Did you ever give thoughts to the corporate values that your company has? Do you think you work based on the values in your daily work?
Nowadays, Business media often reports that successful companies have good corporate values. We can easily imagine the link between them. However, having good values and having them pervaded among employees are different things. Here lies corporate challenges and management mission.
As communication coordinator at MANN+HUMMEL Japan, I support the management to realize this mission. People in my role at any company could understand the difficulty of this task since most employees may think that corporate value things are management matters. How can we let employees apply the values to the daily work? I used to think if there are magical methods to close this gap.
MANN+HUMMEL has great values which are represented by following six words: Focus, Integrity, Leadership, Teamwork, Excellence, and Respect. Taking capital letters of each, we call FILTER values.
We have variety of approaches to promote FILTER values. Reading out loud and introducing episodes related to the values in employee’s meetings are classical methods. But what I like most is the activities of MANN+HUMMEL designed involving both management and employees. The activities are well programmed so that everyone is encouraged to take actions according to the values. For example, in the activity week of Integrity, we send “Recognition cards” to our colleagues to show appreciation of their work. While in the week of Respect, we will do something good to our local community.
I enjoy each activity as local coordinator and participant as well. When writing recognition cards to my colleagues, I think of them, how good they are and how much I appreciate them and put it in words. This of course requires a little bit more effort than to say “Thank you.” But this simple action of writing cards makes me realize how much I am supported by them. I also learn how my colleagues recognize me when receiving cards from me.
At first, I thought this was just an activity to participate but soon realized it would definitely give us the chance to think about corporate values and act based on them. Making this a habit will create corporate culture.
Now I can say that fostering corporate culture is like mountain climbing. They need a leader, teamwork, strategy, strength, and passion to conquer the summit. When reaching the top, what would the climbers say? – “It was fun climbing a mountain.”
Embody the values
Here are photos I love to show. They were taken by my colleagues at our local event, cherry flower viewing picnic in April.
This outing is very important for us as tradition and opportunity to build teamwork. Including a fun element in the event is our style. We held a photo contest with the theme of FILTER values.
Employees were divided in six teams and required to make the letter of FILTER using their body and take photos. The teams had only 15 minutes to discuss and decide the pose for the photo. Using brain and body, we worked hard to realize the values. The activity was extremely enjoyable and what was more, the photos turned out really amazing. They were exactly the embodiment of the values.