Nowadays most companies try to prove that they are acting socially responsible. I cannot tell whether all of these companies really “walk the talk”, and I am not willing to judge that. What I do know is that at MANN+HUMMEL we both like and live our FILTER values*. They help us to lead our way of thinking and guide our actions in and outside of our company on a daily basis. The “R” in FILTER, for example, stands for the value of Respect. Respect not only for the environment, but also for the society around us and the people which that society consists of.
This is why the team building event from this year’s Leadership Summit at the beginning of July in Raleigh, North Carolina, consisted of building bikes for children from socially vulnerable families who live near our MANN+HUMMEL site in Fayetteville, North Carolina. In order to receive the bicycle parts, tools, and instructions for building the bicycles, the leadership team had to demonstrate its teamwork skills. By working closely together, we were able to build the bikes and prepare them in order to be given to the kids.
Building bikes and being part of people’s lives
The great thing about this project was that it was not only about donating money, rather about seeing, interacting, listening, and really understanding what is going on in people’s lives. This is why some colleagues and myself went to the local charity organization (called the Bicycle Man) with whom we have collaborated for this event to see the children riding the brand new bicycles – and I wouldn’t have missed that for the world.
I was amazed to see what this charity does for the local children. The kids can select any bicycle they want as their Christmas present. For some of them, this is the only gift they will get for Christmas. Watching them riding the bikes, smiling, and having fun with their new toys really was amazing. Just as amazing as their thankful smiles when they saw that we had brought some gift bags with Purolator hats, a Hummeli keychain, – which, of course, was everyone’s favorite – and a bookmark with our FILTER values.
We know that we already make a difference in our employee’s work lives just by the fact that they spend a large amount of time with us at MANN+HUMMEL. We always try to make their work environment as good as possible. Nevertheless, it feels great to also make a small difference outside of our plants once in a while – take a look at the video of the bike building event itself and the donation of the bikes, I hope you like it as well!
* Our FILTER values: Focus, Integrity, Leadership, Teamwork, Excellence, Respect