Synopsis: Communication For Productivity
Letters written to some 7500 Workers / Managers / Union Leaders, following a period of strike / Go slow / Murders (1979 - 1987), at Mumbai factory of Larsen & Toubro Ltd. This direct / open / honest communication led to a remarkable atmosphere of trust between Workers and Management, which, in turn, increased productivity at 3% per year (ave).
24 Jan 1983
We neither have a structured forum nor a systematic effort to share information with our employees. Well, not quite:
We have, over the years, tried to share information about events through the pages of:
L&T Newsletter Powai Pageant etc.
Productivity-committee meetings (both Powai-level and Unit-level) have been an useful forum during the last 3-1/2 years for sharing some information about:
Employee-attitudes etc. etc.
But this is not a comprehensive list of subjects.
And all over Powai, there are thousands of employees who do not get to participate in these meetings.
And honestly-speaking, I myself do not have a clear idea about:
"What is it that employees would like to know?"
"All that you always wanted to know about ... but never dared to ask."
Perhaps not all that employees want to know - but may be almost-all!
But by the time, I figure it all out, I may be due to retire, so I decided not to wait.
So this is the first of a series of bulletins, I have decided to release for your information. In turn, you may wish to share this information with your colleagues. Please feel free, there is nothing confidential about the data.
You may turn around and ask:
"Then why not send the bulletin to all the employees?"
I asked myself:
"Shall I send this bulletin to all the employees, just because the contents
are not confidential and just because it costs so little to print and
And the answer was, "No".'
I do not know whether all employees are interested in this information. No point sending it to those who will throw it in the garbage-can, perhaps, even without reading.
On the other hand, if You feel that groups of employees working under you may be interested in this information, phone Mr. D'cunha (Ext: 598) for an over-head projector and the slides. He can even assist you in making a "Slide-presentation" and in answering questions.
In this first bulletin, I enclose some charts regarding:
"Skill-wise population-mix Trends".
The charts are fairly self-explanatory.
Almost across the groups, the percentage of US/SSB/ population is decreasing and the percentage of ssa/sb/sa/hs population is increasing, over the last 4 years.
Many questions come to my mind:
1. Will this trend continue? If yes, at what rate? What will be the percentages after, say 4 years?
2. Is this trend disturbing? Are we getting "top-heavy"? Do we need so many people (%) in the SB/SA/HS category?
3. For each manufacturing group:
- the "products" dictate the manufacturing processes
- the "processes" dictate the "skills"
- the "skills" dictate the "range" in each "trade".
4. If new products, added by us over the years, required us to use, more
or less the same manufacturing processes (machinery, equipment,
methods, tooling, layout, material handling etc.), then the logical
conclusions would be that:
· the types of "skills" and
· the "mix" of skills
required by us, should also remain more or less the same.
What has, then caused, these ratios to be disturbed?
5. In the years to come what would our "people-mix" (skill-mix) look
Whatever, write it down and handover to the concerned manager from your area, who is connected with the "charter -of-demand" negotiations.
And if you have any suggestions on "information-sharing", send me a small note.