Leveraging the Full Benefit of Diversity

Managers in Perth, Australia participate in an Affirmative Development Project workshop where they learn how to manage people from different backgrounds and cultures. The workshop is called "Embracing Diversity: Your Role in Creating a Winning Team."

A diverse and inclusive work environment helps all employees work more effectively and efficiently, both with their local teams and with colleagues around the world. This ability to work locally and globally allows Cummins to focus on leveraging the full power of the Company for its customers no matter where they are located.

One way Cummins works to create the right environment for success is through a program called Unleashing the Collective Power of Groups and Individuals, also known as the Affirmative Development Project. This project brings employees at all levels together to learn and practice skills that facilitate better understanding and engagement.

Workshops are customized for each participating group, depending on its specific needs, and help managers work more effectively with affinity groups, which are organized at Cummins around a specific demographic trait, and Local Diversity Councils, which are designed to promote diversity in general. The project’s goal: help all employees reach their full potential.

This project helps employees who are Affinity Group or Local Diversity Council members, as well as leaders, better align and strengthen their organizations. It helps managers and supervisiors better connect with and lead diverse teams.


How it Works

While much of the discussion during the sessions is customized to meet the particular cultural needs of the audience, the framework remains the same around the world.

A series of one-on-one conversations with employees at all levels of the organization begins the workshop planning process. These conversations are intended to help the facilitators better understand the intricacies and concerns of the local cultures they will be working with throughout the project.

The second part is a full-day session with affinity group and Local Diversity Council members, their managers and the local leadership. This event offers a venue for employees to speak freely about issues, work collaboratively to develop plans to strengthen the impact of affinity groups and Local Diversity Councils, and explore ways to manage and work more effectively in diverse teams while also experiencing role modeling and championing from Cummins leaders.

The final part is a full-day session designed specifically to help managers and supervisors in managing their diverse teams. Through facilitated discussion and group exercises, managers develop action plans to assist them in connecting more productively with employees whose backgrounds and experiences are different than theirs.

A key challenge is to move their skills from good to great. Participants are surveyed before the workshops and 90 and 120 days after the sessions to gauge the short- and long-term effects of the training.

The project has been delivered in Columbus, Ind.; India and China in recent years. During the past 12 months, the initiative kicked off in Brazil and Australia.

In Brazil, more than 300 employees at all levels attended the sessions, which were conducted with simultaneous translation to ensure understanding. Four new employee resource groups were launched, including affinity groups for women, Generation Y, Afro-Brazilian and Special Needs.

“Our workshops in Brazil helped us as leaders to see opportunities to include perspectives that we may not have previously thought about,” said Luis Pasquotto, Vice President – South America Area Business Organization. “It’s important to capture the voices of employees at all levels. This workshop helped us rediscover the tremendous advantage our diversity gives us. Now we have more than a forum where those voices can be heard on a regular basis.”

Most recently, the project launched in Australia with the goal of re-energizing two employee resource groups: a Women’s Affinity Group and a Local Diversity Council, and launching an affinity group for apprentices.

“Everyone has a role to play in creating a great work environment,” said Gino Butera, Executive Managing Director, Asia Pacific.

“We saw how passionate employees are about creating an inclusive environment where everyone can realize their potential. This workshop allowed us to see how vested employees are in our success, and now we are working to ensure that we continually look for ways to empower these employees to share their perspectives.”

Employees give high praise for these sessions. Managers believe they are better equipped to handle difficult situations as a result of the workshops, and nearly every employee would recommend the workshops to colleagues.

blair claflin director of sustainability communications

Blair Claflin

Blair Claflin is the Director of Sustainability Communications for Cummins Inc. Blair joined the Company in 2008 as the Diversity Communications Director. Blair comes from a newspaper background. He worked previously for the Indianapolis Star (2002-2008) and for the Des Moines Register (1997-2002) prior to that. [email protected]

 

Cummins employee joins the frontlines of the fight in the U.K. against COVID-19

Cummins employee Stephen Layton checks the medical gases at the Nightingale Hospital at ExCeL London.
Cummins employee Stephen Layton checks the medical gases at the Nightingale Hospital at ExCeL London.

Stephen Layton is a Cummins employee in the U.K. and a husband and father to three children. With COVID-19 cases rising, it would have been easy to become insular. But when he thought he could help, Layton didn’t hesitate.  

Prior to joining Cummins as a telecommunications manager, Layton worked in the medical gas testing industry, ensuring that oxygen and other essential gases needed in hospital intensive care units were up to standards.

