Employee Engagement Results & Action Plan
In 2021, we evolved our employee engagement approach from a standalone, annual event to a continuous listening strategy. This approach enables us to gather employee feedback at various points throughout the employment life cycle through Global Onboarding Surveys, Exit Surveys, and quarterly Engagement Pulses.
Our inclusion and diversity strategy focuses on building a culture in which every employee feels welcomed, valued, respected and heard.
Our quarterly Engagement Pulse enables employee feedback from almost 65,000 individuals—including all global salaried employees and hourly employees in NAR, LAR, and EMEA. With the expansion to our Asia hourly population in early 2022, feedback from all global employees will be represented in a consistent global engagement survey for the first time in Whirlpool Corporation history. We are excited about the opportunity for all employees to have their voices represented in the feedback and resulting actions.
This ongoing feedback has enabled us to gauge the extent to which employees feel a positive connection to Whirlpool Corporation and a commitment to help deliver the company’s strategy. It also enabled people leaders to have timely access to their team’s feedback through the implementation of an easy-to-navigate, intuitive online dashboard. People leaders are encouraged to understand the feedback, hold collaborative team discussions and take focused actions to create positive change.
As a result of this quantitative and qualitative feedback, key themes emerged, and the organization was able to quickly act on them. One specific theme, around collaboration, further enabled the implementation of additional indoor and outdoor collaboration spaces across the world. These spaces were intentionally designed to encourage frequent, and more informal, collaboration both in-person and across regions, equipped through technology.
Talent Recruitment & Retention
Whirlpool Corporation’s Talent Acquisition team enables our business by finding diverse talent with the skills and experiences needed to lead both today and tomorrow. In 2021, we developed several new initiatives, including a global Employee Value Proposition to help us attract the best talent from across the globe. To supplement the expertise of our Global Talent Acquisition team, we have implemented new technology solutions to help us source talent and create a simpler, smoother process for candidates. And, we are continually enhancing our assessment of talent to ensure that when we hire new employees, they are set up for success in terms of both the skills needed to perform the job well, and the behaviors that are consistent with Whirlpool Corporation’s Enduring Values and Leadership Model.
While the acquisition of new talent is important, we also focus on talent retention. We provide a robust total rewards package, including competitive pay and benefits as well as learning and career development opportunities. Our inclusion and diversity strategy focuses on building a culture in which every employee feels welcomed, valued, respected and heard. Our performance management system, Everyday Performance Excellence, empowers employees to plan their career development with the help of their people leaders, and we strongly support our employees’ long-term goals. We provide leadership development opportunities for leaders at all levels, from first-time people leaders through executives.
|Average Hours of Training—White Collar Employee
|Average Hours of Training—Blue Collar Employee
Learning, Skills & Training Investment
Leadership Development Programs & Internship Programs
All around the globe, Whirlpool Corporation offers leadership development, internship and apprentice programs designed to provide high-potential early career talent with the opportunity to set a solid foundation for an accelerated career path. Within these programs, we set challenging goals and objectives for growth and high performance, as well as the opportunity for participants to create immediate impact in roles designed to make a difference. We also create a meaningful work environment, through a focus on collaboration, engagement and teamwork. Participants are provided with both functional and technical training to support their onboarding and acceleration in the program, as well as leadership development and soft skill curriculum. With dedicated executives as sponsors of the programs, robust roles and a strong alumni community, each program is designed to prepare individuals to become exceptional future leaders at Whirlpool Corporation.
In 2021, the number of formal learning pathways tripled, providing greater opportunities for learners to find meaningful, relevant content.
Development of leadership acumen within Whirlpool Corporation is also critical not only for ensuring people leaders are competent and confident in their ability to lead according to Whirlpool’s Leadership Model, but serves as an employee engagement lever. We recently launched several new leadership development programs for all levels of leaders. These programs include an Essentials of People Leadership program for new people leaders with eight interactive modules of content over a six-month period, all focused on developing foundational leadership behaviors. Through an executive development program, Immersion provides a three-day off-site immersive experience for executives to deep dive on Our Leadership Model. All programs are leader-led, with business leaders leading programs for new or early-career leaders and executive committee members leading programs for senior leaders. Leadership development is a crucial component of our overall HR strategy, and will continue to be an area of focus in the coming years.
All global salaried employees have access to WeLEARN, our digital learning platform. WeLEARN provides a personalized learning experience that allows employees to access learning when and where they need it, collaborate with others who share similar interests through social learning groups, and build skills for today and tomorrow. It is a powerful platform that makes learning easy, meaningful, and social, so each employee can own their development. In 2021, the number of learning pathways with content tied to building specific skills and capabilities tripled, providing greater opportunities for learners to find meaningful, relevant content to fuel their professional and personal growth.
Manufacturing People Development Pillar
In our manufacturing sites, the WCM methodology includes the “People Development” or PD Pillar, which is focused on employee development and training. A function of the PD Pillar in each operation is to establish and manage a training matrix to identify training requirements (regulatory, legal or other) for site personnel. For example, safety training consists of a combination of regulatory-required training and value-added training. To ensure compliance with these requirements, each of our operations is audited periodically to confirm execution. Competency checks as part of the WCM methodology confirm understanding and learning on the part of affected employees.
In addition to the learning resources that can be accessed at any time through WeLEARN and other employer-sponsored training, employees may also be eligible to participate in the Educational Reimbursement program.
Every Day Performance Excellence (EPE) is Whirlpool Corporation’s performance management system that focuses on both the “what” and “how” of performance. Employees define objectives in each of four performance categories (Business Performance, Strategic/Project Impact, Organization and Talent, and My Leadership and Values).
We know that reflecting on performance across the entire year enables employees to bring out their best, so we encourage ongoing feedback and coaching. In addition, EPE formalizes two formal reviews, mid-year and year-end, where employees and People Leaders alike (along with stakeholder input) receive and provide positive and constructive feedback.
In addition to EPE, we have performance management processes for our hourly workforce, which vary by geography and incorporate various manufacturing plant metrics for performance measurement.
We support the personal development of our employees through a continuous learning journey. In addition to the learning resources that can be accessed at any time through WeLEARN and other employer-sponsored training, employees may also be eligible to participate in the Educational Reimbursement program. This program provides reimbursement to eligible employees for accredited programs in pursuit of associate, undergraduate or graduate degrees. This benefit is available to all eligible employees in the U.S., Mexico, Brazil, Asia and EMEA. Specific criteria for eligibility differ by region, but the overall goal of these programs is to provide assistance to employees seeking to further their own development and improve job skills.
Freedom of Association
Whirlpool Corporation respects the rights of our employees to associate with whom they choose. We respect the right of employees to join or not join an independent trade union and will bargain in good faith with these associations when they are properly elected. We estimate that, during 2021, over 50% of our global employees were covered by a collective bargaining agreement.