YKK Stories

Fundamental Behavior 22 – Take Pride in our Appearance

August 2, 2022
Author: YKK
Fundamental Behaviors

Take pride in our appearance

On some occasions I have been asked by friends and colleagues from other companies in areas completely different from the industrial one if working in production or maintenance areas means that I should not be seriously concerned about appearance in order to be remarkable in the things that are done every day, that is to say, as a synonym of success.

I usually answer them in a roundabout way that appearance should not be referred to a mere physical aspect, because judging in this way can be something frivolous and even superficial. I consider myself a faithful believer that personal appearance is a component in my “personal brand,” which goes beyond how a work colleague dresses. It comprises, in addition, of a wide spectrum of human and professional behaviors of what is done and said in the work and personal environment.

One of the greatest learnings I have had at YKK has been to take care of the appearance of my workstation within the always dynamic production office. Every morning I join my colleagues and we diligently tidy up and clean individually every desk, chair, and periphery of our place, which makes me feel very proud of how we look. I love this practice and have been able to cultivate it in my home. Without a doubt, this simple but powerful daily habit has given a lot of meaning and structure to my professional career and to my life.

Another excellent opportunity that YKK has given me is to allow me to promote within the company the development of the Japanese practice of the 5S, through annual competitions where our colleagues put into practice the most important concepts of order and cleanliness in those most difficult areas. It fills me with satisfaction to see how they finally take pride in their 5S projects and how they convey an unmistakable sense of triumph when they win a prize.

There is no doubt that YKK gives us ample faculties to take care of and transmit our image (appearance) in different ways. One of them is the verbal and body language with which we can transmit information of the DNA of our image. I have realized over the years that when acquiring leadership positions either within the company, our community or even our own family, we are constantly under public scrutiny, i.e., many observe and judge us for what we do and say (and for what we do not). For this reason, we should not overlook aspects such as being careful of how we speak, dress and act, but without ceasing to be authentic.

Finally, I want to share something funny: I remember when I was a young teenager and student, I daydreamed that one day my father would enter my workplace and ask me where is my desk and the chair where I sit. With great joy I dreamed that I would show it to him full of pride. Time has passed and when for some reason I do not feel energized to do my morning cleaning, I imagine that father will enter at any moment through the wide door of the office, and immediately without hesitation I recover my courage and I get down to work.

Joaquin Hernandez
Deputy Plant Manager
YKK El Salvador