Today I was in Neuss facilitating a Decision Base Simulation for Pierburg, a supplier of highly specialized technology for the automotive industry. They train their high potentials every year – and this year they where from all over the world: China, South America, Canada, Kasakstan, Spain, France, Check Republic and of course some Germans – 23 of them – all super motivated and working hard to make the best out of it.
In the lunch break I asked Tim, who is located in the place – to give me a short walk through the production hall. I wanted to get an idea about what it looks like, who works there and what is the job like.
The company is different than others.
The reception man greeted me warmly every morning and welcomed me to the house. Every person in the building, just passing by – said hello. In the canteen the people serving us with a smile, the cashier lady smiled … and it continued in the plant itself. I have really never seen something like that. I asked the manager Tim: „Why is that so – how could you create such a culture?“ He smiles and said: „We want it this way, this is how we see ourselves. We the managers live it – we greet everybody here – specially the people wo deserve it: our workers. They create the quality that we sell – we are grateful to them and show our respect. So they reply to us – and we start greeting each other. There are of course people who do not like it.“ I was curious: „And what do you do with them? You cannot force somebody to smile and say hello!“ Tim answered „You are right. No you cannot force it – but if people behave different, don’t greet at all, they isolate themselves after a while. So either they can stand being different, or they adapt sooner or later – as all want to belong to the team. It is a kind of self-regulating system.“