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Our leadership commitment
We believe that high performance and job satisfaction depend greatly on how we manage our people. And that depends on the extent to which individuals are valued. These really are not just words for us – we cherish individuality and encourage people to be and explore who they are. Creativity only flourishes when it is set free.
Our Leadership Commitment addresses the way in which we deal with one another on all levels of our organisation – and especially seeks out the best way for our managers to act. It ensures we treat and communicate with one another with respect so that everyone can use their skills freely, and can continue to develop both professionally and personally.
All our managers are schooled regularly to understand they have a huge responsibility. To create a framework in which “their” employees feel comfortable, trusted, respected and empowered. Comfortable and trusted because they are understood. Respected and empowered because their opinions and ideas are taken into consideration.
We know it works, and we are proud of what we achieve here at Sysmex. We have a low turnover of staff. Clients tell us they enjoy working with us. Our employees tell us they are pleased to work for us. And we are successful. We will remain committed to good leadership.
Throughout the following text, we use the pronouns ‘he’, ‘she’ and ‘they’ interchangeably. Just to make it sound better! Of course, we mean either men or women at all stages.
Power and abuse of power
Bosses possess power, assigned to them by the company. This means they can assert their will against that of “their” employees in cases of doubt.
When they exert this power, bosses often avail themselves of “rules” - sometimes to avoid discussing a content-related dispute. If rules are followed ‘blindly’, and individual cases are not addressed properly, employees may feel ignored or degraded. It can even lead to a situation in which the affected party feels so violated that their loyalty to their boss and even to the company decreases or vanishes. An abuse of power has occurred.
Loyalty and resignation
Loyalty will flourish only if a boss does not violate the fundamental, basic values of his or her employees, and treats them in such a way that they can feel respected as a person and in their dignity. A boss who takes this into consideration wins his employees’ trust. He can then assert his power in such a way that employees will be glad to follow.
However, if power is abused, employees may experience feelings of powerlessness, shame, frustration and disrespect. Initially this leads to passive resistance. Later, it may create active resistance and, if this doesn’t help, will end in resignation.
A need for clarification and declaration of obligation
Resignation by employees is worse than active resistance because the mental resignation it creates is difficult to perceive, hard to understand and can often no longer be changed.
In this sense, a boss should promptly understand that resistance indicates a need for clarification and should take action on his own to address the matter.
Our management personnel drafted our ‘Leadership Commitment’ within the frame of the ‘Sysmex Way’ in order to prevent such negative developments and to ensure cooperation is based on common values. In addition to being successful, we also want our work to bring fulfilment and joy.
This is the Sysmex Way!
Trust is personal
You only win another’s trust if the other person knows that you won’t and do not want to hurt him. But you can’t always avoid hurting someone. Because it’s not your own intention that is the decisive factor – it is the effect on the other. Damage occurs is someone feels injured - even if there was no intention to do so.
When clarifying, you must make sure at every stage that the injured party feels understood and respected with respect to his (subjective) feelings. You will best understand one another in personal discussions and by listening to one another closely.
Trust always lies with individuals - not in abstract organisations or groups. If you talk about ‘headquarters’, for example, the focus on individuals is lost and individuals cannot be given the individual respect they deserve. It becomes far more difficult to interact with one another in a trustworthy way. For this reason, we always approach individuals as individuals, instead of speaking of groups such as ‘the English’, ‘Accounting’, etc.
Respect creates trust
Respectful interaction leads to trust and is shown above all in how we conduct discussions.
Bosses should adhere to three basic rules:
- The foundation of respectful communication is that employees must at least feel listened to by his or her boss. So – the boss must create a framework, i.e. make enough time available, so that the employee can express queries, concerns, etc.
- Employees must feel understood. It’s not about the finest details – but the employee must at least feel his or her boss can understand the perspective. This calls for joint reflection in dialogue. In written form it is very long-winded and almost impossible. The solution, therefore, is having direct discussions as frequently as possible or necessary.
- The third fundamental rule is that employees have to feel considered. In a practical sense, this means that his ideas and opinions have, in his mind, been clearly and recognisably included in the decision-making process and possibly in the results. The boss must therefore provide feedback once after the decision has been made.
Basic values ensure self-respect
A boss wins the loyalty of his employees through respectful interaction and by respecting an employee’s ‘basic values’.
Values basically direct thought and action. The importance of the individual values is demonstrated by how much someone is willing to tolerate to ensure adherence. For your own ‘basic values’, you would accept even fundamental changes in your living conditions (e.g., moving from one place to another, changes in duties, or even financial sacrifices). Someone who violates his “basic values” over the long term loses self-respect.
For this reason, we make sure we respect employees’ basic values when we request their loyalty. To do so we have to properly consider their personal values and the culture to which they feel they belong.
Trust creates loyalty
It is legitimate for the boss to expect the loyalty of his employees. This means that the employee is willing, even in cases of doubt, to act against his own interests, ideas and conclusions in accordance with his boss’s wishes and to the benefit of the company’s overriding interests.
The requirement for this is the understanding that, with complex issues, opposing aspects must always be taken into consideration and that different people will evaluate particular aspects differently.
This may lead to different decisions being made that, however, can also be respected as long as they do not conflict with one’s own fundamental basic values.
Exerting power without showing respect is an abuse of power
Power that is exerted in an abusive manner is harmful and destroys trust. The more power that someone has, such as a boss, the more damage they can cause and the more they must prove trustworthiness. A boss does so by actively and clearly expressing respect towards individuals and their basic values.
The right to respect applies hierarchically in both directions. But the difference in power between a boss and “his” employees means employees must be more strongly protected from the abuse of power.
Resistance indicates a need for clarification
A good boss understands employee resistance as a need for clarification. At this point he should seek a discussion with the employees in question and pay close attention to when the employee
- doesn’t feel heard;
- doesn’t feel understood;
- doesn’t feel considered;
- feels his basic values are endangered.
The goal is to avoid a loss of trust or to regain it as fast as possible again.
At Sysmex, it is important to us that employees raise such concerns spontaneously. We therefore make sure suitable contact persons are available in addition to an employee’s direct boss.
We enforce rules in a respectful manner.
In larger organisations, reciprocal interaction is regulated by rules and prescribed procedures. But these procedures and rules only function efficiently and effectively if the persons affected have sufficient trust. Mistrust, for example, makes procedures slow, leads to attempts to circumvent such rules and to information being withheld.
Thus, when rules and regulations are being drafted, we ensure people who will be affected by such rules in the future feel they are being treated respectfully – being heard, understood and taken into consideration – so that trust can be developed.
We explain what rules are for
Rules and procedures are abused when they are applied if they are implemented as an end in themselves - “It’s the rule!”… The overriding purpose is lost, which was the reason for the rule in the first place. By focusing on the overriding purpose, you can apply the rule in an individual case properly and respectfully.
When formulating procedures and rules, we clarify and document the overriding purpose they serve. When applying them to individual cases in a dispute, we believe that this all-encompassing, overriding purpose must take precedence over the rule in cases of doubt.
Safeguarding the “agreement”
We want our ‘Leadership Commitment’ to be as binding and promote trust as much as a good agreement. It has high significance in our organisation. Because it is so important to us, we actively make sure we stick to this “commitment”.
- If an employee also experiences (as an affected party or as an observer) that this “Leadership Commitment” is not being fulfilled, the first step is to ask his superior for a personal meeting.
- As a second step, if required, the employee may ask that a representative from HR or his next higher superior attend a second meeting to act as an intermediary.
- If this does not provide clarity, the Human Resources division with active responsibility (on-site or at headquarters) will assume responsibility for deciding how best to proceed going forward.