When asked why he believes Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) is an integral part of the Toyota experience, 11-year veteran of Toyota Logistics Services (TLS) Vehicle Distribution Center (VDC) in Newark, New Jersey, Mike Pszcola says, “Respect for People is at the core of everything we do — it’s who we are at Toyota. That’s what Diversity and Inclusion is all about — respecting others.”
Through D&I training and education courses, Mike has learned the importance of fostering connections and engaging at every level. While he admits the daily pace can often be “go, go, go,” Mike says using the tools and exercises from various Toyota classes has provided a new perspective.
“Building trust is a critical component at the VDC in Newark,” says Mike. “Getting to know people on a personal level and allowing people to know me makes for better relationship building. And, that makes for a better work environment.”
Mike credits D&I’s relationship and conversational training courses for creating a team spirit at that embraces diversity of thought, innovation and continuous improvement — and he has witnessed it in action.
Inspecting vehicles for quality prior to reaching the customer used to require longer shifts either outside in the elements or inside a climate-controlled space. “The outside shifts can be tough on anyone, especially during freezing temperatures or the burning sun,” Mike recalled.
Team members came up with a plan to switch shifts more frequently, eliminating the need for anyone to be outside for too long, demonstrating the respect, care and concern team members have for one another.
“When they approached me with the idea, I knew it was a team effort and completely reasonable. Together, they embraced several ideas, created an innovative approach and improved a process. It all stemmed from a respect for others.”