Independent survey by the Great Place to Work Institute highlights ‘family spirit’ of the company’s Paris Customer Support Center
PARIS–Nexteer Automotive’s European Headquarters and Customer Support Center near Paris has been ranked number five in the top 50 employers in France by the Great Place to Work Institute. The Institute conducted two surveys, one analyzing company culture, human resource policies and procedures as well as management practices, the other one surveying employees’ opinions. The surveys measure five trust-building factors that create a great workplace: credibility, respect, fairness, pride and camaraderie.
“It’s good to receive independent recognition of how well we work together,” said Pascale Ruiz, Nexteer’s Human Resources Director for Europe. “As a supplier of advanced steering technologies, Nexteer needs perfect quality and a high-performance culture to deliver them. We base our culture on four core values: clarity of purpose, robust dialogue, a sense of urgency and strong relationships. The result is a working environment that our employees – and the Great Place to Work Institute – say has a real family spirit.”
All of Nexteer’s Paris employees took part in the Great Place to Work survey, volunteering their opinions about their organization: 94% rated Nexteer as a great place to work. Staff highlighted the conviviality of the company and pride in belonging to the Nexteer family. Assignments abroad and daily work with international teams were another source of motivation and satisfaction, with the mix of cultures at the company also valued highly by people.
“Nexteer’s objective is to become a benchmark company for the automotive industry,” said Laurent Bresson, Nexteer’s Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer International division and Global Sales. “A working environment where good ideas progress more quickly and innovation thrives is what supports dynamic growth. Orders for our electric power steering systems have reached record levels – and provide a source of further motivation for us all, bringing fresh challenges but without the pressure for fast results.”
Nexteer has undergone significant change in recent years. Now an independent Tier One supplier, specializing in driveline and steering systems, the company has won more than $6 billion of future orders since it was established in 2010.
Q&A with Laurent Bresson, Senior Vice President & Chief Operating Officer International division and Global Sales
What makes Nexteer a great place to work?
Great companies have great camaraderie. Nexteer underwent a lot of change in recent years: it’s a new brand with energy, but also a company with a century of history and an established reputation in the industry.
Everybody here has always been open and direct with each other and I think the changes have pulled us even closer together. Everybody here understands that they play a part in Nexteer’s success and in winning new business; Nexteer empowers all employees to act as owners of the company, to use their unique skills and abilities.
An important factor is that Nexteer does not hesitate to entrust junior employees, to allow them to grow up, to develop their potential and build up their experience. This is one of the keys to ensuring Nexteer’s success: to know how to make sure everyone brings their value to the company.
Of course, it also helps that Nexteer has some great technologies, global career opportunities and challenging projects.
How important is clarity of purpose?
Clarity of purpose is critical. The steering system is a significant factor in how a car feels to drive and Nexteer has been pioneering the introduction of electric power steering since the first mass-market application in 1999. Everybody understands that we’re committed to delivering the highest quality and that we take seriously any suggestion on how to do things better still.
The result is a team that produces results that customers respect. To get to this result, clarity of purpose is key: it allows everyone to understand very precisely what he/she has to do to implement the company’s strategy at their own level, and as a consequence, to make the difference.
How would you describe Nexteer’s corporate culture?
The key thing is that everybody at Nexteer is encouraged to speak their mind freely. Having people who are free to offer ideas and criticism is what gives us the continuous improvement that benefits our employees, products and customers alike. It also means we attract the right people when we recruit – we get applications from people looking for opportunities to learn and develop their careers, knowledge and skills.
We also put a lot of emphasis on offering global career opportunities. It’s really important that even the junior members of the team have the chance to build experience in this way. Working on challenging projects around the world alongside people from the leading car manufacturers creates enormous growth opportunities for individuals and our company.
Creating these chances for people to move around the organisation, promoting or helping them to work in different areas also helps the company to keep in touch with employees’ ambitions and capabilities. It also ensures that employees learn more about the company’s needs and objectives.
The Great Place to Work award demonstrates that our company’s culture is just right. It’s a subtle mix of soft and hard values: strong relationships, robust dialogue, a sense of urgency, and clarity of purpose. These values strengthen the indispensable link between superior execution and care for our people. We drive financial results while valuing the people who deliver the performance.
Nexteer Automotive is a multi-billion dollar global steering and driveline business solely dedicated to electric and hydraulic steering systems, steering columns and driveline products for original equipment manufacturers. Its 9,800 workforce serves more than 60 customers in every major region of the world. The company has 20 manufacturing plants, five engineering centers and 15 customer service centers strategically located in North and South America, Europe and Asia. Nexteer Automotive’s customers include GM, Fiat, Ford, Toyota, Chrysler and PSA Peugeot Citroen, as well as automakers in India, China, and South America.
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