Barry-Wehmiller’s “Portraits of a Better World” video series features team members from across the organization sharing how Truly Human Leadership is alive in their corner of our global organization. Whether describing their leadership at work, their contributions within their communities or the indirect impact of our culture on their families, these short vignettes give voice to the many ways we are using the power of our business to build a better world.
As business leaders, when we evaluate the performance of our companies, it’s always good to ask ourselves whether the traditional organizational structure and programs we created are really serving a purpose. Are they there for a reason or are they there just because that’s the way it’s always been? At the end of the day, who or what do they serve?
In the years after we established Barry-Wehmiller’s cultural vision statement, the Guiding Principles of Leadership, each department in our company began looking inward to ask these questions and establish their own vision. Now that we had a set document that articulated our values as a company, it was important for each to examine their role in light of those shared priorities.
Every department participated – from finance, to communications, to facilities and beyond. In 2007, it was Human Resources’ turn. Their re-evaluation made them re-think almost everything they did.
Through their session, the team realized their role was more than numbers, procedures and forms. It was about helping to create and facilitate an environment where people could flourish and reach their full potential.
And the feeling was that the term “Human Resources” didn’t really apply anymore.
“People are more than ‘resources’ or a means to our end,” said Rhonda Spencer, now our Chief People Officer. “They are our purpose.”
The team changed its name to “Culture and People Development.”
“Changing the name of the HR department to Culture and People Development was really just the ‘icing on the cake’ after the visioning session to establish the true purpose of this organization,” Rhonda said. “Over time, this new vision enabled the CPD team to evolve from a transactional service to the organization to an integral part of the leadership of the business.”
Greg Myer, Director of Culture and People Development at our PneumaticScaleAngelus company in Akron, Ohio, said that this difference was part of why he joined our team at Barry-Wehmiller.
“HR is much more sterile, black and white. They’re worried about statutory effects, they’re worried about numbers, they’re worried about head count,” Greg said.
“I really came to Barry-Wehmiller because I was attracted by the tremendous culture I saw. I came from a much larger company, a much more sterile organization that didn’t really care about people as much.
“I’ve seen people grow. I’ve seen people realize their goals. I’ve seen people be successful. I’ve seen people happy. I’ve seen people satisfied. It’s one of the best parts of my role.”
To see other Portraits of a Better World, click here.