Values and principles

Mutually defined values and principles are the foundation of our company. They form the basis and guidelines of our conduct.

In our daily work we focus both on people and on results. We work in order to achieve results that our relevant to our customers - as people. That is why we focus on our common values. They give us something on which to focus our long-term decisions and provide all our employees with security. The dependable focus on our values generates trust.

Irrespective of any religious influence, together we have freely defined these values in order to provide the basis for good collaboration.

Our values are also the basis of our management principles. Here we have described in our own words how our managers would like to manage employees.

We would like to measure ourselves against these guidelines by means of feedback talks. Productive feedback relies on openness among each other. Moreover, feedback is the foundation for personal development in our company.

Working well together based on defined values is a necessary condition for achieving a sense of purpose at work. Every one of us spends a major part of their lifetime at work, and each of us is responsible for how we organise our lifetime. It has been shown that a people who see a purpose to their work, also work better (see also the works of Viktor Frankl on this subject). That is the advantage that our company has as a whole - and by which we will ensure our future.

Family company

As a family company, from the very beginning we were proud of our corporate culture and our good collaboration.

Well into the 80s it was still common to have a barbecue together on Friday evening after work, seeing out the week with sausages and beer. Every employee was invited to this by Klaus Kuhn. Increasing growth saw the introduction of shift work and the number of employees grew year by year. There were an increasing number of "new faces". In the meantime we have almost 200 employees - how do you create a "common spirit", and how do we maintain the good sense of collaboration throughout the company?

From the company management to temporary staff, everyone wants to work in a company where there is a feeling of cooperation. This is an important condition in being able to generate productive performance in the first place.

Therefore, in the 90s we first defined our own "Rules towards good collaboration" in management circles and discussed them every year. It helped us to make decisions on important issues and in particular was a yardstick for ourselves.

In 2003 we expanded this to the definitions of our values, our management principles and our code of conduct in a group of 20 leading employees. One weekend in June these three fundamentals were set out in writing and consequently signed by everybody. A copy can be found on the wall of every member of management.

In 2005 all employees finally defined in writing and signed a common code of conduct in their respective teams without any instructions "from the top" or other influence on each other, just for themselves, based on our company values.

Our Values

Of course values only serve any use if we conduct ourselves in accordance with them and if we live them out in our daily activities. Therefore, systematic feedbacks about actual conduct in relation to the defined values are an important, regular exercise for us. They provide us with a valuable impetus to improve.

If you only go to work for the purpose of maintaining your existence, you are missing out on a large element of quality of life. We like to see everyone tackling their day-to-day tasks with keenness and gusto, as this is the only way to find the greatest possible success in work. Our values are values that are worth living. 

Tolerance

All our employees and colleagues are accepted just as they are. Every one of them is a valuable member of his or her team.


Health

Our approach to workplace health and safety does not just entail fulfilling official regulations. Each workstation is designed to guarantee maximum integrity and ergonomic optimisation.

Humanity

Working conditions with a human face reveal our sense of fair play and helpful attitude. Everyone is willing to reach a consensus, while refraining from anything (such as bullying) that is likely to make life difficult for others. We seek to provide a healthy balance between work and leisure time.

Sense of Responsibility

All products must be ethically sustainable, while fulfilling maximum quality and health and safety standards. Users’ health must not be endangered. No decisions are made that are likely to endanger workplace health and safety.

Honesty

Honesty is the best basis for our dealings with each other. This includes direct communication and a matching willingness to tackle mistakes. Information is passed on in good time, and all agreements must have a realistic basis.

Esteem

Respect is the top priority. This entails above all listening to what others have to say, and dealing with conflicts without any resort to controversies from elsewhere in the world.


Reliability

Commitments are kept, reliably and punctually. Everyone behaves in a disciplined manner.

Openness

Feedback is likewise important when it comes to improving factors such as an openness to new approaches. We all need to be able to accept criticism, and also to express it without fear of offending others. This involves treating personal information with absolute confidentiality. 

