Article: Raychem's Training in Process

Employee Relations

Raychem's Training in Process

Raychem RPG focuses on training its hires and hence improves the skill quotient of its employees
Raychem's Training in Process

We do not have any union, any contract workmen, or any employee relations problems at the company. Our Self Managed Teams are doing well


If I hire a permanent workman today for a shop-floor job, he will probably be working with me for several years. Every year, there will be an increase in his salary and a wage renegotiation at the end of every three years. In the next twenty years, his salary would have drastically increased, however his skills & nature of job would have remained the same.

In contrast, other younger companies will either be hiring low cost (market rate) or will be utiliz-ing essentially contract labour in place of paying such high salaries for stagnant skill. Companies that have a huge number of people from the first go, almost end up on the verge of extinction after running for a few decades as they are unable to afford the expenses of the highly paid but poorly skilled workforce. We have also seen a number of examples like Nokia and others which have been forced towards extinction.

To break this pattern, we introduced the concept of SMTs ( Self Managed Teams). These teams do not have any supervisors. They plan, monitor and report and do everything on the shop floor. We hire them with a very rigorous recruitment process. We look at their commitment level, their loyalty and their dedication. An educational criterion of 10+2 with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics is compulsory to be part of the Self Managed Teams. After one year of on the job training, we work towards giving them a diploma in Engineering with our tie-ups with local colleges. This is a four years and six months course with full day classes on Saturdays and Sundays.

The workmen who are part of this program, work for five days a week and attend classes for the weekends. So for that, workmen, at the end of five and a half years, will have an engineering diploma as well as five years of experience. The same collage after the completion of the course does campus placement for other industries as well. This also gives the workmen a chance to go to other compa-nies and industries and explore more options.

We as a company take complete care of our SMTs. To help them have a work-life balance, we put them up next to the plant campus and the company arranges for their fooding, lodging, laundry and other amenities to ensure that their time is optimally utilized rather than having to focus on cooking or cleaning. We also take care of their interests. As these are a group of youngsters who are active social media users we have even provided for free internet. For example, on the shop floor and in college, the workers are not allowed to use their phones, however during their journey on the bus, to and fro form the shop floor, we have even provided a wi-fi connection on the bus. This is our next generation initiative and is a highly engaging activity for our Millennials.

Naturally, at the end of every five and a half years, we have a cycle of attrition where batches of people come and go. This gives us two great advan-tages. First, the company’s costs remain competi-tive as we are hiring for the same job and the same set of skills in every cycle of hiring. After five-six years that the employees stay with us, their salary has increased.

After which they go back to the industry for better jobs. And we have a new set of freshers again, who work with us and undertake the engi-neering diplomas as well. Second, we are helping the industry and the country in skill development. Every five years, 150 people are being trained with engineering diplomas at Raychem RPG. Out of the 150 employees every five years, we are able to absorb around 20 to 25 percent people in our company or group of companies. In our case, employment and employability go hand-in-hand. We give them a job but we also give them employ-ability for a better and higher paying job some-where else. It is due to this reason that we do not have any union, any contract workmen, or any employee relations problems at the company. On the day of induction it is not only the employees, but also their parents who are inducted into the system; since their children will be studying with us for the next four and a half years. It is therefore, not a job, but a shaping of the career.

In terms of engagement, we have a very differ-ent drive. Every six months, we have a communi-cation forum with the parents. We have an online grievance redressal system for all workmen. We treat them with respect and dignity, as qualified individuals. As they are a young force, working towards a greater aim, we do not need any supervi-sor. One complete plant of our company is run 100 percent by SMTs. We hand them over the complete charge and they manage well.

As told by Ratish Jha, SVP & Head HR, Raychem RPG lTD

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Topics: Employee Relations, #NationinLabour

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