"Integrity and trust are built by consistently acting in a professional and honest manner"
Company / Interview
August 10, 2023
Our corporate values are the cultural cornerstones of what we care about as an organization; providing a common purpose we can all work towards and live by. This month we’re looking at Integrity & trust with Vice President Human Resources, David Brookfield. David talks to us about why this value is the foundation pillar for HR as a function, why we can’t drive our sustainability agenda without trust and why we should always act in accordance with what we’re saying.
First things first, what does Integrity & trust mean for us as a business, and more importantly, how can our colleagues live this value every day?
For LKQ, Integrity & trust means acting in the LKQ way, even when nobody is watching. It’s standing by our values, and putting our customers first all day, every day. Integrity enhances our reputation, helping to attract and retain not only customers but also our employees. For us as a business, it means acting in accordance with the message we’re promoting.
As colleagues, we can live this value in many ways, including taking responsibility for our own actions, showing respect for other team members, and maintaining a positive attitude. Things don’t always go to plan, and when we hold up our hands and say, “that was my fault” without finger-pointing or blaming others, we instill trust in those around us. We can also live this value by being open to feedback and constructive criticism without taking it personally – we cannot grow as individuals unless we’re given the opportunity to develop areas of ourselves that aren’t as strong as others. It’s important to remember when we’re given feedback that it’s not a personal attack on us as individuals, rather providing us with the tools we need to be the best versions of ourselves at LKQ.
How does Integrity & trust impact your function?
Working in HR, Integrity & trust are the pillars that hold this function up. If colleagues don’t trust us to pay them on time, to discuss personal matters with us or to support them with their development goals then we’ve already lost them to our competitors. Our HR teams are constantly evolving and growing, looking at new and innovative ways to increase employee engagement or introduce new platforms and initiatives that improve the working environments for our colleagues.
Trust isn’t a one-way road; it’s a two-way street. As leaders, if we don’t trust our teams to deliver their work within their own parameters without micromanaging, we cannot expect them to trust us with their feedback. And if we don’t know what we need to improve, then we can’t make any changes. We’ve spent the last few years cultivating an environment of trust where our people can take our colleague engagement survey, completely anonymously, and trust that there will be no repercussions based on their open and honest feedback. We’ll be launching the survey again this year on 4 October, but to date, we’ve done a substantial amount as an organization to act on the feedback from the 2022 survey as part of our You said, we delivered initiative. From increasing well-being awareness and launching a brand new LKQYou platform, to launching our new SharePoint intranet and a quarterly update newsletter from Varun, everything we do, we do to ensure our colleagues continue to thrive at LKQ.
Why is Integrity & trust important for our sustainability strategy?
As leaders in the automotive aftermarket, we’re well regarded as subject matter experts. But we didn’t arrive there overnight. We’ve spent years cultivating this reputation and in order to be seen as SMEs when it comes to our sustainability agenda, we need to ensure Integrity & trust is at the heart of that.
It goes back to saying one thing and acting in the opposite way. We need to live what we say and act in accordance with that if we want to be taken seriously by our peers, colleagues, customers, and other stakeholders.
Why is this value important to you and how do you ‘live’ it in your day-to-day role?
Being trustworthy means being worthy of someone’s trust and behaving consistently in a manner that attracts people’s trust to you. In HR, confidentiality is key, and everyone working within the function knows the importance of maintaining that. Without integrity and trust the credibility of us as a function would be non-existent and we wouldn’t be able to deliver HR excellence day in, day out.
Integrity and trust are built by consistently acting in a professional and honest manner – one conversation, one action and one follow-through at a time. And whilst we may not be doing the old-fashioned ‘trust fall’ exercises, you can trust the HR function to ‘catch you’ if you do find yourself struggling. From our well-being initiatives to development programs, we ensure we instill integrity and trust in everything we do for the benefit of our people.