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Diversity In Action

Energy efficiency drives Johnson Controls BE division

The division has strong diversity and mentoring programs. �We want techies who can figure how to save money and how much can be saved,� says a manager.

Johnson Controls, Inc has a total of 140,000 employees in more than 1,300 locations, serving customers in 125 countries. Its Building Efficiency (BE) division employs 65,000 people globally; just over a third of them are based in the U.S.

Building Efficiency is the largest group within Johnson Controls, and represented 37 percent of total company revenue in 2008.

Besides manufacturing heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment for commercial buildings, BE offers energy efficiency consulting services and onsite maintenance and property management. The division also provides security systems and refrigeration equipment for commercial buildings, and heating/cooling products for residences.

�Energy efficiency in nonresidential buildings is our foundation; a few years ago we entered the residential market and now we have an increased focus on renewable energy,� explains spokesperson Angela Adams. �We�re also looking at photovoltaic energy, which is the conversion of sunlight to electricity through a photo cell.� Electricity produced this way can go far to offset conventional utility costs, she notes.

�Renewable energy is very critical for the company,� agrees Marie-Claude Milot, director of HR operations. �Our group has been looking at this for years, but now it�s on everybody�s mind,� she says.

Monique Graham, responsible for EEO, diversity and inclusion at BE, notes that �Johnson Controls is a global company and has programs for global leadership and opportunities for employee engagement around the globe. Our people bring different skill sets to the table, of course; EEs are particularly in demand.�

The company�s leadership rotational program is a great opportunity for techies with management aspirations. The program is geared to build a diverse leadership pipeline for Johnson Controls; it lasts three years, and participants have to have an MBA even to start it.

�The program involves some job shadowing and some hands-on training with specific projects,� Graham explains. It includes an opportunity to work outside the U.S., but that�s optional. �If it works for them we want to give them that exposure,� Graham explains. �But even if they don�t go international, they�ll still have the opportunity to work with people outside the U.S. and communicate with people who have global responsibility. There are a lot of things you learn from that.�

There�s a strong diversity structure within the division, says Graham, and it ties into a company-wide office of diversity and public affairs. �An enterprise-wide focus ties all the businesses together so we are able to share and leverage best practices.�

The company has a number of affinity networks, including a women�s resource network, an Hispanic network, an African American network and a military affinity network for veterans.

Hands-on mentoring in progress at Johnson Controls’ Building Efficiency Division.Last year Johnson Controls launched a mentor program described as a �cross-functional learning environment to maximize the growth of employees.� The program is mentee-driven, offering opportunities for the mentees to identify the specific skill sets they would like to work on, review profiles of available mentors, and select mentors who match the skill sets they want to develop.

Both mentees and mentors get a lot out of the relationship, Graham says. �In our first group, about a quarter of the mentees got to transfer to the department of their choice, and more than a third have been promoted just since last year.�

Johnson Controls is diverse in its hiring and participates at diversity career fairs. But that�s not all: HR director Milot explains that the division has reorganized its recruiting process.

�We now ask our hiring managers to go beyond just talent acquisition� based on specific open positions, she says. �We look at candidates ahead of time, schedule interviews after phone screening, and then allow plenty of time for them and the hiring manager to meet.�


Johnson Controls Inc
Johnson Controls Inc
Building Efficiency Division


Headquarters: Milwaukee, WI
Employees: 65,000 globally,
25,000 in the U.S.
Revenues: $14 billion (division only)
Business: HVAC, security systems and refrigeration equipment for commercial buildings; heating/cooling products for residences; energy efficiency consulting services; global real estate portfolio management

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