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Employment Culture - Handle with Care!
Employees are one of the biggest investments and should bring the greatest reward. Yet even today, in many organisations, employees are viewed as an asset to be managed rather than as individuals who can create the next innovation for success. Long-term engagement starts with good communication between employer and employees as well as among co-workers and fostering a positive working environment. Kunjal Karaniya explores employee culture and policies of the Indian diamond industry.
By: Diamond World News Service
Oct 21 2013 5:41PM
Reference: 8405  

What makes one company more successful than another? Better products, services, strategies, technologies or, perhaps, a better-cost structure? Certainly, all of these contribute to superior performance, but all of them can be copied over time. The one thing that creates sustainable competitive advantage – and therefore ROI, company value and long-term strength – is the workforce, the people who are the company. Other factors that motivate are that employees are treated with respect, that their personal values are reflected and that the organisation cares about how they feel. For creating positive working environment employment policies have to be in place. Suraj Shantakumar, Director, Kirtilals said, “We have got employment policies from recruitment till retirement. There are policies on health and safety, annual health checkup, emergency financial support, etc. for the benefit of all employees. Apart from the above we are a fair employer and have adopted ‘Best Practice Principles (BPP)’ evolved by Diamond Trading Corporation (DTC) which set out various objective standards of conduct within three main areas – business responsibilities; social responsibilities; environmental responsibilities.”

Laljibhai Patel, Chairman, Dharmanandan Diamonds Pvt Ltd. Said, “We at Dharmanandan have a simple policy of wellness and balance for our employees. We work hard to make sure our efforts reflect the changing needs and wants of our employees, and it is why we provide many industry-leading benefits to our employees who can rely on them.”

“ Recruitment is an ongoing process at our organisation as we are constantly on the lookout for fresh talent. Proper manpower planning is done. We hire efficient and competent people within our organisation. We emphasise more on recruiting people through employee referrals, as we are aware of the positive result an employee referral programme generates. It helps us in getting quality-driven candidates, saves cost and fastens the recruitment cycle. It also fosters cultural bonding. People who plan to be with the company for a longer duration / tenure are given preference. Age is not a bar to recruitment but we prefer younger people below 25 years of age. With more than 6,000 employees, we managed less than one per cent attrition rate which is an achievement in itself,” said Ghanshyam D. Dholakia, Managing Director, Hari Krishna Exports Pvt Ltd.

Shreyans Dholakia, Director, SRK said, “We do not require workers to work for more than the national limit of hours in a week on a regular basis, with overtime hours not to exceed the national permitted limit per week on a regular basis unless there are legal opt-outs. The group ensures that wages and benefits for a standard working week meets at least national minimum standards and is sufficient to meet the basic needs of workers and provide some discretionary income. When required, due recognition is given to the existence, membership and lawful activities of worker representative bodies, and worker representatives are given access to carry out their responsibilities/functions. We believe, the procedures detailed in the Employee Manual should be followed for dismissal of employees, in case the need for the same arises and arbitrary dismissal procedures should be avoided. Information regarding applicable employment policies and working practices should be communicated in a transparent manner to all employees.”

Highlighting few unique steps taken by the companies towards betterment of their employees, Suraj Shantakumar shares, “At Kirtilals it is mandatory for all the employees to understand the company’s vision, mission and values to ensure each employee feels that he/she is an integral part of the company. We encourage communication between employees and management through suggestion schemes, in-house magazine, etc. Through the channel we are allowing employees to feel comfortable to voice their opinions and make suggestions to improve all aspects of the company. The employees’ suggestions are fairly evaluated for implementation.” “We are successful and proud in creating the culture of knowledge sharing and equality where we find the enthusiasm and involvement of our employees. We work along to create a benchmark as one of the best employer in the industry,” said Laljibhai Patel. Ghanshyam D. Dholakia said, “We provide free Lunch facility for all our employees, On the job and off the Job training is provided to all the employees, regular employee engagement activities are conducted, picnics and pilgrimage trips organised for employees and their parents, cricket matches arranged to enhance team spirit, musical events with dinner for employees and their family. We have a well-planned Rewards and Recognition programme for our employees, we have awarded vehicles as a token of appreciation to our deserving and efficient staff, monthly cash incentives for top performers and employees with regular time and attendance, Diwali gifts and sweets for all the employees, educational help for staff children with school fees and notebooks, free annual health check-up for all, every employee is greeted on his birthday with sweets and a book on self-development, interest free housing loans, medical help for staff members and their family and we have an in-house library for our employees.”

Shreyans Dholakia said, “A scheme that aims to acknowledge efforts of employees, who have displayed exemplary commitment in the fulfillment of their objectives beyond their call of duty, is referred to as People Who Made the Difference (PWMD) at SRK, we have an Employee of the Year award for recognising individuals who have been consistent in achieving excellence in their work area around the year. We have formulated an incentive plan such that if employees work in line with the business targets, they gain tangible rewards every month. Involvement of employees is not only to be found in the responsibilities assigned to them but also in their suggestions and ideas for work or improvement is been considered. SRK runs schools near its facility for the welfare of its employees. SRK has also set up an engineering college. Merit and college scholarships are also made available to the children of SRK employees.

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