People

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Man looking through pipe

Talent Development and Training

Our employees are encouraged to explore opportunities, pursue their interests and enjoy many fulfilling careers. We make this investment in employee development to help our business meet its ever-changing needs. Through continual learning, our employees will help us innovate and drive business results.

Beginning with onboarding and with each assignment, our employees have access to robust learning and development resources. Many of our employees enjoy multiple career opportunities within our businesses, and we credit the hands-on learning opportunities we provide as well as our focus on development and career planning.

As the pandemic continued for a second year, on-demand and virtual learning became central to our menu of courses. We are regularly expanding the options on critical topics — ranging from safety to lean to leadership — so employees can access their desired training whenever and wherever they need it. We also continue to offer our production employees access to certification programs, ongoing learning and career development opportunities.

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Group of Employees give thumbs up
Virtual Learning by the Numbers - 1,720 new programs, >1.8M courses completed, 71% apply learning to their work
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Virtual Learning by the Numbers - 1,720 new programs, >1.8M courses completed, 71% apply learning to their work
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intern selfie collage

Invested in Early Career Talent

  • We hire high school and college students directly into student programs that provide in-person and experiential learning to sharpen their skills and develop hands-on knowledge of our business.
  • In 2021, we welcomed more than 300 interns from 79 colleges and universities to our Caterpillar family and provided opportunities aligned with their career interest and/or field of academic study.
Nearly 25% of our 2021 intern class were returning interns.
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Nearly 25% of our 2021 intern class were returning interns.
Man working
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Man working

In addition to online learning, Caterpillar offers development opportunities for employees to lead challenging projects, take on stretch assignments, serve on committees, join Employee Resources Groups, work with mentors and job shadow others — all aimed at fostering collaboration and learning. With a business case for investment and their manager’s sponsorship, hundreds of employees each year deepen their knowledge, pursue new career paths and add to their credentials by taking advantage of our tuition assistance program, which covers most of their expenses for tuition, fees and books.

Through deliberate succession planning, we identify and prepare leaders for new opportunities across the company. Intentional development planning helps our employees identify and work on the skills they need now and in the future.

Development Opportunities

  • Customized training programs in Acuna, Mexico, met the increase in demand for welders by developing locally customized training programs aimed at the need for more specialized workers. Through a partnership with CONALEP, a local technical school, we developed a customized training program that increased class sizes and reduced the lead time for new welders to join our production line, resulting in 117 new welding certifications.
  • Developing front-line leaders is an increased focus through a new Leadership Development (LD) program called LD200, based on real-life challenges and opportunities leaders face. The program is offered through on-demand and in-person sessions. In 2022, an estimated 2,000 leaders in multiple countries will experience the inaugural program.
  • Sharing best practices is one of the best ways our employees learn. In 2021, Caterpillar’s Excavation Division held a competition between European work tools and fabrication facilities where teams competed based on their ideas for implementing lean approaches to their work. Throughout the competition, facilities shared their best practices for operational and transactional lean approaches, resulting in improvements like inventory optimization, re-work time reduction and higher production stability.
  • Intentional career planning and self-directed learning helps our employees own their careers. We invested in establishing dynamic career development models targeted at attracting and retaining our commercial workforce. Global leaders representing 18 divisions partnered together to establish the core skills, competencies and career paths for marketing, sales and product support employees. This gave the 6,000 employees in these roles a clear roadmap to develop and advance their careers.
  • Speaking up about diversity and inclusion is critical to our inclusive culture. Solar employees and leaders participated in a series of interactive, virtual diversity and inclusion training sessions covering topics on the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion to business success and tips for engaging in meaningful diversity dialogue.
  • A new onboarding program lays the foundation for success for anyone joining the Construction Industries Services Division. The four-month program is offered to internal transfers or external hires to set the tone for the employee experience, help drive networking across departments and bring the division strategy to life through group discussion. The 150 employees who completed the program in 2021 report greater understanding of our strategy, development expectations and customer needs, as well as a strong feeling of inclusion within the division. Since this program was offered, the employee experience score on the division’s annual Employee Insights Survey for employees with less than one year of service increased to 92%.
  • Developing leaders locally is a focus in our China facilities and offices. The China Leadership Development Program is aimed at developing leaders from within and includes classroom training, external visits to other facilities and hands-on learning projects. Our leaders teaching leaders approach allows participants to interact with senior leaders from every aspect of our business to improve their business acumen, understand enterprise priorities, enable cross function sharing and encourage innovation. To date, over 175 leaders have completed the program.