Pune-based automotive component maker Gabriel India Ltd, part of the Anand Group, ranked 52nd in the India’s Best Companies To Work For 2017 list compiled by the Great Place To Work Institute. Since 2012, Gabriel has been ranked among the top five auto parts makers across India. Manoj Sharma, head of human resources at the firm, throws light on some of the company’s unique policies. Edited excerpts:

Why is it important to you to be a great workplace?

It helps us connect with our employees and their families, in addition to attracting the right talent and building a positive brand image. We would even like individuals who have previously worked with us to move up the corporate ladder and be marketable to the external industry.

What are some policies that help you attract and retain talent?

We are grateful to our employees’ families for their support, so forming a cordial relationship with them is important to us. News of an employee’s promotion is first given to the family. In turn, we request them to break the news to the employee.

An annual cultural programme is organized to connect with our employees’ families wherein production is halted on the shop floor and the factory is open to visitation. For employees older than 40 years, we conduct annual medical check-ups for their spouses as well.

Secondly, our policies are quite women-centric, since we strive to maintain at least 30% of shop floor employment in favour of women. Their health and welfare are given a special focus, with the provision of paid menstrual leave.

More broadly, we frequently encourage teams of five or six of our people to take up technical challenges posed by international bodies and compete with engineers from other countries. This practice is called a quality circle.

How do you measure and improve productivity on the shop floor?

The amount of time for which an employee is in contact with a product is the most basic measure. We strive to reduce the amount of time during which no value addition happens by implementing the kaizen methodology (a Japanese management technique to improve productivity and quality, in addition to reducing costs).

The length of a production cycle also determines productivity; the shorter the cycle, the better.

What is the genesis of Gabriel India’s people policies?

We have the Gabriel Resource Committee comprising the top management, which meets once a quarter to decide on matters related to human resources. Policies would be decided based on the Gabriel Behavioural Model, which expects all our people to exhibit appropriate behaviour within and outside the premises, in addition to possessing the willingness to adapt.

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