Stories – People & Planet
People & Planet – How Comet is solving for what’s next
Values for success.
A company’s culture provides a key foundation for the ability to adapt to rapidly changing conditions in a world that never stands still. With strong shared values, we want to work together even better in the future, learn from each other, create a more attractive working environment and so remain innovative and fit for tomorrow.
“Organizations and their culture are changed by people.”
VP HRBP, Group Functions & Integrated Talent Management, Flamatt, Switzerland
“To stay successful in the future, we need to be a company that world-leading companies want to work with and dedicated people want to work for,” says Kevin Crofton, CEO of the Comet Group. “For this to happen, it must be clear to us – and to the world around us – what we stand for as a company. That’s possible only with a strong shared corporate culture.”
Our journey to a strong culture
In 2021, we worked with the IMD business school to further our development as one company and one global team. A key focus was on our culture and our values and behaviors.
The global leadership program we launched in 2020 (annual report 2020: Learning together and achieving our full potential) was the starting point: With a Culture and Values task force and selected experts, we worked out together which values are particularly important to us at Comet. The management team then discussed the proposed values and prioritized three. They are “trustful collaboration”, “challenge and empower”, and “customer orientation.”
“It was about us as a team and ultimately as a unified company.”
Technical Service Manager, Hudson, Ohio, USA
Values dialog across all organizational levels
“Organizations and their culture are changed by people,” affirms Catherine MacGillivray-Prantl, VP HRBP, Group Functions & Integrated Talent Management, Flamatt, Switzerland, who was responsible for the leadership trainings. “We need employees across all levels and functions who say: ’Yes, that’s the culture we want as a company, and I am going to lead by example to help us get there.’”
To instill and reinforce the values and the corresponding behaviors in the organization, we relied on dialog. Over the course of the year, 240 team leaders worldwide received leadership training and then in turn each led workshops with their respective team. The goal: to actively engage every employee at Comet in the conversation about our culture, values and behaviors.
“When I was first invited to the values leadership training, I thought that maybe I would learn a few new buzz-phrases and hear some insightful stories,” says Christopher Cherry, Technical Service Manager in Hudson, Ohio, USA. “But the training was organized in a way that allowed for people from diverse regions, backgrounds, and cultures to share experiences and learn from each other. It was about us as a team and ultimately as a unified company.”
“We received a lot of support from our colleagues worldwide. Without this close cooperation, it would have been difficult for the team in China to win this award.”
Senior Key Account Manager, Plasma Control Technologies, Shanghai, China
Promoting shared values – Kudos and spot award
To help promote the values of “trustful collaboration”, “challenge and empower” and “customer orientation” in everyday work, each employee received a set of 30 Kudos cards. With these cards, every employee is encouraged to thank colleagues for valued behaviors, such as particularly good collaboration, and to offer recognition for behavior that supports the Comet values. Our Group management as well took the opportunity to award Kudos, including to the whole team at the end of the year.
In late 2021, Comet introduced a global “Up and Beyond” employee spot award. The award will be presented from 2022 on for outstanding collaboration within the Group, for exceptional initiatives, and to employees who model and embody Comet’s values.
Practicing customer orientation even more completely
In 2021, Comet won much recognition from its customers. Notably, Comet’s Plasma Control Technologies division was honored with a customer’s Supplier Excellence Award 2021 for superior performance and PCT’s contribution to their success.
Similarly, at the supplier conference of a semiconductor manufacturing equipment maker in Beijing in October 2021, Comet Plasma Control Technologies was recognized as an “excellent partner 2021”. “We received a lot of support from our sites in Flamatt, Aachen, San Jose and especially from our Asia Design Center in Suwon. Without this close cooperation, it would have been difficult for the team in China to win this award,” says David Dai, Senior Key Account Manager, Plasma Control Technologies in Shanghai.
At Comet, we work hand in hand with our customers to develop forward-thinking solutions. We seek to earn customers’ loyalty by fully understanding and meeting their needs. To create the best conditions for this, we invested in the further training of our global sales team in 2021. From September to November 2021, more than 75 sales employees worldwide received sales training, tailored to Comet, by one of the world’s leading providers of such programs.
“We know that companies which emphasize diversity and inclusion are generally more successful.”
Senior Market Segment Manager and coordinator of the diversity and inclusion initiative, San Jose, California, USA
Encourage diversity of perspectives and develop talents
In a rapidly changing world, organizations and teams must constantly adapt to new circumstances. In this fluid environment, learning is the key to success. With the value of “challenge and empower”, Comet strives for an organization in which each and every employee can learn and develop according to their abilities and contribute to the company’s success. To move closer to this goal, we have launched a global talent management program.
At Comet, we recognize the importance of equality and of valuing diversity and want to ensure that all employees are treated equally, regardless of gender, age, origin or other protected personal characteristics. We also know that the different experiences and perspectives of our colleagues help us to learn from each other and find better solutions together. For all these reasons, we want to promote diversity and inclusion in the company. A pioneering role in this is played by our Comet Technologies team in the USA, which has already established a diversity and inclusion board. “We know that companies which emphasize diversity and inclusion are generally more successful,” remarks Anthony Williams, Senior Market Segment Manager, IXM USA, and coordinator of the diversity and inclusion initiative. “Not only are employees more engaged and satisfied, but customers are happier and the companies are more innovative.”
Comet received the “Fair-ON-Pay +” certification for gender pay equity for the Flamatt, Switzerland, site in 2021. We are on the right track and are committed to do more in the area of diversity, equity and inclusion in order to realize our full potential as the Comet Group.