General Motors has been issuing recalls for months now. That may sound bad news. However, GM’s white-collar employees have been in high morale, thanks to the management style of chief executive Mary Barra, according to global product chief Mark Reuss, citing a recent survey of the carmaker’s staff.
Speaking at the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix 2014 Technology Forum in Detroit, Reuss remarked that he and Barra, who have been in her job for just nearly five months, “spend a lot of time with employees.” Reuss said that they are being transparent with their employees, to the point of telling them what is happening, where they are and where they to be.
Barra previously held Reuss’ current post before she was appointed as GM’s top executive, becoming the first woman to head a major carmaker. She has been lauded for her problem-solving skills and a collaborative approach to management.
According to Reuss, the survey regularly taken by all GM employees showed a dramatic improvement in employee satisfaction. The last time the survey was held for GM's salaried employees worldwide was in 2012.
During the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix 2014 Technology Forum, Reuss also touted GM’s venture into self-driving vehicles just a day after Google disclosed that it is planning to field a fleet of 100 autonomous units.
GM is currently under fire for its handling of faulty ignition switches that has been linked to 47 crashes and 13 deaths, and has been under probe by the US Congress, Department of Justice, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Anton Valukas, who was tasked to by GM to conduct an independent probe of its handling of the defect and recall, is bound to unveil the results of his investigations in the next few weeks. GM has so far issued 30 recalls covering about 15 million vehicles globally this year.
Just last week, it turned out that Barra has met with some members of the United States Congress in Washington to discuss GM’s faulty ignition switch recall.
One of those lawmakers whom Barra met was Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., who chairs a subcommittee probing the carmaker’s handling of the faulty ignition switches and the recall. It can be recalled that McCaskill asked some of the most pointed questions during Barra;s appearance before the panel in April. Barra also visited Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee, as well as other lawmakers.
House and Senate committees as well as the US Department of Justice and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, are currently investigating why GM waited for more than a decade before recalling cars with a faulty ignition switch that the carmaker has linked to 13 deaths.