Focus, Integrity, Leadership, Teamwork, Excellence and Respect – we all know the FILTER values. When our company merged with MANN+HUMMEL to become MANN+HUMMEL Purolator Filters, the FILTER values concept was relatively new to the employees, some of whom had already worked with the company for 45 years. Nevertheless, FILTER values have a universal understanding and the culture here has embraced them steadily over the past years.

There is a distinct path in introducing FILTER values. It is not just about knowing them but implementing them and living by them in day-to-day life – both at work and away from the factory. So I have been thinking of ways to bring the values closer to our colleagues. After the great success of our first tournament last year, we recently held our second ten-pin bowling tournament. And there is no better analogy for FILTER values than bowling.

Filter values

Watching FILTER values emerge

Integrity is something I got to see in the first game when the pins came down incorrectly. One pin was missing, so a strike could be achieved by knocking down just eight pins instead of nine. However, instead of just bowling the ball, the player raised his hand so the mistake could be corrected.

In the confined space of a bowling alley, surrounded by the loud noises of pins being knocked down and people talking or cheering, you somehow need to stay focused. Your full attention must be on your hand holding the bowling ball, making sure you put the right amount of force and direction behind it. Every bit of team effort is required to achieve the best score in the tournament. It is not enough that you are good, your entire team has to be excellent to win the cup.

Helping a novice

I must admit, I am not the best bowler. I’m originally from Mexico so haven’t grown up with bowling like some of my American colleagues. However, those who play regularly gave me some valuable tips. I saw them encouraging and teaching other team members, and sometimes even other teams. These people are natural leaders, even though they may not be in a formal leadership role at work, and I could immediately see people’s potential.

It is astounding how socializing outside of the work environment changes your perception about your colleagues. You get to know and respect the person behind the label of IT, Engineer, HR, Logistics. They become a person – a colleague with a passion for bowling, who is a bowling champion and had 9 strikes in a row. They become a father or a mom who brought their kids with them to cheer for the team! Or maybe you find out someone is a soon to be husband.

Paving the way for improvements

The bowling tournament was a great success, as everyone created new connections that will bring us closer in our work relationships. In fact, I have had a lot of great feedback after the tournament. Meetings now have a great energy to them; people trust their colleagues even more and understand their motivations better. In the end, we all work as one large, united team.

Bowling is a company sport at MANN+HUMMEL

FILTER values are the building blocks for everything I do and I am always thinking of more ways to integrate FILTER values into our day-to-day lives.