Reliance Industries readying new people practices

Written by fe Bureau | Mumbai | Updated: Mar 25 2014, 17:52pm hrs
Reliance Industries'Reliance Industries had seen its rate of attrition growing due to increasing options for employees in the Middle East and elsewhere' (AP)
Reliance Industries will move to a five-day work week from the current six-day work week, according to a communication from the $48 bn dollar groups chairman Mukesh Ambani on Friday.

While we want to relentlessly raise our bar on performance, productivity and excellence, we are also equally committed to providing our people with enhanced flexibility at the work place to enable them to effectively balance their professional and family commitments. Two years ago, we implemented flexible work timings and I am now delighted to announce that effective April 1, 2014, we will adopt the concept of a 5-day work week, said Ambani in an email communication to his employees on Friday.

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Ambani said this was just the start of the company's major focus to revisit all its people practices to make the company a world class contemporary organisation.

Under the new initiative, the company will move most of its operations to a five-day week working pattern; some of the business which requires 24-hour monitoring, such as manufacturing and field operations, will take time.

Formal communication from the chairman has been made. However, certain sites or business operations have the flexibility to transition into this at a slightly later date, given business delivery deadlines they are working with, said a senior company employee.

This comes exactly a year after RIL initiated a massive information technology-based business transformation exercise to overhaul its business processes.

However, some employees say that while it is was a long-standing demand of the staff and has finally being answered, of late RIL had seen its rate of attrition growing due to increasing options for employees in the Middle East and elsewhere, which offered not only flexible timing but also five-day working week.

It (six-day work week) affected the company mostly at entry and mid level management and engineering level, as more options were available at similar pay scale. Better talent hasnt shown much interest in joining the company, except recruits from IIMs or senior management level, where the payscale is very high, said an ex-employee of the company now settled in Qatar.

A mail sent to RIL on its rate of attrition and the major reason for a revisit of its human resource practices did not yield a reply.

Last year the company had embarked on a massive large scale business transformation exercise called Smart Transformation at Reliance, or STAR project as the company prefers to call it.

The mandate of the project was to overhaul processes across three verticals exploration and production, refining and marketing and petrochemicals and support functions such as manufacturing, projects, procurement and contracting, logistics, human resources, finance, shared services, IT, R&D and security.

Also, it spent all of 2012-13 in strengthening its human resource team by bringing in talent from across the globe.

One of the major among these was the movement of Prabir Jha, who was brought in as President HR from Tata Motors in December 2013, a post which was vacant since 2009.

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