What links a KONE service technician in North America, a branch manager in the Middle East, and an R&D specialist at our Kunshan site in China?
The answer is the unique and strong KONE culture, which guides how our 60,000 employees work together, see the world and put our customers at the center of all we do. Our culture roots us in shared values and mutual trust – vital for navigating the world’s uncertainties and challenges as we interact every day with half a million customers and move roughly a billion people.
For 2023, Forbes magazine has once again ranked KONE as one of the world’s best employers, placing us in the top 700 global companies based on this year’s survey of 170,000 employees in 55 countries.
In partnership with market researchers Statista, Forbes sought recommendations and insights from employees of multinational companies and institutions. Respondents were asked whether they would recommend their company to family or friends, and to rate their employer based on such criteria as talent development, diversity, and pride in the product or services the company offers.
We are particularly proud of this accolade and see it as a sign that we're succeeding in our first strategic target, to make KONE a great place to work. Our talented and brilliant people are our greatest asset, and we believe that happy workers make for happy customers.
So what goes in to building a winning company culture?
We all have a part to play
KONE’s culture is created by each one of us, in the things we do that support our customers and colleagues, and the acts that inspire people around us and make the world a better place.
Cultivating an inclusive culture among KONE’s diverse family, spread over more than 60 countries, is not something that happens by accident. Cultural development at KONE means continuous engagement with 60,000 employees, collecting data to make informed decisions and course corrections, and tracking performance against strategic objectives.
KONE’s culture analysis has uncovered that some of the habits and behaviors that support employees’ sense of involvement are openness and trust, encouraging personal ownership and employee-led innovation.
Brilliant ideas come to life when we make efforts to involve each other, share our approaches, and discuss and learn from our mistakes.
Underpinning KONE’s culture is the drive to be genuinely inclusive and give space to different voices. “Diversity and inclusion are good for business,” explains Susanne Skippari, KONE's Executive Vice President of People & Communications. “It brings much broader thinking and a better source of ideas and viewpoints.”
Staying curious, learning from others and asking ‘why’ more often are simple actions that we all can practice, and can lead to bigger actions.
"We work hard to build an empowering and inclusive culture at KONE,” Skippari says. “In an inclusive culture, people feel safe to speak about everything, ask questions and give their viewpoints, and that helps us to become a better company for employees and for our customers."
Another crucial ingredient is a focus on constant personal and professional development.
The secret to success with customers
Our culture holds the key to building a great customer experience, and it starts with listening. We may know our customers well, but their priorities and pain points may still come as a surprise.
That’s why we always start by encouraging customers to tell us how their business is doing and what their priorities and targets are. This simple practice not only helps us build the bridge between the customer’s priorities and KONE’s ways of supporting them, it’s also vital for arriving at the ideal solutions faster.