The COVID-19 pandemic has put us all in uncharted waters. The entire world is facing an unprecedented crisis and at times like this it is normal to feel a little overwhelmed and out of control.
Knauf Australia’s HR Director Phil Renwick says the four Knauf company values provide a roadmap to help our employees, clients and customers focus on what is important in the present time as we wade through the current challenges.
“The Knauf Group spans over 130 countries, but we are all connected through our solid company values – Menschlichkeit, partnership, commitment and entrepreneurship. These values are more important now than ever to guide us through the disruption caused by the pandemic,” he said.
According to Phil the Knauf value of Menschlichkeit calls on us to act with the wellbeing of everybody in mind. Menschlichkeit is a German word that echoes what it means to be part of one big family, and it relates to ourselves, our clients and everybody else involved in our actions. “We serve our company value of Menschlichkeit by practicing responsible distancing, hygiene, and working from home when possible.”
The value of partnership is of special importance during this time, Phil said. “We might be apart physically, but it is more important than ever to rely on one another for support and assistance. Technology makes it possible, and we’ve seen a seamless transition to working remotely, largely thanks to the adaptability of our workforce,” he said.
“I’ve seen teams regularly meeting on Skype to discuss the week ahead, but I’ve also seen mates just catching up for a virtual lunch or coffee break during the day. This is important, because one can easily feel isolated without the social interaction that comes with being part of a team.
“Social distancing measures apply only to our physical distance from each other. Teamwork is as important as ever.”
It is easy to see why commitment is an important value in challenging times. “It takes commitment to adapt to new circumstances while maintaining quality work and productivity,” Phil said.
“I like to think that commitment is a two-way street: The company remains committed to its employees by always putting their safety and wellbeing first, and employees respond by adapting to the circumstances and always giving their best.”
Phil says the value of entrepreneurship will make us successful at surviving the crisis and emerging stronger on the other side. “It is our ability to learn, to adapt and to think creatively that will help us to weather the storm.
“Nobody knows when COVID-19 will stop disrupting life as we know it, but at least all experts are in agreement: It will pass. By holding on to our company values we will be able to not only survive this challenging time, but learn valuable lessons for the future,” Phil said.