Auto companies design programmes to facilitate communication between CEO and workers

author image CarTrade Editorial Team
Saturday 13 July 2013, 10:41 AM

For any auto maker to be successful, it needs to establish a good relationship between all levels of operation, starting from the top management and going down to operational level. Any company that lacks this sort of communication is likely to face a lot of trouble from the lower end of the hierarchy. There are several advantages that a strong communication structure holds. To begin with, if the top management has a level of interaction with the labourers who work in the factory, the chances of a rift are reduced drastically.

Keeping this in mind, a lot of auotomobile manufacturers are initiating programs that involve an interaction between the Chief Executive Officer and workers. These sessions are held so that the workers get to know the vision and philosophy of the company. On the other hand, the Chief Executive Officer is able to address any issues or problems that the workers are facing while carrying out their day-to-day operations.

Hyundai, for instance, has initiated programs like 'lunch box meetings' and 'Coffee with CEO', which aim at putting both the management and worker class at ease. Such interactions also lead to exchange of ideas and the spotting of new methods of increasing productivity. The “Coffee with CEO” programme gives the opportunity to randomly selected mid-level and junior level executives to meet the CEO and the top management for exchange of views. Lunch Box, a more innovative initiation, is a reward based system where workers, who are winners of “Man of the Month” award, get a chance to have lunch with the top management.

“Direct interaction with the CEO is a coveted opportunity and employees selected for these sessions make sure they exploit it to the fullest by making their contribution count,” a senior official from Hyundai Motor India said. Another official, speaking about such programs, said "The absence of intermediaries helps foster a personalized relationship and it helps build trust," says a senior company executive.”

The likes of Toyota and Maruti Suzuki believe that such communication systems help reduce the cultural differences that exist between various levels. It also provides a great opportunity to workers, allowing them to express freely without worrying about a reaction. Trust building, employee security and establishing a sense of assurance in the lower levels are the main aims of these programs.

Experts are of a view that systems like these not only benefit workers, but also give the top management an insight into what is going at basic levels and helps them in looking for a scope of improvement. These developments have been made due to the brunt faced by several auto makers in the past in the form of strikes and violent protests. Notably, Maruti Suzuki faced a violent revolt from its workers on a year back while Bajaj Auto, to this day, is battling a strike from its labour union at the Chakan plant, which is located in Pune.

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