Learning from Another ‘Great Place to Work’: Mercedes-Benz – Encore

A lot of companies formed 133 years ago are no longer around.

  • Time takes its toll
  • Business models change
  • Technology improves
  • Values are reformed

For the companies that have survived the “Win or Go Home” tournaments, it is important to study them and learn lessons of their successes … and failures.

One such company is the international automotive conglomerate Mercedes-Benz or DaimlerBenz:

Mercedes-Benz is a German global automobile marque and a division of Daimler AG. Mercedes-Benz is known for luxury vehicles, buses, coaches, ambulances and trucks. The headquarters is in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg. The name first appeared in 1926 under Daimler-Benz. In 2018, Mercedes-Benz was the biggest selling premium vehicle brand in the world, having sold 2.31 million passenger cars.[4]

Mercedes-Benz traces its origins to Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft‘s 1901 Mercedes and Karl Benz‘s 1886 Benz Patent-Motorwagen, which is widely regarded as the first gasoline-powered automobile. – Source: Wikipedia.

This “Old Dog” has learned a lot of “New Tricks”.

They are considered one of the Great Places to Work, by the formal Great Place to Work® Institute; they are in the Top Ten on the 2018 List.

VIDEO – World’s Best Workplaces 2018 | Daimler Financial Services – https://youtu.be/HG2nGLaEj9w

Published on Oct 17, 2018

One such Value Reformation that Mercedes-Benz has completed that other companies, institutions and regions – this mean YOU Caribbean stakeholders – can learn from is the emphasis on Diversity and Inclusion. See this ethos featured in the internal company newsletter here from December 9, 2019:

Title: How we shape Diversity & Inclusion
Daimler employs more than 298,000 people from around 160 nations. And that is just one aspect of our company’s diversity. We shape Diversity & Inclusion with appropriate offers and measures for our employees in five dimensions.

  • We work in international teams: Our workforce from around 160 nations offers us first-hand insights into our different markets and customer groups. Daimler employs people from different countries and cultures to combine their different perspectives in projects and produce the most optimal results.
  • We bring people from different generations together: Daimler employs people from five generations. Experience is combined with fresh ideas in intergenerational teams in order to create new approaches. Our employees can develop further and unfold, regardless of age. For this we offer a great variety of learning possibilities.
  • We promote equal opportunity for all genders: A balanced relationship between women and men benefits companies and society equally. Be it as developers, location managers, assembly workers or members of the Board of Management: Women work at all levels at Daimler. The share of women in senior management positions is to increase to at least 20 percent by 2020.
  • We defend the rights of the LGBTI+ Community: We would like our employees to feel that they can speak openly about their sexual orientation and identity. This applies to gays, lesbians and bisexuals as well as to trans* persons or intersexual people. And we also take to the streets for this: With the Daimler Pride Tour [Link] we are sending a clear signal for diversity, respect and appreciation – worldwide.
  • We include people with disabilities on an equal footing: The participation of severely disabled people in working life is more than an obligation for us. On the basis of our inclusion agreement, we create jobs for people with disabilities and promote their further qualification. Our action plan for severely disabled trainees opens up a wide range of commercial and technical professions for young people.

Source: Posted December 9, 2019; retrieved December 19, 2019 from https://www.daimler.com/sustainability/basics/employees/how-we-shape-diversity-inclusion.html

For the movement behind the book Go Lean…Caribbean – the movement to reform and transform the Caribbean – this is not our first time focusing on the classification of Great Places to Work. In fact, we published a previous blog-commentary on December 2, 2014; it is only apropos to Encore that submission here-now:

Go Lean Commentary – Making a Great Place to Work®

The book Go Lean…Caribbean represents a quest to make the Caribbean a better place to live, work and play. The focus on this commentary is on work. There is actually a formula to making an organization a Great Place to Work®; that formula is so regimented that it is copyrighted and patented, and thus the ® symbol. This effort is pursued by the Great Place to Work® Institute. Below is their corporate information and accompanying VIDEO:

Video: The Great Place to Work Institute Model – http://youtu.be/IneDx950xRA

Great Place to Work Institute co-founder Robert Levering discusses the history of the Institute and how after 25 years of researching the best companies to work for around the world, that high levels of trust between employees and managers is the main element found in great workplaces. – Uploaded on Nov 7, 2011


CU Blog - Making a Great Place To Work - Photo 1For over 25 years we’ve studied and identified great workplaces around the world.

Your company can be a great workplace, and you have the power to make it happen. It begins with an investment in building trust throughout your organization. The return will be a more vibrant enterprise, more innovative products and more satisfying relationships. Employees who trust their managers give their best work freely, and their extra effort goes right to the company’s bottom line. Managers who trust their employees allow innovative ideas to bubble up from all levels of the company. Employees who trust each other report a sense of camaraderie and even the feeling of being part of a family. Together they deliver far more than the sum of their individual efforts.

