From Real Estate to Tire Manufacturing: A journey with HR Director, Christine Wolman
Christine Wolman has been with Continental for over 11 years and is the Director HR for Manufacturing & Logistics Tires the Americas. She joined Continental as part of the sales organization in US. and after nearly 8 years, she joined the manufacturing organization. Christine grew up and studied in New York and started her career in human relations in a commercial real estate company. Christine has both Italian and Irish origins, is a mom of two kids and loves relaxed dinners with her entire family. Her family also consists of her two French bulldogs, Gia and Coco who are happy whenever they can have her in home office and not travelling. In her free time Christine loves to return to New York, her home city. Also, she enjoys reading books on leadership as well as historical fiction and going to the gym.
What made you decide on a career in Human Relations?
I like working with people, it is my passion. I love more than anything to advise people and see them develop to their full potential and succeed.
A big change of scenery for you from New York to traveling around small towns across the U.S. to our tire manufacturing plants…
There were some steps in between (smiles). Though I do not believe they are that different! You have a dynamic environment, you are surrounded by people, and if New York is the city that never sleeps, within manufacturing we also have 24 hours 7 days a week operation.
How was the change for you from sales to manufacturing?
I love challenges and the change from sales to manufacturing made me develop immensely. I loved the learnings I had with sales and now I have a great sense of pride to be part of this great global organization.
What is your focus in your job?
My customers are now up to 75% shopfloor colleagues, and I must ensure we as an employer are competitive and that we both attract and retain these colleagues for our organization. I work together with the HR teams in our tire manufacturing plants to make sure we are an employer of choice.
What will make us attractive as an employer in our production facilities?
A competitive offer in terms of salary, shift structure and a great place to work with modern equipment, safe and healthy conditions is essential and flexibility! Employer Branding has a big task here, we the operational HR put a lot of work into developing great programs and now is the time to go out into our communities ever more! Do good things and speak about it!
What should our manufacturing employees be proud of when working in our plants?
What struck me when I did one of my first plant tours is the idea that we are truly manufacturing products from the raw materials to the final finish tire. In addition, we have such a strong focus on our safety culture that our employees can feel good that we live our “for one another” value daily.
What makes the biggest difference if people do or do not chose Continental as employer?
In my view we meet all criteria for retention, and we invest in ensuring we have great plants with modern technology, e. g our new greenfield in Clinton, MS. However, what is the deal maker or breaker is our leadership! We need to ensure we listen to our people and help them be successful.
What is your advice to our leaders?
Just be present, listen, care, give feedback and do not be short on showing appreciation. Be intentional and create a trust-based relationship with your team!