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).
April 5, 1982
Last article dated 15th February, brought an anonymous admonishing letter which I reproduce below (translated by me):
"Sir, Your "goal" is only to "expect" from the workmen, not to find out what they want and what they don't want. You are talking-down to the workmen-for example, you have financially enabled the Supervisors/Officers to educate their children. Their children should go to better schools and our children should go to municipal schools. Till such time you cannot abolish this difference, there is no use your publishing thousands of such articles. First improve your behaviour - then "expect" from the workmen.
- A Worker".
From the fact that our friend has chosen to remain anonymous, I get a feeling that we still have a long way to go before we have an atmosphere of "openness and trust" at Powai. On my part, all I can say is that, the sentiments expressed above are perfectly "human" and could have been expressed openly and freely without any fear. In such matters, it is quite possible for us to "disagree" but as long as there is a willingness to listen and a constructive approach, fear. of "disagreement" need not bother us.
As far as the.- education expense reimbursement scheme is concerned, let me assure our friend that some good news is on the way for the non-supervisory employees ! I do hope, he will read the following article very carefully and then come back (in person, I hope) and tell me how we can foster the "Spirit of Wa" in our very own L&T'.