We Are Toshiba: How Our Employees Turn on the Promise of a New Day
2019/12/18 Toshiba Clip Team
It’s been nearly 18 months since the introduction of our brand platform, the Essence of Toshiba. Since then, there have been a number of employee brand workshops and training sessions that took place throughout the many regions where Toshiba operates. The Toshiba Clip team has been visiting some of these regions to interview employees and to hear firsthand how the Essence of Toshiba has impacted them. First up is Nathan Woodside, an HR Manager for Toshiba America, Inc., regional HQ for the Americas.
Name : Nathan Woodside
Job title : HR Manager
Company : Toshiba America, Inc.
Workplace : U.S.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Although I am a northern California native, I’m now happy to call southern California home. I grew up in Redwood City, which is just south of San Francisco. I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of California at Santa Barbara and a graduate degree at Boston University.
When did you join Toshiba?
Looking for adventure and an opportunity to serve my country, I joined the Marine Corps after college in 2001. After my military service, I settled in Irvine, California and began a second career in corporate human resources.
I first joined Toshiba in 2012. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to work in a variety of HR roles and on a number challenging initiatives and projects, all of which helped me develop as an HR professional. Today, I am a human resources manager with Toshiba America.
My training in HR has been primarily through practical, on-the-job experience. To further my professional development, I am currently completing a graduate degree in human resources management from the University of Southern California.
What motivates you at work?
I am motivated by opportunities to collaborate with fellow Toshiba colleagues, whether from different departments, other Toshiba companies, and even globally. When we create together, we end up with smarter solutions. We also strengthen the greater Toshiba team along the way.
Professionally, I have a particular interest in leadership development. This interest was sparked during my Marine Corps service and has carried over into my current role with Toshiba. At Toshiba, I’ve had the opportunity to design and deliver leadership development programs for managers. Of the many ways HR can help enable success for the organization, I think supporting managers in their own leadership development is among the most impactful.
Today, Toshiba is putting greater emphasis on leadership development, especially for managers. I am proud to be part of this initiative, as I believe building and sustaining a culture that is engaged, empowered and ethical begins with having good leadership at all levels throughout the organization, managers in particular.
Is there a particular value from the Essence of Toshiba that inspires you, whether in your professional or personal life?
When considering Toshiba’s values, there is one that really speaks to me: that is, “Look for a better way.” This value is fundamentally about curiosity, continuous learning and growth. It means embracing the notion that the status quo should be challenged. It’s also about adopting a creative and risk-tolerant mindset. By looking for a better way, we commit to pursuing progress over preserving our present comfort. To me, this is a very motivating call to action.
In HR at Toshiba America, we are always looking at ways to strengthen our corporate culture. After some consideration, we realized we may have overlooked the important role managers play in all of this. Recognizing this, we designed and delivered an innovative leader development program.
In the past, we probably would have outsourced the design and delivery of such a program to an external vendor. In the spirit of “Look for a better way”, we knew we could design and deliver a successful program ourselves by being creative and leveraging our many internal resources and capabilities, and at much lower cost. In the end, we delivered a program that was a great fit for our company and helped empower our managers to positively impact our culture.
This value also inspires me on a personal level. I am committed to life-long learning and development. One of the reasons I am pursuing a graduate degree in human resources is to gain new perspectives that I can apply to my role at Toshiba.
Toshiba’s brand purpose is “We turn on the promise of a new day.” In what way do you see your role at Toshiba contributing to that, or perhaps bringing about positive change at Toshiba?
One thing HR is focused on is building and developing a great team here at Toshiba. In my own HR role, I help design and deliver employee-focused programs and services that will enable the next chapter of Toshiba’s success story, which will no doubt be written by our talented and dedicated employees. Making sure every member of our team is properly supported, rewarded, and provided opportunities to grow professionally is HR’s contribution to turning on the promise of a new day.
Any words of encouragement to your fellow colleagues in Toshiba?
I’d like to encourage Toshiba employees to recognize, and seize, everyday opportunities to live our values. Each one of us should take time to reflect upon our own particular role within Toshiba, and how our local actions can set a positive example for others. In this way, we can all exercise leadership and take ownership for strengthening Toshiba’s culture. No doubt, Toshiba is undergoing a strategic and cultural transformation. This transformation presents all of us an opportunity to help shape Toshiba’s future.