Laetitia, Michelle and Xavier choose respect as their prime value
What Unilin value suits you best? Laetitia Servais, Michelle Magill and Xavier Schaubroeck have all chosen respect. Laetita sums up her choice like this: "Respect is the driver that propels the other values forward."
No matter what division you work for, regardless of your location or role, respect will get you a lot further. That view is shared by Laetitia Servais (Quality Auditor at Unilin Flooring in Vielsalm, Belgium), Michelle Magill (Marketing Manager at Unilin Flooring UK and Ireland) and Xavier Schaubroeck (Technical Leader at Unilin Panels in Oostrozebeke, Belgium).
Why did you choose respect as your value?
Laetitia: "Collaboration is best when you show mutual respect. I myself am in touch with various colleagues a lot: I have to take and request samples, follow up and check quality processes ... Respect is a value that is important every day, both in your personal and professional relationships."
Michelle: "From a very young age, it was instilled in me that I should treat people the way I want to be treated myself. Do you know 'Respect' by Aretha Franklin? That's my anthem, not only in the workplace, but also in my private life. That value is the best reflection of who I am."
Xavier: "My connection with this value is the strongest. It’s also the value that affects me most when it’s not observed. I can get annoyed when people pass on responsibilities or tasks to other colleagues. Outside work, too, I feel it’s terrible when people treat each other disrespectfully: parking in a disabled space when they shouldn’t, throwing cans on the street ... Of course, I'm certainly not perfect myself, I know."
Why is respect so important in the workplace?
Laetitia: "Respect defines how we treat each other, but also how we treat our products, raw materials and customers. What we do in terms of recycling and green energy – all those things are close to my heart. They are a sign of respect towards our environment. Attention to workplace safety is important every day. It's also about respect for the colleagues you work with. For me, respect is the alpha and omega of everything we do. It’s the driver that propels the other values forward."
Xavier: "Treating each other with respect is a foundation for good cooperation and is necessary to move forward as a company. But it means so much more. For me, it also means avoiding dangerous situations for the colleagues who come after you. Cleaning up your own mess is also a sign of respect. You shouldn't expect anyone else to do that."
What do you pay particular attention to yourself?
Laetitia: "In terms of quality, we have to respect all kinds of European and ISO standards. That means I closely monitor my colleagues' compliance with procedures every day. If I see that it is not the case, I talk to people about it in a respectful way. I think that conveying a negative message in a constructive way is also a sign of respect."
Michelle: "I listen to others as much as possible, and try to respect them for who they are, even if they are different or have a different opinion. You can show respect in the little things, too. For example, I always try to be on time at meetings out of respect for others."
Xavier: "I treat everyone equally, regardless of their education, language, background ... I try to encourage a respectful attitude by setting a good example as consistently as possible myself. I'm certainly not perfect, but I do my best to be there for my colleagues. My door is always open to talk about things in a respectful way, and that includes criticism."
Is respect something you can learn?
Michelle: "Absolutely, I had to learn it myself. It's not always easy, especially when you have a difference of opinions. You only get respect when you show it yourself. Now it is a part of my personality, and I pass it on to my children."
Laetitia: "I think initially, you learn it at home. My parents taught me to treat everyone with respect, regardless of their background, faith or outlook on life. And yet, I am still learning more every day. I work with colleagues from different cultural backgrounds. I respect the values these colleagues find important. I learn more about that every day."
Xavier: "I do think you can learn to be respectful. Personally, I am completely different now than I was 20 years ago in that respect. I have really evolved in terms of my values and how I work on them consciously. I am not the same person I was when I graduated. In order to grow as a person, you have to want it yourself, though."