Johnson Controls Wears Its Heart on Its Chest

Ignite, Science of Story December 13, 2016

Johnson Controls Wears Its Heart on Its Chest

Andy Swindler
Conscious businesses prosper through purpose-driven people-first practices, but many still struggle to tell their courageous stories. I help connect the dots.
*featured image courtesy of Johnson Controls social media.

What would it take for thousands of employees at a company to wear the corporate emblem entirely by their own choice?

In 1883, Warren Johnson received a patent for the first electric room thermostat. This invention led to the formation of Johnson Controls. From its modest beginning, they have grown over the past 130 years into an international company that makes essential everyday technologies and currently employs 130,000 people worldwide.

With such a diverse workforce separated by great distance, Johnson Controls uses a company pin to show that they are all part of one team. According to VP and CMO Kim Metcalf-Kupres, their pin “is a symbol of belonging and a reminder to all of the things we stand for.” And their employees agree. To them, it’s more than just a pin. It’s a promise and a purpose they all share.

johnson-controlsIn January 2016 Johnson Controls merged with Tyco International. They wanted their Tyco employees to feel more welcome so they made a renewed push for them to wear the pins. At first the new employees thought it was weird. They felt it was a symbol that they were owned by the company. The employees at Johnson Controls, told them that, no, they were all proud of what they worked on and proud to wear their pins.

Johnson Controls International has a substantial number of long-term employees and Kim Metcalf-Kupres says, “this is actually a big deal.” She thinks employees stay because “there is an enduring sense of purpose – they are doing something bigger than each individual and making the world a better place. They work hard because they believe in what they are doing.”

Wearing a symbol of unity is not unique. Whether it’s wearing a full uniform like the military, firefighters and many other professionals do or wearing a simple pin like politicians, girl scouts and many others, these symbols clearly represent what each of these groups stands for. And that’s why Johnson Controls employees wear their company pin with pride. It’s a simple but meaningful way to show they share a commitment to each other and the company where they work.