Hi Friends,
                                              Even as I launch this today ( my 80th Birthday ), I realize that there is yet so much to say and do.
                                                  There is just no time to look back, no time to wonder,"Will anyone read these pages?"
                                       With regards,
                                       Hemen Parekh
                                       27 June 2013

Sunday, 24 June 1984

PRODUCTIVITY IN P-PACK

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 Jun 1984

To:
My dear Nakhate
(Union Joint Secretary)

PRODUCTIVITY IN P-PACK


I attended 3 shop level meetings along with you/your Gen. Secretary/Managers.

2 days back, I once again checked to find out if there is any improvement since our last meeting and I was told there is hardly any improvement!

I now get a feeling that my motivation is not working with the Shop Representatives!
But I still have hope and faith that your motivation will work !

Yours is a mass-production shop, where speed of the machine is controlling the OUTPUT - only if we can keep the machines running and feed them with raw-materials.

That is, do not let the machines STOP!

Keep them running
Keep them running
Keep them running.

Of all the departments in Powai your P-PACK is almost the only one where you have every possibility to raise the productivity by 25% (even much more) and show to the rest of Powai that when the workmen and the Joint Secretary of a department accept a challenge they can easily prove their capability.

I am sure you will accept this challenge and prove your leadership to all 7000 people at Powai.

You will have my support.

H.C. PAREKH

Friday, 22 June 1984

UNIT LEVEL PRODUCTVITY MEETINGS IN YOUR AREAS

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).

22 Jun 1984
To:
Service Dept. Managers        
 UNIT LEVEL PRODUCTVITY MEETINGS IN YOUR AREAS
I  have,  yesterday,  personally  spoken  to  the  Union  Jt. Secretary  of  your   department  regarding  this.    He  has promised to speak to shop-reps and extend all cooperation.

It  is now upto  us to seize  the initiative  and hold  these meetings every fortnight starting at once.

The performance-ratios must  be, as far as  possible, related to an  individual's output so he  understands that he  has to produce 25% more.  Graphs  (black-boards) must be displayed -bold & prominent.


   H.C. PAREKH


Wednesday, 20 June 1984

UNION'S SUPPORT

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). 

20 June 1984

To:
Dear Mr. Salwi,

Thank you for your letter dated June 7, 1984. I am pleased that you have re-stated, in no uncertain terms, your Union's support for increasing Productivity.

I was extremely disappointed that neither you nor your Gen. Secretary was able to attend the Powai-level Productivity meeting held on June 8, 1984. I understand that both of you were busy with Union matters in certain other Organisations where the workmen are represented by BKS. I would have had no hesitation to change the date and time of the above meeting to suit your convenience had you informed me in advance. I believe that if you had been present in this month's Productivity meeting and addressed a gate-meeting thereafter, exhorting the workmen to live up to the commitment on Productivity made by the Union in the Settlement, it would have given a tremendous boost to our Productivity efforts at Powai.

I am enclosing a copy of the Minutes of the meeting held on June 8, 1984. In this meeting, Deputy General Managers and Production Managers from various Units reviewed the Productivity performance with respect to the levels during the currency of the 1979 Settlement. I am sure that you have already discovered through the figures I sent you along with my letter dated June 4, 1984, that, though there have been improvements in Productivity in some areas, there are several areas where Productivity is actually substantially lower than the 1979 Settlement levels. Even in those areas where there have been significant improvements in Productivity, these are far lower than the agreed target of 25% improvement over the 1979 Settlement levels.

The Unit Committee members have been trying to promote Productivity by reminding workers of the commitment made on their behalf in the Settlement and by individually counselling 'poor performers'. However, a renewed appeal by you and your Gen. Secy. at a  gate-meeting would make a tremendous impact on the workers.

I have stressed repeatedly in the past that several of our-product-lines are being subjected to  severe competitive pressures. We are being forced out of some product-lines and are losing ground in others, because of non-competitive prices. This costly Settlement has made matters worse. It is now essential for the Company that we have a substantial increase in labour productivity to off-set these staggering additional costs.

This is a matter of vital concern to the Company and is an area where the Union can make a tremendous positive contribution.

We are holding the next Powai-level Productivity meeting on July 6, 1984, at 0900 hrs. I once again urge you and your Gen. secy. to attend this meeting and give a call for increased Productivity at a gate-meeting thereafter. The 3-month period within which the 25% increase in Productivity was to be achieved expires on July 11, 1984. If you consider it necessary, we could agree to extend by 1-2 months, the period for reaching the agreed target of Productivity improvement.
With warm regards,

Yours sincerely,

H.C. PAREKH

Monday, 18 June 1984

SAVE OUR JOBS

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). 

