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 Jan 1987
Way back in March 1980, , I sent to you, your own copy of
"How To Get along Better With People"
Then in June 1982, I was happy to send you a copy of
"The Incredible Japanese".
And now I present to you
Somewhere in this book, Eastman Kodak Chairman Walter Fallen says, "Working Smarter means imparting a strong sense of teamwork and giving employees more say about how they do their jobs. You can't drive a good work-force thirty percent harder, but we have found that we could often work thirty or fifty or even a hundred-and-fifty percent Smarter".
After you have read this book and experimented a little, if you come-up with your own definition of Working-Smarter, do write to me. I would like to share it with hundreds of other supervisors all over Powai.
But one thing is certain.
Productivity at Powai must go up - not by mere 3 - 5% each year but by atleast 15% each year - assuming salary/wages are going up by 10% each year. At all times it must keep rising 5% point faster than the manpower-costs.
But how ?
To find an answer, some 60 of us spent a whole day at Lonavla yesterday.
We asked ourselves, How Much Is Left To Any Level of Management to
Motivate Employees Through Attitude-Change & Reward/ Punishment System.
We came to the conclusion that
- barely 1% can be motivated through the negative incentive of "punishment' (thanks to our Labour-laws)
Bap ! )
To begin with our own !
And the very first of. our attitude that needs changing is,
"We, the Supervisors & the Managers know what is best for the organisation. Me, and we alone, have the sacred prerogative of guarding the interest of the organisation. So all decision-making must be left to us. And when we have taken a decision, we must not be bothered to give an explanation to anybody - at least to anybody whom we supervise. "
If we want to change others by influencing them with our thoughts, we must be prepared to be influenced by their thinking - be prepared to change ourselves.
In the following pages, you will learn how the Workers - and the Managers - are allowing themselves to be influenced by each other. They have found a new relationship which is rewarding not only to their organisation (in terms of higher productivity) but also to themselves emotionally. These are not theories - but real-life experiences and therefore capable of being duplicated - even improved upon.
In the weeks arid months to come, do send me your own experience of Working-Smarter so that I may put together our own version of
WORKING - TOGETHER - BETTER
for the benefit of all interested in surviving the 20th Century.
H. C. PAREKH