Kimball’s culture has been built upon a sense of family. Nowhere is our sense of family values more evident than in the “Family” aspects of our total rewards package.
Kimball International - A Family Friendly Company:
The Kimball view of ‘family’ benefits has traditionally set us apart from most companies who focus on the employee, but who do little or nothing to recognize the employee’s children and family. When we say ‘family friendly’, we point to those things we do that reinforce family appreciation.
- Employee Birthdays - Employee recognition ranges from annual gifts to location celebrations, birthday cards or alternative special day events.
- Annual Children's Parties -- Recognition of employee children under the age of 12 through Children's Christmas parties and gifts or equivalent type holiday events.
- Family Picnics - Recognition of employees and their entire families through company-organized family picnics or outings that provide food, fun and camaraderie.
- Employee Appreciation - All employees are recognized annually with a Kimball International branded gift, as well as special treats or luncheons.
- College Scholarships - Children of U.S. employees are eligible for annual awarding of $1,200 college scholarships in the field of interest of their choice.
- Family Flex Benefit Coverage - U.S. Employees can participate in medical, dental, life insurance, and health savings accounts, with children who are full-time students covered up to age 25.
Kimball Hospitality-Asia held a beach party for employees and their families. The day of fun, relaxation and team-building included speedboats, swimming, a barbeque, contests and prizes.
Creating a spirit of Teamwork and fostering a sense of Humor in the workplace is important at Kimball. While preferences vary globally, it is common for managers to organize employee celebrations and to recognize successes.
We're extremely proud of one Kimball hallmark that stands out with our customers and suppliers alike: they both tell us that they most enjoy working with our people.
The Kimball Difference:
The Kimball Difference equates to the philosophies that we put into practice, that support our continual success and truly make us an "Employer of Choice". Kimball focuses on providing a work environment that emphasizes ergonomic training and job accommodations, OSHA -recognized safety programs, injury-free workplaces, and best practices regarding environmental issues that protect both employees and our communities.
Rule One: We have few rules.
Kimball International has always felt strongly about maintaining a culture with "few rules." The few rules we do have aren't carved in stone. If good judgment deems a rule should change, it will change. Our rules, like our people, are flexible, and when needed, can adapt to the ever-present challenges and changes facing our company.
We even have incorporated this "few rules" belief into one of our corporate Guiding Principles: "The most unfair system of all is one that blindly treats all situations the same. Therefore we discourage rigid rules and policies in favor of a philosophy of individual responsibility and flexibility, so that real needs, rather than the rules, are met."
We strive to live our Guiding Principles, to cultivate a leadership style that embraces the attitudes of personal autonomy and empowerment, individual initiative and teamwork, employee involvement and continuous improvement, and open, non-defensive communication. In this way, we seek to differentiate Kimball as a true "employer of choice" and thereby achieve for our Employees, our Customers, our Share Owners and our Communities, the Kimball International vision: "We Build Success".
Kimball's Open Door Policy
Kimball International's "Open Door" Policy, which is included in the Employee Handbook, provides an open invitation for feedback and discussion. The term "open door" is viewed at Kimball as a recognized right of admittance, the freedom of access to leaders, all in the spirit of our open, non-defensive communication beliefs. We truly believe that to be successful, we need the free exchange of ideas, information and discussion with all employees. Open, honest, and non-defensive communication facilitates the continuous improvement of our company. Employees are encouraged to talk to anyone, at any time, on any idea, issue or concern, starting the dialogue with their immediate supervisor at their location and expanding as necessary.
Our success has enabled Kimball to expand our global footprint of operations for the sake of generating even more success. We exist among many global cultures, yet we all share the same work culture. Our Open Door Policy is taken as seriously as it has ever been. Open, honest communication helps the Kimball team grow stronger. It makes us more productive, more quality-conscious, more efficient, and more satisfied with our jobs. Ultimately, it helps us serve our customers better, which helps us all. This is why sustaining our Open Door Policy is vital to our collective future success.
That open door policy has been in place since our start-up in 1950. Sustaining such a policy is an expectation required of our managers, supervisors and all leaders, and it is a natural part of our work culture, no matter the geographic location or job role.
"Offering ideas for improvements and new products is an opportunity we all share, a responsibility we must all accept. We seek to promote and reinforce an entrepreneurial spirit - a conviction that growth and continuous improvement is everyone's job." - Kimball International Guiding Principles.
Kimball International was built upon a culture that recognized and rewarded personal initiative, promoted development opportunities, emphasized safety and environmental issues, took a trend-setting focus on serving its customers, and shared its success with its employees, its communities and its shareowners. Our people, their dedication, hard work and ideas have fueled our successful growth.
A key component of effective employee relations is staying in touch with employees by seeking their feedback and listening to their ideas and concerns.
Open, non-defensive communication is a key part of Kimball International's culture. We address each other on a first name basis and our open door policy provides an ongoing opportunity and invitation for feedback and discussion.
Our long-held belief in open communication plays an important role in helping Kimball grow stronger. We promote open communication in all employee meetings, and encourage private talks with management, as well. Our Guiding Principles Feedback Survey provides employees a frequent opportunity to share thoughts without fear of retribution. Our open door policy is vital to Kimball's future success - and the future success of all of us.
Employee Feedback - Vision & Guiding Principles Surveys
Listening, engaging and communicating are essential in the Kimball culture.
Kimball International seeks to provide a participative work environment in which employees have a deep understanding of work processes and can offer valuable suggestions for improving our overall effectiveness. Employee engagement is an opportunity, not an obligation, so we voluntarily seek our employees' proactive role in the Company's success.
The formal mechanism for employee feedback is our Guiding Principles Feedback Survey. Conducted every 12-24 months by each business unit, this survey seeks specific feedback, from all employees, on how well we are living up to the company’s Guiding Principles. The results are measured and actions are defined to drive continuous improvement and better survey scores. Every survey cycle, approximately 80% of our employees provide feedback.
Ten years ago, we decided to formalize our process of employee feedback, starting with surveys to benchmark our employees' perceptions of their Company's performance as an employer of choice. Ongoing surveys enable us to track our progress. Each year we have improved.
A key finding was that along with improvement of our ratings came an improvement in the actual numbers of employees participating in the feedback process. Understandable initial skepticism was replaced by a sense of real ownership as employees came to see that their input truly does matter, and actions really are taken as a result.
Starting with a goal to achieve a feedback rating of eight on a scale of ten, we have progressed to the point that our teams are looking to recalibrate our targets, aiming higher, in a spirit of continuous improvement.
In addition to surveys, other feedback tools include employee focus group meetings, team meetings, discussion debrief sessions, and informal "managing by walking around" to invite conversations and open dialogue.
Based upon the feedback received through these channels, we believe we are being successful in improving our daily work environment and in maintaining our culture.
|Guiding Principles Feedback Survey Results
Company-wide, the highest ranking responses from recent surveys include:
"I have the flexibility I need to balance the responsibilities of my job with my personal obligations."
"My work area discourages rigid rules and policies in favor of individual responsibility and flexibility."
"I feel valued and respected."
"There is a sense of family and good humor within my work environment."
"People help each other and work together to achieve success."