18 Jun 1984

To:
Dear Friends
Mr.  Sethna  (GM -  Gr.II) has  written  to me  (see  enclosed note).   Mr. Sethna  is a man  of  few words and  normally  he prefers  to say those  few words  face to face  - and  without mincing I
He could  have simply walked into my  room and said those  few words.
But he chose to write.  That could mean two things:
ONE

         His message is not meant  for me alone but for all 10,000 odd people in the
         Company.
TWO     
          The message is grave.
And what is the message ?
Simply stated, it says,
"If we don't  take serious notice, get-up  and fight back like hell,  the flood of international  competition which is about to  submerge Gr.II, may drown  the rest of Powai as well, before long !"
In  a  recent letter  to  the  shop  representatives,  I have narrated how the Rising Sun  (Japan) is about to wipe-out the American  Car  industry  -   and  how  American  Workers  are fighting back like hell  'to save jobs'.   Borrow this letter from your Shop Rep. and read it.
Then compare the situation in Group  II with the American car Industry and ask:

Will we be able to save our jobs ?
In  the past,  when  we  were  literally  driven out  by  the competition  from   the  manufacuture  of  drilling  a chinery (Madh) and packaging machinery, we  somehow saved the jobs of some  400 employees -  redeploying them in  other units which did  not need  them -  even  though this  meant  lowering the productivity of those  units and increasing their costs.  And one such unit was Group II !
And next  time when  the catastrophe  strikes, what  shall we do? or  better yet, is there  anything that we can  do NOW to prevent the occurrence of "next TIME"?

We can certainly do something (provided it is very soon) to prevent the "NEXT TIME " .

u    We can increase our productivity
u    Produce faster by working harder
u    Thereby reduce costs
u    Challenge Japan
u    Get orders
u    Keep busy
u    Save jobs

H. C. PAREKH

Tuesday, 12 June 1984

PRODUCTIVITY-DRIVE

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).

12 Jun 1984

To:
Dear Colleague:                     

PRODUCTIVITY-DRIVE


Do you remember that we  conducted an "employee attitude-cum-compensation"  survey   some  18   months  ago?   An  outside consultant  (Marketing & Business Associates MBA) interviewed nearly  2500 unionised  employees  to  fill-in an  exhaustive questionnaire.  A comprehensive  report was submitted,  I had sent a copy  of the report to General  Secretary of our Union with a covering letter, nearly 15 months ago.

Since writing that  letter a lot  of things have happened  in Powai.  A 4-year settlement has been signed with the Union.

But certain things which  we would have liked  to happen, did not happen!   One of  the things mentioned  in the  letter (a copy enlosed  for your ready  reference) was -  Acceptance by the Union of the principle of "POST PERFORMANCE REWARD".

This is one thing we could not get through 10 The reward  has been 'given' but  the performance  has yet to be  "taken" ', And that is precisely what  is expected  of us now - "Take" the performance!

But the  employee must know what  (precisely) he  is expected to "give"! I can almost hear some of you thinking.

"Oh,  come now!  Don't  be  so naive!  You  mean  to  say the employees  don't know  what  is expected  of  them?  Everyone knows what he  (or she) is supposed to produce  at the end of the shift'."

I thought so too  - until I looked up table No. 20 of the MBA report, reproduced here.
                                      TABLE  20       
PRODUCTION  TARGET (FOR DAILY RATED EMPLOYEES ONLY)           
BY GROUPS

n =
SER
Total
552
937
202
147
1838
Opinion about
Production Target





1. Satisfied (%)
05
12
04
-
08
2. O.K. (%)
02
02
01
-
02
3. Not Satisfied (%)
05
10
03
01
07
4. Do not have production target(%)
88
76
92
99
83

Did  you say,  you don't  believe it  or you  do not  want to believe it?

I am not  surprised because all of us see  and hear things we like to see and hear.   Human beings have an in-built defence mechanism  that  pushes  out  perception  of  all  unpleasant experiences.

But  that does  not change  things.   If anything  it creates misunderstandings.  .

So it is  far better to face the "experience"  (no matter how unpleasant) squarely, and do something about it.

In the current  instance, tell your men  (and women) squarely what is  the production expected  at the end  of the  hour or the shift or the week or what-have-you!

And if an employee  continues to be a  "poor" performer, call him up and  tell him where he stands - without  mincing words (nicely  but  firmly).   Three  times  confront  him  in  the presence of the  shop-rep and fourth time in  the presence of the  concerned  Joint-Secretary.   They  have  agreed  to  be present  -  as  witness  -  so  that,  should  an  unpleasant situation develop  at a later  date, the employee  cannot say "I was not  told".  Some supervisors have tried  this out and they say it works.

Having found  out what the employee  think about, "production - targets",  if you are  curious to  know what  our employees think about.

-    Their ambitions
-    Their retirement plans
-    Present working conditions
-    Relationship with co-workers. Supervisors & Management
-    Level of satisfaction Fear of stagnation
-    Job content etc.

Please  do let  me know,  and  I will  circulate  to you  the findings of MBA, through a series of such letters.

 

H.C. PAREKH