When the pandemic escalated in the U.K., Layton was sought after by contacts from his medical gas testing days to help as a volunteer testing the medical gases at some locations including the Nightingale Hospital at ExCeL London.

The Nightingale Hospital at ExCeL London.
The Nightingale hospitals like the one at ExCeL London provided valuable capacity to the British health care system at the peak of the virus outbreak and will remain open in case the virus spikes again.

The exhibition and convention center was initially converted into a 500-bed hospital with ventilators and oxygen to help with the crisis but was later expanded to a 2,000-bed facility.

“I thought about the thousands of people who would need these medical gases to survive and couldn’t say no to playing my part,” said Layton, who has also volunteered at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, another convention center converted into a Nightingale Hospital about two hours northwest of London. 

He completed more than 100 volunteer hours at these hospitals and is scheduled for more. Layton and the team he’s working with have tested gases on more than 1,800 bed-stations at different Nightingale hospitals. Each bed has an oxygen supply to deliver directly to patients and another oxygen and medical air supply to run ventilators.

Through it all, for Layton and the team, safety has been the number one priority. 

“We adhere to the highest safety and hygiene procedures at all times,” he said. “We drive in separate cars to the hospitals, even though most of us live close to each other and could carpool; we keep our masks on; we wash our hands frequently and we maintain good distance while working.” 

Layton is one of many people around the world putting themselves on the line to help in the response to COVID-19. His volunteer service and dedication embodies the Cummins values of caring and integrity.


 

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Doing our part: Increasing digital inclusion through technology

Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2020
GAAD is an annual observance dedicated to encouraging the world to talk, think and learn about digital access, inclusion and people with different disabilities. 

This year marks the ninth Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), an annual observance dedicated to encouraging the world to talk, think and learn about digital access, inclusion and people with different disabilities. 

At Cummins, we have a deep-rooted commitment to empowering our employees to reach their full potential by working to ensure a truly diverse, accessible, equitable and inclusive environment. For Dennis Heathfield, Executive Director of Inclusion – People with Disabilities and Veterans at Cummins, the opportunity to join GAAD and help the organization amplify its mission is a no brainer.

“Our goal is to reduce barriers to employment for people with disabilities and having accessible technology is a first step in that,” Heathfield said. “We are proud to recognize Global Accessibility Awareness Day and partner with our employees to ensure they have technology to meet their needs.” 

Making technology accessible

As a company with more than 60,000 employees around the world, efforts to create an inclusive work environment extend to the technology Cummins employees use to perform their jobs, including websites, software, computers and mobile devices. 

The company’s aim is to enable employees to fully and independently understand, navigate and interact with technology functions and features easily and effectively. 

“We believe that technology is for everyone,” Heathfield added. “As a company with a rich history of diverse and inclusive policies, we continuously look for ways to make the tools our employees use every day more accessible for users of all abilities.” 

From speech recognition software to captioned telephones (CapTel), the following portfolio of solutions – available to Cummins employees around the world – highlights the company’s continuous efforts to ensure that employees get the most from their technology. 

  1. Speech Recognition Software - The enterprise-ready speech recognition solution converts speech to text empowering employees to create high-quality documentation faster and more efficiently.
  2. Text Prediction Software – AI-powered text predictions help employees avoid typing the same text over and over again in applications they use every day.
  3. Magnifier/Reader Software – A magnifier/reader is a fully integrated magnification and reading program tailored for low-vision users. Magnifiers/readers enlarge and enhance everything on an employee’s computer screen, echoing their typing and essential program activity, and automatically reading documents, web pages and email.
  4. Captioned Telephones - Designed exclusively for individuals with hearing loss, captioned phones (CapTel) work just like any other phone, but users can listen and read word-for-word captions of everything said over the phone.

Ways you can help

Ready to take action? Learn more about GAAD and obtain guidance on how to improve digital accessibility in your workplace by visiting Global Accessibility Awareness Day online, and read about Cummins’ long history of diversity and inclusion

You can also help spread the word about GAAD on social media by joining the conversation and tagging your posts with #GAAD and #InclusionAtCummins

Lauren O'Dell Sidler - Cummins Inc.

Lauren O'Dell Sidler

As a senior communications specialist with Cummins Inc., Lauren O’Dell Sidler works with Cummins leaders to develop and implement communications strategies that reach Cummins’ global audience. 

Employee uses analytical skills to help hospital plan for COVID-19

Cummins employee Stephen Aryee's model will help health care officials in his community.
Cummins employee Stephen Aryee's model will help health care officials in his community.

Having grown up in western Africa, Stephen Aryee is no stranger to health epidemics and the devastating impact they can have on communities.

