Employee Spotlight – Danielle DeVoe-Major: HR Manager, YAMATO TRANSPORT USA
12.10.2020 | Category, Blog
The role of HR in any organization is incredibly involved, but for YAMATO’s operations in the Americas, the complexity of Human Resource management is multifaceted with its hundreds of employees in 26 branch offices scattered across 6 time zones and 3 countries.
Most of us believe the role of an HR manager is to hire and retain the best people. It is so much more than that. It involves business partnering, championing change, managing risk, counseling, advocating, defending, engaging, streamlining, educating, branding, ensuring regulatory compliance with labor and safety laws and much more. Compounding these challenging responsibilities is the fact that this has not been a “usual” year. Because of COVID-19, workplaces around the country have needed to juggle all their human resources. Ms. Danielle DeVoe-Major, YAMATO USA’s HR Manager, has been at the forefront of the company’s efforts to keep customers, employees, and often times their families, focused and safe during a most challenging time. In between all this, HR Managers are obliged to keep everyone happy.
“Safety for all our staff is paramount,” says Major, who started working at YAMATO over 20 years ago after having a positive personal experience with the company while briefly teaching English in Japan. “We have not lost any employees to this deadly virus; however, we do know that many have lost their friends, family and loved ones. There is not a single employee who has not been affected by the pandemic, either physically or mentally. The emotions of our employees have been stretched to the maximum and they are all so fatigued, yet, they all know that it is their duty to society that we keep the global supply chains moving – to make sure the necessities of life like perishables, food, medical supplies, clothing, vitamins, heavy machinery, automotive parts, appliances and household items are shipped and delivered. This is incredibly difficult to do right now, especially since ocean ports are so congested and cargo space on planes is so limited. These guys and gals in the front lines are the real superheroes of YAMATO during this global health pandemic.”
2020 became a challenging year for everyone. As the year progressed, Major saw the need for the company to develop and install its own safety protocols. “We’ve been able to pivot on a dime, if staff could perform their essential tasks from home, they do,” she says. “Our IT Business Optimization department moved quickly to set people up safely and securely for remote work environments that were never before planned or imagined. For those who can’t work remotely, they abide by strict safety protocols to keep themselves, their customers and coworkers safe while also keeping anxiety levels down.”
With vaccines on their way, Major says she is already planning to continue pushing what makes YAMATO unique. “At YAMATO, we truly believe that Diversity is our strength. The people here are from all backgrounds, the true foundation of company success. The global shipping and logistics industry has traditionally been a male dominated industry, but we’ve been hiring and promoting women in positions traditionally reserved for men, and they are excelling at all levels in the company. I am quite proud of them and our diverse culture will continue to grow and evolve.”