Our principles

Leadership qualities should not be left to the instinct of whoever is in charge. They need to be learnt and internalised. We apply these guidelines to ourselves, as confirmed by our signature on them:

  • We will always treat our employees with honesty, reliability, decency and tolerance.
  • We will respect and pay attention to our employees.
  • We are responsible for our employees.
  • We will react sensibly and helpfully to all our employees concerns.
  • We will create trust and clarity through transparency and openness.
  • We are committed to improvement, willingness to learn and creativity.
  • We will act responsibly and thus promote reaching goals in conformity with the efficiency and the state of knowledge of our employees.
  • We will offer regular feedback and also demand this of our employees.
  • We will promote critical faculties and thus create the basis for a good working relationship.
  • We will take consistent action in relation to these management guidelines and will thus fulfill our model function.

Code of conduct

Our code of conduct is based on these values and guidelines. This specifically describes how we should behave to each other in the course of our day-to-day encounters. And everyone is on board: 

  • We will make decisions and consistently pursue our goals for common success.
  • We will conclude realistic agreements, which we will formulate clearly and explicitly and will staunchly adhere to.
  • We will provide and ask for relevant information in good time.
  • We will speak frequently and honestly with each other, will listen, and will ask for and provide constructive feedback.
  •  We will accept responsibility for our actions.
  • We will stand by our mistakes.
  • We will respect other people's opinions and are willing to compromise.
  • We will improve our personal knowledge and skills and are open to new things.
  • We will continuously work to improve procedures.

Our company is known for its open and honest corporate culture. It was therefore a question here of "strengthening strengths" and looking in terms of continuous company development at ways in which we could improve in this area. At our management workshop in June 2005, we discussed the subject of openness at our company intensively and together thought about how we could make further progress on this important company value.

Open to criticism and open to new things

Openness affects all the subjects that are important to the company, such as quality, costs, customers, security, competition, employees etc.. It does not go as far as private matters, as long as the concerns of the company do not take precedence.

Treating all the subjects important to the company openly gives us many benefits:

  • Greater trust
  • Higher productivity
  • Faster ability to respond
  • Better understanding
  • Time saving
  • More ideas
  • Better implementation of ideas
  • Better participation in ideas
  • Better development

When openness is restricted, it is usually due to the following reasons:

  • Harmony between colleagues and departments should not be disrupted.
  • Bad news should be suppressed or spin-doctored.
  • There is a general sense of uncertainty.
  • A negative mood prevails.

This can have far-reaching consequences for the organisation. Relationships are almost always harmed at a direct, personal level. This creates precisely the effect that we wish to avoid.

We have therefore reached a mutual agreement on the subject of “openness” as it is lived within our organisation.

Source:  “Winning” by Jack Welch; Chapter 2: “Openness”

Systematic feedback is a given for us when it comes to applying our values clearly and living them in the course of our day-to-day business. Our agreement on the subject of openness is based on this prerequisite.

An ability to provide feedback is therefore an integral part of our corporate culture, and not just from supervisor to supervised, but also the other way round.

Open feedback entails opportunity for the person on the receiving end

  • to learn about defects
  • to discover misunderstandings
  • to learn about missing or incorrect information
  • to learn something about the effect of his personality and conduct and in particular
  • to be able to compare the image of himself with that of someone else.

We regard feedback as a continuous learning process, which recognises the lasting impact of being able to have you say with the boss, colleagues or other members of staff. Open feedback is the key to mutual trust and proactive further development. This makes it instrumental for success in the long term.

These principles are designed for living and working in the long term. And everyone starting out with us needs to be suitably convinced in this respect. 

We would be pleased to answer your questions on the subjects of stainless steel casting, centrifugal casting and composite casting, along with the machining of stainless steel and the manufacture of components to your own precise specifications, including items for decanter construction, shipbuilding, engine manufacture and much else besides.

Just call us on
+49 (0)2195 671-0

. Call directly

infonothing@kuhn-edelstahl.com

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