General Motors pushed back the start of a return-to-office plan after facing fierce resistance from employees over its handling of the rollout.
The Detroit-based auto giant rankled corporate employees by announcing in a memo last Friday afternoon that they would be required to work onsite at least three days per week beginning later this year.
But GM executives reversed course in an update to staffers on Tuesday – saying the plan won’t be implemented until the first quarter of next year at the earliest. The company also apologized for the manner in which employees learned of the change.
“We acknowledge that the timing of the message, late on a Friday afternoon, was unfortunate. It was also unintentional,” GM CEO Mary Barra and other executives said in a memo to employees obtained by The Post.
GM executives will not dictate which days of the week employees work on-site, the memo added. The company will gather feedback from employees and provide additional details about the plan.
Barra said the company opted to make a company-wide announcement last Friday only after the “information was shared in some parts of the organization prematurely.”
“Our plan was always, and still is, to collaboratively design the solution that best balances the needs of the enterprise with the needs of each of you,” Barra added in the memo. “The solution will include a more regular, in-person presence.”
GM employees took to online message boards to vent their frustration, including Blind, an anonymous corporate forum which verifies employees using their professional email accounts.
One worker wrote “General Motors is doomed” in response to the policy.
“So many people were already on the edge of leaving because of low pay and now this s—t,” the worker wrote, adding, “they will never retain young talent.”
“Anyone find it interesting last month GM leaders say wfh is new standard and now we are forced to return with no heads up? If they are trying to push us out they are doing a good job,” another worker wrote.
Employees told the Detroit Free Press they were surprised when GM’s policy tweak was first unveiled last Friday.
“You can probably imagine what the general mood is,” one GM salaried employee told the outlet. “The company has been talking a good game about Work Appropriately since this all began, and we were completely blindsided by this news.”
GM spokesperson Maria Raynal confirmed the altered timing of the return-to-office push in a statement to the post.
“We understand our employees have concerns, and are committed to maintaining flexibility to ensure they can attend to personal commitments,” Raynal said. “As we implement this change, we are listening to employee feedback and will incorporate it into our planning.
“We will continue to share details with employees as the plans solidify in the coming weeks,” Raynal added.
GM’s career website still touts the company’s commitment to a “work appropriately” policy in which employees have the option of working from home based on their circumstances. That policy was initially unveiled in April 2021 and allowed workers and managers to collectively decide where they should work from in a given week.
“Depending on the nature of their work, our employees have the flexibility to work where they can have the greatest impact to achieve their goals and for their individual success,” the site says.
GM isn’t the only company to face resistance while attempting to get workers back into the office.
As The Post reported, employees at Credit Karma ripped the company’s return-to-work plan last week after a shooting occurred near its Oakland-based office.