Michelin: Providing Purpose-Driven Careers
Since opening its first South Carolina manufacturing facilities in 1975, international tire maker Michelin has been touching lives and creating career opportunities in the Upstate.
Today, more than 8,520 people are employed by Michelin in South Carolina – at the company’s North American headquarters located alongside Interstate 85 in Greenville, at its research facility near the Donaldson Center and at the production facilities in the state.
Michelin is a mobility company that designs, manufactures and sells tires for every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, farm equipment, heavy duty trucks, motorcycles, and bicycles, as well as publishing travel-related guides and maps.
At Michelin, the Company puts people first – its own employees and the people who use its product and services. It is guided by its core values and its Purpose: “We care about giving people a better way forward.”
The Company’s Purpose is carried out by its employees – demonstrated as these three company employees – each from a different area of the business, with varying experiences – reflect on their roles:
Purpose Coordinator, Michelin at the North American Headquarters
Years of Service with your company?: Eight years. Prior to my current role, I was in the customer service department. I had many different roles in Customer Service, from account coordinator, to process engineer, to project manager, and finally department trainer. I transitioned into my current role of Purpose Coordinator in June of 2016.
Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with dual focuses in marketing and human resource management, University of South Carolina
MBA and a Master’s in Management Science, Southern Wesleyan University
Tell me some about the work that you do: Purpose is a project that will eventually transition into a way of being. The project launched in February of 2015 with only one full-timer and has grown to a dedicated team of three with many others contributing to the project’s success in addition to their current roles. These individuals are passionate about what we are trying to accomplish: bringing Michelin’s purpose of providing people a better way forward to the forefront.
The volunteers are a variety of individuals from throughout the business; we have people who work in the passenger tire line, supply chain, sales, and even in production who volunteer their time to implement the Purpose program.
What does a typical day of work look like?: A typical day is very atypical. I feel like I get to be a jack of all trades in this position. I do anything from coordinating the scheduling of new groups that are coming on to do these purpose sessions and leadership experiences. I work with the groups to make sure we have facilities booked and everything aligned to complete these sessions.
I also coach, too. One of the opportunities that this role has given me was my coaching certification through the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching, and now I’m able to coach sessions with different leadership groups throughout North America.
I’ve also done some creative work, such as implementing our new website, www.sharepurpose.org
, an external website where our employees can go on and share the great stories of purpose that they’ve experienced while in Michelin and give us their ideas of how to keep purpose moving forward.
Is there a single definition of “Purpose?”:
That’s a good question. Our official purpose statement is: ‘We care about giving people a better way forward.’ It is brilliantly vague, because we find that many of our employees can tap into it in a variety of ways.
For example, some people are extremely passionate about the product we make, and other people have a passion for giving back to the community. As I’m sure you’re aware, in the Upstate alone we contribute greatly to many causes such as the United Way and Special Olympics.
What are the skills most important to your job?: Flexibility, coaching skills, time management and organization. Also, I need those communication skills to make sure that I’m able to talk to people in all different levels of the organization and ensure my message is clear and concise.
What is your favorite thing about your job?: It would almost be easier for me to tell you my least favorite thing, because that boils down to just one: making sure we have the capacity to do everything that we want to do.
My absolutely favorite thing is the people that I work with; maybe it’s a little bit selfish of an answer, but they have just given me so much knowledge and experience by sharing what they’ve done in their careers and any advice they can give to me.
One more thing I love is to see how we’re actually transforming mindsets and creating stronger leaders at Michelin. It’s really exciting to witness to this transformation.
A child tells you they want to follow in your footsteps when they grow up. What advice do you give them?: There is absolutely nothing that you can’t do – if you tell yourself that you can do it, you can. You can have all of the technical skills and training, but as soon as you have the desire, you’ve got it and can accomplish it.
And find a mentor, informal or formal. Mentors are invaluable!
Is your company engaged in the community?:
For me, my work has been more behind the scenes planning the events and helping employees seek the volunteer opportunities. More often, others partake and I’m behind the scenes helping to plan.
For more insights from Michelin employees, see: