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    Philips Lighting Kids Lab Day


    September, 2017

    Can our kids teach us lessons on how to get the best out of being at work? Our Kids Lab Day showed how little ones can generate great ideas

    I’ve always had a personal passion for understanding what makes people tick: what motivates them, what interests them and what makes them energised. At home the focus is generally on my two teenagers but my day job is fostering the right culture amongst our employees at Philips Lighting. We’re at a key stage as a business having recently separated from the rest of Philips. We’re like brother and sister still as businesses but for me, the new path means thinking about how best to attract talent to our new enterprise whilst keeping those who are already with us continuing to innovate - a core part of what we do. 

    A surprise from our recent Kids Lab Day is that innovative ideas can come from all sorts of places and people. The idea behind the day of activities was to enable employees to bring their children to work for some fun and creativity. We wanted children to experience their parents’ workplace and the products they create. The objective was to enable us all to love Philips Lighting.

    So what did the kids do and what were the results? The first thing was to allow them to be creative in any way they wanted. We had 25 children aged anywhere between three and fifteen - a big age difference! But we encouraged them to wear white lab coats, draw inspiration from multiple different coloured fabrics to create images on canvasses based around our 4 key values as a business. These are: Customer First, Greater Together, Game Changer and Passion for Results. 

    Of course, this all seems a bit grown up! But when we explained the importance of being Greater Together in practical ways they could understand and translated it into a game where the kids were able to create a cobweb with a ball of string, we’d developed an activity which was fun. It also communicated one of our key values. Others decided to bring this value to life by putting paint on their hands and creating overlapping palm prints on a board – an idea that came from the kids themselves, not us. 

    Philips Lighting kids lab day

    One of the learnings of the day personally was adjusting my language so that everything I said was clear. It’s easy to get lost in company language which from a talent perspective can put off potential recruits. The kids themselves also offered ideas we hadn’t thought of. Could they do the activities outside? I asked myself why we hadn’t thought of this in the planning.

    Rarely have I experienced a day of activities at work where the feedback was so overwhelmingly positive. “My children loved it” was a phrase I heard over and over again. As a business at Philips Lighting, we’re keen to not only constantly develop innovative ideas but also create a culture with a ‘family feel’. Kids Lab Day is proving to be one great way to do that. 

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