Ford has a message for white-collar workers and it’s ‘shape up or ship out.’
According to an email obtained by The Wall Street Journal, Ford is targeting “underperformers” with an ultimatum that asks them to either improve or leave the company.
As part of the effort, employees with eight years of service who have been “identified as demonstrating a pattern of declining performance,” can either take a buyout and leave the automaker or take part in a four- to six-week performance improvement program. While the latter could potentially save their job, it’s not a sure thing and failure to improve could see them lose their job as well as the severance offer.
Also: Stellantis Offering Voluntary Buyouts To Salaried Employees In The U.S.
This will leave a number of employees with a perilous decision, but it can also be viewed as a second chance of sorts. It remains unclear how many people are being targeted by the action, but the move appears to be part of a larger attrition effort to cut 3,000 jobs by 2026.
The change in policy reportedly went into effect on October 1st and is being billed as a move to help simplify how underperforming employees are dealt with. That being said, Ford has been focused on slashing costs and maximizing profits.
Last week, the automaker released its third quarter earnings report and concluded the “auto industry’s large-scale profitable commercialization of Level 4 advanced driver assistance systems will be further out than originally anticipated.” Given that, the automaker decided to stop investing in Argo AI in order to focus on internally developed L2+/L3 technology. This lead to the shuttering of Argo AI as Volkswagen also decided to stop investing in the company.
Ford also noted they’ve been saddled with “higher commodity costs” and “inflationary pressure,” which resulted in about $1 billion (£872 million / €1 billion) in higher-than-expected supplier payments.