Team spirit, a Jean Rousseau singularity
by Jacques Bordier
I am convinced that our team spirit is what makes Maison Jean Rousseau unique. We share strong values that create a sense of community within the Manufacture: the pride of making exceptional goods, a regional footprint and the family nature of the company. Of course, these values are not sufficient. Our “esprit de corps” must be reinforced every day and we make enthusiastic efforts in this sense.
Recruitment is essential to us, and it involves local anchoring. A few years ago, we visited several regional schools close to the Manufacture to identify the people in charge of professional trainings matching our needs. We also maintain strong relationships with the vocational school of Huisselets, in Montbeliard, which offer various courses in leather work.
In addition to the required qualifications, our recruiters have a genuine interest for people with passion, such as pattern making or embroidery. It is no wonder why we find experts in leather painting among our staff… true artists at heart! When working on such meticulous designs, passion is truly meaningful, as it implies a strong personal commitment.
Of course, we also make sure that the people we recruit share our values: respect, loyalty, recognition of the know-how and merit. These values are crucial as they contribute to the good social environment of the company. In fact, they are essential to anybody’s career development within the company.
Whilst we pay great attention to people’s true nature, we also try to exceed their expectations by offering ambitious training options. Every year, we dedicate a budget that is far superior to legal obligations on technical matters. Some will update their skills to keep up with the evolution of software, materials or technics. Others will learn English to accompany the international Manufacture’s development, etc. Experienced colleagues or external consultants lead these trainings that preserve our expertise and have helped us maintain the EPV label (standing for Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant – Living Heritage Company) since 2007, which rewards national firms for the excellence of their traditional and industrial know-how. We are now thinking of opening our own school to insure our skills will always be perfectly transmitted from one generation to another.
Besides, team spirit is also made of simple moments. Thanks to a committed work council, both our production sites organize a big picnic when summer comes and celebrate the end of the year with our colleagues and their family. These are important events at Jean Rousseau.
As for me, I always ensure to have dinner with the local teams every time I visit them. Also, we abrogated the privileges often limited to the hierarchy: at Jean Rousseau, parking spots and catering are for everyone! Last but not least, I try to nurture the feeling of community by encouraging our staff to wear their gown (white for craftsmen, blue for technicians)… with more or less success I must admit. But I won’t give up, precisely in the name of team spirit!