We’ve built the Great Place to Work® Model on 25 years of research and surveys of millions of employees.

Many of the best performing companies have followed this insight and seen tremendous results. At the Great Place to Work® Institute, we’ve spent 25 years tracking these leaders and learning from their successes. By surveying millions of employees and studying thousands of businesses, we’ve created a model for building performance based on trust. It’s our contribution to a global shift in businesses that is changing the way the world works.

We know that trust is the single most important ingredient in making a workplace great.

Our data show that building workplace trust is the best investment your company can make, leading to better recruitment, lower turnover, greater innovation, higher productivity, more loyal customers and higher profits. Our model provides specific, actionable steps to get you there. While you’ll be the one to lead your company on this journey, we can provide steady guidance from one of our 40 offices around the world.

We know that great workplaces are better financial performers.

Companies of all sizes look to us for our assessment tools, trainings, advisory services, conferences and workshops. The world looks to us to identify the best workplaces through our renowned lists. It’s all part of our passion to create a better world by helping you create a great workplace. Wherever you are on your journey, we invite you to join us and create yours.

Our clients are those companies and organizations that wish to maintain Best Company environments, those that are ready to dramatically improve the culture within their workplaces, and those in between the two. We know that organizations that build trust and create a rewarding cycle of personal contribution and appreciation create workplace cultures that deliver outstanding business performance.
Great Place to Work® – Corporate Website (Retrieved 12/01/2014)http://www.greatplacetowork.com/about-us

CU Blog - Making a Great Place To Work - Photo 2

The Go Lean book stresses the need to create great work places. It serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation for the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). As a federation or federal government, there will be the need to employ (and empower) a Civil Service workforce; this labor pool is projected to be only 30,000 people, thusly embracing lean (or agile) delivery methodologies.

Lean relates to management, the Great Place to Work® concept, on the other hand, relates more to character and organizational culture. In fact the foregoing source material highlights one attribute more so than any other: Trust. They relate that from the employee’s perspective, a great workplace is one where they:

  • TRUST the people they work for;
  • Have PRIDE in what they do; and
  • ENJOY the people they work with.

So “Trust” is the defining principle of great workplaces. Consider the example of one company, in the Detroit Metro area, Credit Acceptance Corporation in the Appendix below.

While federal employees, civil servants, are among the stakeholders for Caribbean empowerment, they are not the only stakeholders the CU must cater to; there are other stakeholders that cover other aspects of Caribbean life. In fact, the prime directives of the CU covers these 3 focus areas:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines.

The roadmap identifies, qualifies and proposes the establishment of a technocratic civil service throughout the region (Page 173). The book posits that an empowered, effective labor force, coupled with advanced technology tools and processes can adequately meet the needs of the region’s super-national government. Imagine kiosks, websites, call centers and mobile applications (Page 197) as opposed to big-bulky edifices with bureaucratic staffers working a queue (think “permits/licensing” in any typical US state – see Page 93 for the example of Nebraska’s “lean” conversion with the Department of Environmental Quality). This technology-led vision is fully detailed in the book (Page 168), encompassing the tactical approach of a “separation-of-powers” with the member-states for specific governmental functionality that will be assumed under CU jurisdiction (Page 71).

In addition to these public sector employees, the Go Lean roadmap also focuses on private enterprises. While there is no plan to micro-manage private companies in the free market, there is the plan to rate/rank companies that are effective and efficient. Imagine: 10 Great Places to Work – Bahamas, 10 Great Places to Work – Dominican Republic, 10 Great Places to Work – Jamaica, so on and so on.

Previously, Go Lean blogs commented on job developments, in the public sector and also with industrial and entrepreneurial endeavors. These points were depicted in the following sample:

Funding Caribbean Entrepreneurs – The ‘Crowdfunding’ Way
Where the Jobs Are – Entrepreneurial Jobs
Jamaica’s Public Pension Under-funded
The Criminalization of American Business – Bad Examples
STEM Jobs Are Filling Slowly
British public sector workers strike over ‘poverty pay’
Puerto Rico Governor Signs Bill on Small-Medium-Enterprises
Self-employment on the rise in the Caribbean – World Bank

Now is the time for all Caribbean stakeholders, employees in the public and private sectors, to lean-in to this regional solution for Caribbean empowerment. The end result, a better workplace and a better homeland; in total, a better place to live, work and play.

Download the book Go Lean … Caribbean – now!


APPENDIX: Culture Without Compromise – One Case / One Company:


This year, Credit Acceptance, a Michigan-based indirect finance company, secured one of the coveted spots on the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For list for the first time—a goal the company has actively been working toward since 2001 under the leadership of CEO Brett Roberts. While related efforts were numerous and spanned a 13-year period, there are 3 key takeaways to be learned from Credit Acceptance’s journey to greatness from our case study: Culture Without Compromise.

CU Blog - Making a Great Place To Work - Photo 3

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