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).
5 May 1986
I WOULD LIKE TO ASK GINO
TRW is a big American Company. In Lawrence City (Kansas) it has a factory - Lawrence Cable Division (LCD). It has only 130 employees - and no Union.TRW-LCD's General Manager is Gino T. Strippoli. Some day, I would like to visit Lawrence - for two reasons :
( i) I spent 2 years in Lawrence - some 30 years ago - doing my post-graduation in engineering. I would like to see if the place has changed!
(ii) I would like to ask Gino,
How have you managed to get your employees to -"train new members, appraise their performance and recommend who should get raises (increments)?"
If you wish to find out more about how hundreds of Ginos in America are getting their employees involved in taking "managerial decisions" (and freeing themselves to take "entrepreneural decisions"), I recommend you read the book,
The enclosed chapter "When Workers Manage Themselves" is meant to arouse your curiosity!
And although, we may not be quite ready as yet to let the employees at L&T decide their own annual bonus (- I mean 'ex-gratia') I do not see much of an option to employee participation, in hundreds of day-to-day shop-floor (and office-floor) decisions.
On the other hand, shall one practice employee-participation for lack of an option? Or should it become an act-of-faith?