ABB's Executive committee member responsible for Human Resources shares his insights about employee development.
Business Excellence focuses on learning, change management and helping our employees carry out every activity in ABB excellently. Employees need to understand what excellence in their area means, are competent to carry it out and are committed to deliver it. All employees at all levels in ABB should have the desire and passion for continuous personal and organizational learning.
The goal of Talent Management is to identify and develop internal potential at all levels and at the same time recruit external potential to help ABB meets its objectives. We are committed to building confidence and capability in our people so that everyone would recognize that development in ABB is career enhancing.
The goal of Rewards & Recognition ensures that the investment ABB makes in our employees is in line with our objectives, strategy and commitment to employee welfare. We also believe that people have a right to know "what's in it for me?" in return for "delivering on what I promise". Our goal is that all employee should have a clear picture of what this means for them individually as well as know their career options in ABB.
Q2 - What are ABB's values, and how do managers walk the talk?A2 - In many companies you often hear about the company's mission or values. Usually this is only mentioned to the external world as marketing. Internally, it is typically discussed only one time per year. Therefore, in ABB we are defining a small set of business principles that ensure that we are all focused on the same goals and yet provide the needed flexibility.
A company's values should guide employees behavior and not company marketing. This is why we focus our business principles to become part of the daily work life of all our employees. Our business principles focus on: making our customers more competitive, offering our employees opportunities to learn, grow and share in the value created by their efforts, achieving returns that meet or exceed the expectations of our shareholders and by living our commitment to sustainability. We are also striving to create a more feedback oriented culture in the organization and to build leadership at all levels in the organization.
Q3 - How does an engineering company see the value of people?A3 - Regardless if the company you work for is engineering, consulting, financial or any other type, people are the most important piece of the business. It is the people who make decisions, set the strategy and ultimately do the actual work in companies - not machines. The more value and attention we provide to our employees, the better chance we can influence them and help them make better decisions which in turn will help the company regardless if its an engineering company.
Q4 - How do you get employees to commit to the company?A4 - You can never make employees commit to a company but you can give them good reasons to want to work hard and make a difference. Employees who don't feel part of the organization or receive any information naturally aren't fully committed. Therefore, the first step is to have engagement and communication with all the employees in the organization. We also want to give employees a stake in ABB's future by encouraging openness and involvement. This can be anything from a manager acknowledging the hard work, to new assignments and responsibilities to help employees grow.