When he read a news article in early March about COVID-19 cases in the U.S. where he lives now, Aryee was curious to understand how the virus could impact his local community. He thought he might be able to help others gain insights because of his work at Cummins in strategy and market intelligence.

“I felt a sense of urgency when I saw the data,” said Aryee, a Market Insights Segment Leader in the Strategy group. “I felt compelled to find a way to help.” 

MINING THE DATA

Using data he found on Johns Hopkins University’s website, he began building a model focused on Bartholomew County, Indiana, where he currently lives and works and where Cummins has its headquarters. In under a week, the model was complete, producing four key outputs:

•    Actual infections compared to confirmed cases, showing community leaders how the virus may be spreading but hasn’t been captured by confirmed tests.  
•    Potential hospitalizations based on real cases instead of confirmed cases. 
•    Time for a surge to reach hospitals, helping health officials with capacity planning, so they have enough resources to respond. 
•    Expected peak of infection if social distancing guidelines are implemented. 
 
“I knew that if we were behind the curve when the surge hit our community, it would result in a lot of lost lives,” Aryee said. “We’ve got to have a handle on this. I thought if I could make the right models, it would help leaders make informed decisions.” 

PERFECT TIMING

He presented his work to a Cummins business leader, who immediately connected him to Jim Schacht, Executive Director of Community Relations and Corporate Responsibility, and also a member of a Columbus, Indiana, based coronavirus task force. Schacht quickly shared Aryee’s work with leaders at the city’s hospital, Columbus Regional Health (CRH). 

Aryee’s work couldn’t have come at a better time. The executive team at CRH was already working with an analytics group to apply state-level data but needed help localizing it to the 11-county region the hospital serves. He shared his work with CRH leaders to help with modeling data as they define action plans.

“His current role at Cummins requires using lots of data to create a forecast,” said Jahon Hobbeheydar, Executive Director of Corporate Strategy. “I’m proud of him for applying his unique skills to benefit his community in this critical time of need.” 

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Cummins OEM protects customers and employees

Onan QG 5500 EFI commercial mobile generator powers an emergency vehicles (photo by Frazer)

Cummins Commercial Mobile OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) Frazer, Ltd. understands the impact that essential workers can make during a pandemic. Based in Houston, Texas - Frazer, Ltd. is the leading builder of emergency service vehicles and generator powered custom EMS vehicles for over 25 years. 

For 15 years, Frazer has strictly relied on Cummins to provide their units with the most reliable power. In a time where critical care is at its peak, the company recognizes the need to be truly prepared for any variable. Because of its true independence from the chassis, Frazer opted for the Onan QG 5500 EFI commercial mobile generator to power their emergency vehicles and specialty mobile healthcare units. Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, the mobile lung screening unit was only used to screen for the beginning stages of lung cancer. Now these specialty units have been deemed even more essential and critical during the pandemic as the virus has been known to attack the lungs and respiratory system first. 

Specialty mobile healthcare unit
A mobile lung screening unit powered by the Onan QG 5500 EFI commercial mobile generator (photo by Frazer)

Frazer is taking every precaution when it comes to the safety of patients and medical personnel - who can take comfort in knowing that most units feature a state of the art ultra violet light decontamination system. This UV light decontamination system allows UV-C light to get into the cracks and crevices of the equipment to disinfect and decontaminate the unit. This is much more efficient than physically wiping down the unit or using aerosol systems which allow for too much downtime. 

Across the country, service teams and shops who partner with Frazer are also teaming up to help fight the pandemic. Frazer representative, Scott Harrell said, “You can’t have a unit down because it needs to be out there saving people’s lives.” Frazer is also offering free service training at their Houston production facility – which includes training on the Cummins Onan generator. “Anything to help the customer take care of their unit to help it last longer,” said Harrell.

Since the start of the pandemic, Frazer has been committed to providing safe and continuous service to their customers as well as a safe working environment for their employees. To keep up with production demands during the COVID-19 crisis, the company completed an in-depth analysis of their production lines. The results indicated that moving to two shifts allowed the company to safely limit the number of employees on the production floor. All employees are expected to wear PPE and stations have been geared to keep people working at a safe distance. The company is also taking steps to possibly install UV lights on the production lines to aid in continuous decontamination. From the employees to the customers across the country, Frazer is doing their part to make sure safety is always at the top of the list.

Jill Weiler headshot

Jill Weiler

Jill Weiler is a Marketing and Communications Senior Specialist for the DBU. She joined the company in 2012, and has served in a variety of roles including Visual Communications as an associate producer and project manager. Prior to joining Cummins, Jill served in the United States Army for 4 years.

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