broad knowledge and may request additional training, which allows them to take positions from other departments or higher qualifications. Consequently, the company does not need to hire “outsiders” for important jobs.
High-Quality Employees’ Work
Constant updating of knowledge is necessary for the quality work of employees, especially in the automotive industry, where trends change from year to year. In addition, employees have the opportunity to gain knowledge of their other areas and exchange experiences, which stimulates their innovative thinking (Dwivedi, 2016). Simultaneously, repeating the basics helps not neglect the rules of safety, ethics, and company operations. Consequently, all of these processes improve the quality of communication and work, which brings the best technological solutions to the Ford company.
Empowerment of Employees
Training also helps employees gain knowledge for more autonomous decision-making in everyday tasks, which saves time. This feature is essential for managing hundreds of departments around the world. This aspect also allows employees to be initiated as knowledge and exchange of experience open up new perspectives on routine issues. In addition, this freedom and desire to develop increases job satisfaction and stimulates employees’ career growth (Dwivedi, 2016). Availability of training also increases employee job satisfaction (Kumari & Hemalatha, 2018). Consequently, career opportunities and company policies make employees more loyal to Ford company.
Moreover, since Ford offers technical training for its official service centers and any service company that wants to improve its quality, it helps extend Ford’s cars’ lifespan. Mechanics who know the vehicle features can bring better service, and fewer breakdowns will make customers believe in the quality of the goods and become loyal Ford customers. In addition, Ford supplier training also helps the company reduce its environmental and human rights negative impact and ensure that it receives quality and timely supplies.
Thus, the study shows that Ford uses different methods and tools to train its employees, which significantly affects the quality of their work. Such methods include classical and electronic means, as well as mixed methods. At the same time, the company also provides training for the parties with which it interacts, ensuring itself a timely supply of materials and qualified workers. As a result, the company has loyal employees who bring initiative and innovation and loyal customers who generate income.
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Kumari, D. B., Hemalatha, A. (2018). A Study on the impact of employee empowerment on job satisfaction with reference to Ford Motor Private Ltd, Perungudi. Eurasian Journal of Analytical Chemistry, 13(SP), 61-67.
Quintana-García, C., Benavides-Chicón, C. G., & Marchante-Lara, M. (2021). Does a green supply chain improve corporate reputation? Empirical evidence from European manufacturing sectors. Industrial Marketing Management, 92, 344–353. Web.
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