After the WIKA Group acquired the company that has since been renamed WIKA Mobile Control, employees at the subsidiary had the opportunity to come up with a list of corporate values that best describe who they are and what principles are most important to them.
Walking into WIKA Mobile Control’s U.S. headquarters in Chambersburg, Penn., one of the first things people see is a wall with the company’s logo, motto (“We make lifting loads safer”), and a stylized image of a telescopic crane. But upon closer inspection, it becomes evident that all the elements – outriggers, body, boom, load line, and hook block – are made of words.
And not just any words. Success, safety, customer, ownership, together, respect, solution, goals, partnership, quality, leadership… These are just a few of the terms found on what WMC employees have dubbed “The Values Wall.”
This wall, as well as all the work that went into coming up with the crane-shaped word cloud, was made possible largely by Sarah Nell, the marketing specialist who frequently wears more than one hat.
When the WIKA Group acquired Hirschmann MCS in 2018, whose main office is in Ettlingen, Germany, WMC Ettlingen invited employees to come up with a set of values for 10 categories. Nell took charge of the U.S. side, leading several values workshops in which the 30 employees were divided into small groups. Earlier this year, each group of four to six employees brainstormed around two categories, and the results were 10 value phrases followed by two actions items each (see WIKA Mobile Control Corporate Values).
With these brand-new values in hand, Nell and the management team in Chambersburg wanted to find a way to visualize and live out the values. So many sets of corporate values gather dust or languish in employee handbooks, but not at WMC.
“We didn’t want the workshops to come and go and then have these values be forgotten,” she said. “An employee from the Quality department came up with a visual way to display the keywords so that employees would be reminded of them on a daily basis.” Nell then gave a graphic designer the idea of a crane-shaped word cloud, which was soon installed on a wall near a high-traffic area.
To further keep these corporate values top of mind, the management team at WMC created a quarterly peer-nominated award to acknowledge employees who embody those core values. Not surprisingly, Nell was one of the first winners, recognized for Organization and Employee. Also not surprisingly, she received kudos for more than her work on the values workshops.
Her nominators wrote, She went above and beyond in helping with the launch of the service training program, and taking on additional roles in HR and other areas when needed. And this: Sarah voluntarily came into the office in the middle of her day off in order to help facilitate the onboarding of a new employee.
Each winner receives a certificate and gift card. Here are the other winners for Q2 2019:
Daniel Trevitz – nominated for Customer, Quality
Dan stayed late on one occasion to work with a member of the service team that was in the field working on a crane. He also came into the office on a vacation day to help a customer with software. He truly went above and beyond.
Melissa Weller – nominated for Customer, Organization, Supplier, Employee, Communication
Melissa goes above and beyond, working outside her typical role. She also proactively notifies customer service when a product is not going to ship so they can notify customers. Melissa developed a spreadsheet that will enable Germany to track Hot / Unconfirmed /Missing parts from orders. She utilized her skills to extract the necessary information from the data warehouse.
Since the award program began in June, employees have started to realize just how fantastic their colleagues truly are.
“We never had a platform to publicly applaud and recognize employees for all of the great things they do,” Nell said. “With this program now in place, it’s a really wonderful tool for building each other up.”
In fact, one could say that while these corporate values help customers lift loads safer, they also make it easier for WMC employees to lift up their coworkers.