DuPont Cultivates Respect as a Global Asset
When a corporate giant like E. I. Du Pont De Nemours and Company (DuPont), the Delaware based diversified manufacturer, makes Respect for People one of its four core values, alongside Safety, Exhibiting the highest Ethical Standards and Protecting the Environment, they must be onto something. They are. DuPont realized a long time ago that if you respect your people they will respect each other, produce at a higher level and improve in the other three core values. For those reasons, respect has been a company core value for many years. And while there may be tangential impact on profits and litigation avoidance, those are coincidental. DuPont leadership believes it’s the right way to run a successful company.
For more than 200 years, DuPont has brought world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace through innovative products, materials and services. Our market-driven innovation introduces thousands of new products and patent applications every year, serving markets as diverse as agriculture, nutrition, electronics and communications, safety and protection, home and construction, transportation and apparel.
According to Director of Respect for People Central Greg Martz “though we had a diverse, inclusive work environment, our other core values had more structure, systemized improvement programs, and dedicated resources — Respect for People was trailing in its formal approach.” In 2009 DuPont’s senior leadership decided to do something about it.
The effort started by surveying over 13,000 of DuPont’s 58,000 employees in 69 “discovery” locations. The results of this enormous undertaking showed that almost 90 percent of those surveyed believed that DuPont was a respectful place to work. That would be a satisfactory mark for many organizations but in terms of a core value within DuPont, 90 percent leaves room for improvement. They knew they needed training, audit capabilities, metrics and communications processes.
In the following video, Paul Meshanko discusses what brought DuPont to Legacy Business Cultures and the Connecting With Respect workshop.
With the help of Legacy Business Cultures and a customized DuPont version of LBC’s Connecting With Respect® workshops, they expect to train over 200 facilitators worldwide by the summer of 2011. DuPont is committed to delivering respect training in 20 languages to more than 40,000 employees by 2014. Senior leadership at DuPont fully supports the effort and is providing the resources, funding and promotion any major corporate roll out needs to be successful.
Along with the training itself, DuPont is also creating internal communications programs that will help generate more knowledge around respect. DuPont is convinced that the effort they are championing will make it a better place to work and provide positive bottom line return. And that’s good news for both employees and the company’s shareholders.
“Although we had a diverse, inclusive work environment, our other core values had more structure, systemized improvement programs, and dedicated resources — Respect for People was trailing in its formal approach — Legacy Business Cultures customized the Connecting with Respect program for a global rollout and there has been an instant impact.”