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An auto component unit in India employing around 400 staff had ambitious targets for achieving continuous improvement through productivity, and succeeded. They met their targets through integrated programmes to invest in new technology/equipment, improve work culture and develop the skills of everybody at the work site.
By empowering staff to solve work-related problems, make decisions and continuously improve performance themselves, fostering excellent team work, reducing layers of management and promoting greater operating flexibility among people, they succeeded. The company operated without an HR head because all managers functioned as human resource development (HRD) managers.
The company closely worked with a productivity council and a reputed HR school, with the council supporting a successful and innovative open learning center. The center offers wide-ranging and highly cost-effective training, particularly for shift workers.
Discussion with partners led on to their getting an ''Investors in People'' award. The company was interested, not so much in changing well-established policies, but in using the principal country standard as a benchmark.
Their commitment to continuing, long-term development and investment in people is one part – a key part of their carefully integrated plans. The company has achieved a productivity improvements gain of 35%, has been able to implement a leaner, flatter managerial structure, has met ambitious quality targets, and integrated people development into business performance.
If employees are not developed in a way that achieves customer focus, little improvement will be seen because it is people and their attitude towards customers that make systems and procedures work. Training intervention must be the basis for improving business performance.
• Staff must be empowered to solve work-related problems
• Long-term development of and investment in people vital
• Training intervention must be a core aspect of business strategy
Source: Dr. Pon Mohaideen Pitchai, Special to Jobs & Careers
The writer is a Dubai-based HR and Management Consultant