Management

Business with a Human Touch

August 2010

Giridhar Rajgopalan, Director -Technical, Afcons, and Srinivas Mantrala, General Manager -Technical, Afcons, offer insights into human resource management for brighter future prospects and steady growth.

One of our key objectives is to emerge as a prominent transnational infrastructure company recognised for varied business innovations. To achieve our ends, we believe we should put resources to optimum use, ease construction methodology, maximise productivity and improve quality of life. And as a part of an organisational drive, we at Afcons have adopted a three-pronged approach to stimulate innovation. The first is ‘Nurturing Talent’; the second is ‘Developing Passionate Commitment’; and the third is ‘Willingness to Learn’.

The three-pronged approach

Sustaining innovation on a continual basis is crucial and requires nurturing of talent. We achieve this by giving space and adequate freedom to our employees to think out of the box and experiment with new ideas. To ensure openness and trust at all levels of the hierarchy, we ensure a high level of transparency in communication delivery to all teams. We also have a unique approach towards training and development wherein we assess the training needs of employees on the basis of their potential and projects delivered on a regular basis.

Exposure unlimited

Afcons is currently working with consultants of international repute for technically challenging design-and-build projects like Chenab Bridge, the underground portion of the Kolkata Metro that will be constructed below the Hoogly River, and the construction of LNG tanks in Kochi. To ensure maximum exposure and training to our staff, we have involved them as part of this massive project while posting some of our engineers at the offices of these consultants and experts. We have also regularly formed JV partnerships with firms of international repute and made sure our employees visit the sites of our JV partners for better knowledge enhancement. We also firmly believe in keeping our employees updated with high awareness levels about the industry know-how and sending them to international seminars, conferences and exhibitions like Bauma.

Raising the bar

To spread the knowledge gained from projects, we have placed a system of presenting ‘lessons learned’ from various projects in every quarterly review meeting with project managers. Also, during these meetings, presentations on new technologies or equipment by in-house or external experts are organised. To develop passionate commitment among employees, we post the right person for the right job. While doing this, care is taken to balance individual aspirations with organisational needs. To increase job satisfaction and offer hands-on experience, design engineers are posted at foreign sites for six to eight months.

Self-initiatives

We strongly believe that willingness to learn is the most important organisational behaviour for being innovative on a continuous basis. For the same, we have embarked on developing training modules in-house through an e-learning process to enable employees to be trained at their place of work and at a convenient time and pace. Afcons has also initiated action on systematically capturing the good work done in the past 50 years and making available the information to its employees. We have also adopted lean construction principles and developed a weekly planner system and implemented it at some of our sites.

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