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).
Although the first chapter of BRITAIN WORKS O.K. came out a day before Mahatma Gandhi's birthday last year, it did contain the theme which Mahatma kept on asking his countrymen throughout his life time i.e.
'Who is right?'
During the last 7 months, this publication aroused considerable interest amongst L&T-ites. in the February issue we published the comments which we received from a 'well wisher' who wanted all of us to be less selfish and make sacrifices for the good of the company and the community.
In this issue, we reproduce a letter from another 'well wisher'. While he has made certain comments, he has also raised some questions. Although the well-wisher has chosen to remain anonymous (I do not understand why), I feel I owe him an answer.
Whereas, a common dining hall and common food could bring Managers/Supervisors and Workmen together (this is a strictly personal opinion) it is not the only thing that brings people closer to each other. It is true, that in a family, all members share the same food - but then, a family is also one of the few remaining institutions where one member does not make 'demands' on another member! It is an institution that is built on everlasting mutual love, an intense individual desire to sacrifice in the larger interest of the Unit and an everlasting respect for the elders. Let us work together to make L&T such a family first!
As regards obtaining a sense of achievement and satisfaction in one's own work is concerned, I do not think there is any limitation imposed by division of labour. No matter, how small a task, the satisfaction one derives comes from doing it well today and trying to do it even better tomorrow! Although I do not know what is the task performed by the 'well wisher', I cannot imagine the task to be useless and not contributing to the well-being of the Society in which we live.
As far as participation by all levels of workmen is concerned, I entirely agree with the 'well wisher' that the participation in our productivity drive must not remain restricted to the office bearers of the Union and the shop representatives but must ultimately spread to each and every employee of the Compan
As far as implementing the many suggestions which I receive in all sorts of forums, I have only this to say. Changes do not occur overnight, and the changes of attitude are most often the slowest and the need for a change in attitudes is not limited to any particular group of employees. Next time we have a problem, let each one of us ask ourselves 'what is right'? before taking a stand which is against the interest of the community at large.