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Happy Anniversary: Five Years of Shared KION Values!

From large groups to medium-sized companies, most companies now have a mission statement. But it’s not always a given that staff have had a say in developing them. At KION Group, however, more than 1000 employees from around the world were asked to help define the requirements for a positive working environment. The process included colleagues from all levels of the hierarchy and across all business units and regions, in order to ensure that our values represent the KION Group as a whole. Now, five years on, we are looking back at how they were defined and ask what they mean to employees today. From Sydney to Indaiatuba, we spoke to colleagues who were involved in the development process back then.


Interviews with the Creators of the KION Values

Frank Bender (Diretor Presidente, KION ITS Americas)

At which location did you help develop the KION values?
Indaiatuba (Brazil) and Frankfurt (Germany).

Why was the creation of the KION values something special for you?
I was and still am very proud to be part of the group that helped and worked intensively in the creation of our company values. I learned a lot during this process and could also represent my region South America in this process.

Why are values important for a company?
I believe that company´s values act as a glue that holds people together with a joint motivation and direction.

What does the value Collaboration/Integrity/Excellence/Courage mean to you personally?
For me personally all 4 values are extremely important and I can say that I fulfill myself professionally speaking working in a company that have similar values that I have in my life.

Why should we all collaborate more/be bolder/do what we promised/do an exceptional job for our customers?
I can not imagine a company being successful in the long run if it doesn’t deliver what it promises, and there is no other way to do so, without collaboration of all employees, giving their best every day to better meet the expectations of our customers.

What do the values mean to you today?
For me our values represent exactly what they meant some years ago when they were introduced. Our Values represent a crucial role in our company. and they certainly influence our individual behavior and the way we work with our colleagues, customers, suppliers, competitors, and municipalities wherever we are located.

Our KION Group Values

Our corporate values are important to us, as they guide our actions as individuals and when collaborating—with colleagues, managers, employees, customers, suppliers, and applicants.

Integrity—We do what is right.
Collaboration—We trust each other.
Courage—We change and innovate.
Excellence—We create outstanding customer value.

Ramona Woop (Specialist, ITS EMEA, Product Creation Processes, Tools & Data)

At which location did you help develop the KION values?
Belrose (Sydney), Australia

Why are values important for a company?
I think it is neither the company nor the products that connect us, it is rather the values behind that connect us, revealing what really matters.

What does the value Collaboration and Integrity mean to you personally?
Courage and integrity are my favorite values at present. Courage means to me in the business context to bring in new ideas, to do things different and to always be positive and open-minded for new developments.
I remember the value “integrity” was deeply discussed at the workshop in Belrose and strongly recommended by many of the participants there. Since then, the meaning and importance of integrity has become more conscious to me.

How do we bring our values to life?

Want to see some specific examples of how we practice the KION values in our day-to-day work? If so, our stories will tell you about how we collaborate successfully, try to do the right thing in every situation, explore new horizons, and give our best for our customers day in, day out.

Wolfgang Köhne (Senior Vice President KION Financial Services)

Where were you involved in developing the KION values?
I took part in the KION North America workshop in Summerville.

What made helping to create the KION values a special experience for you?
When a company wants to define its values, it is a whole different kind of commitment towards customers and employees. Since the values have such a palpable effect on daily collaboration, being involved in developing and participating in these values was a special privilege and experience. The KION Executive Board did make some initial suggestions, but we were assured right from the start that the results of the workshop could and should build and improve on these suggestions. This was something that really stood out for me.

Why are values important for a company?
They provide an additional rationale to the company’s management style, which, beyond all the economic goals, is essential in motivating and retaining employees, and in raising the quality of collaboration to a higher level. Since the credibility and effectiveness of the company management now also depend on promoting and adhering to these values, this gives rise, almost automatically, to a whole different style of leadership and communication.

What does the value of courage mean to you personally?
For me, courage is the value best suited to thinking and acting dynamically, to changing and making decisions in times of uncertainty, and to being willing to try new things and experiment. This is a high standard and one by which I constantly measure myself and by which I want to be measured.

Why should we all collaborate more/be more courageous/do what we have promised to do/go the extra mile for the customer?
Because the status quo can sometimes be so comfortable, and the way people experience the pressure to change can be so subjective. If you want to build something extraordinary and future-proof, you need more than expertise and conviction—we need all of our values to interact cohesively as we move towards new and better things.

What do the values mean to you today?
These values are now a big motivating factor behind my continued commitment to KION.