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).
31 Dec 1986
Corporate Management Members (Individually)
SUB : "EMPLOYEE SEMINAR" AT LONAVLA"
I have been continually discussing with our Union, the need to maintain an on-going process of relationship between the Management on the one hand and Union and employees on the other, since I believe that management of productivity in the coming years will depend increasingly on the single crucial factor of employee motivation through harmonious employee-employer relations. The response from our Union has been very encouraging and as an important step towards this end, it was jointly decided by us and the Onion to hold a seminar, away from the work environment, to generally discuss important issues which require solutions in the coming years and to invite the Union Committee Members (Shop Representatives) as well as the JGMs and DGMs of Manufacturing Units to participate.
The Union suggested that the seminar should be held at a facility with the bks, which was recently commissioned at Lonavla - "SWAPNA POORTI" where seminar hall and other facilities are available. Management agreed to bear the expenses for the seminar. We also invited Shri Dattaji Salvi and Shri Ramakant More, president and General Secretary of the parent BKS Body, to participate in the seminar, and they also accepted the invitation.
The final list of. participants comprised the President and General Secretary 'of the parent body of the Union, the Joint Secretaries of the L&T Unit, and the committee Members (Shop Representatives) of Powai, Madh and City Offices, totally numbering about 165 persons. From Management side, Messrs, A.Y. Divekar, V.S. Kaushikkar, S. Samu, R.B. Bhambhani, P.M. Mehta, J.P. Madan, Kalyan Chakravarti, A.M. Deshmukh, V.P.Singh and the undersigned participated.
The participants left for Lonavla in our buses on Friday, the 19th December, 1986 after the end of the 1st shift, and spent the night in Lonavla. The seminar was held on Saturday (weekly off), the 20th December 1986, between 8.00 a.m. and 4.00 p.m. The stated objectives of this joint seminar were :
1. to educate the Shop Representatives regarding the Company, its operations and its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT),
2. to throw up for discussion and debate, issues which in the perception of the Management and the Union representatives, are or
will be vital for the continued prosperity of L&T in general and the
Powai Unit in particular,
3. to accelerate the PARTICIPATIVE PROCESS.
The seminar programme was designed to devote as much time as possible to discussion and debate of vital issues and therefore, 3 1/2 hours were allotted for this purpose. The rest of the time was devoted to a presentation on L&T as a Company, the employer-employee participative process in Japan, and talk by the Union leaders as well as Management Representatives on issues before the Company.
The enthusiastic response from the Union leaders and the Shop Representatives was beyond expectation and to a large extent, this seminar objectives have been fulfilled. This has laid the ground for further seminars of this nature at which the shop-supervisors and workmen can also be brought together to strengthen ' the bonds of the participative process.
Our immediate plan is to conduct 2 seminars, covering the Foremen and Production/Assistant Production Managers. These are scheduled for 3rd January 1987 and 4th April 1987. These will be followed by joint seminars at which Foremen and Shop Representatives/workmen shall participate.
A video recording of the seminar proceedings has been made and I would request that I may be permitted to present a part of the video tape at the next Policy Review Committee Meeting, alongwith a part of the video tape which we shall make for the proposed Foremen's seminar.