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Absence of HR policy in textiles

November 06, 2006

Human factor, a vital element in manufacturing, is one of the key factors which drives business towards profitability and growth. In order to ensure maximum output of the manpower involved in companies, a sound and effective human Resource (HR) policy is required.

Such a policy includes innovative approaches to compensation, pay for performance, flex-time, benefits, stock plans, legal compliance and training of company’s employees and related personnel. The key areas to HR policies include recruitments, training, salaries and benefits, compensations, performance measurements, promotions, duties, responsibilities, rewards and holidays, etc.

The policy aims to create a balance between employee job satisfaction and corporate growth. It also delineates the powers exercised by employers. Once defined, the policy is implemented over a long period of time without excessive changes so as to maximise output.

The state of textile industry’s HR policies is quite alarming and the issue has been subject to informal discussions between employees. But it is never taken to a strategic level in human resource management.

Collectively, it could be said that Pakistani textile industry has no proper HR policy to spur corporate growth.

There is no proper recruiting procedure in companies. Even the biggest industrial units have no harmonisation in their recruitment procedures. All recruitments— from labourers to general managers— are done informally.

The change-over is usually of the entire team of workers. The new general manager usually brings his entire working team along with him, causing extensive labour shortage and huge financial losses to his previous employer. This loss usually amounts to millions of rupees. If this change-over cycle of general managers is high, then one could imagine the overall loss to the industry.

The same procedure applies to manufacturing supervisors who keep within their fold a substantial team of workers. They impart more overall loss than the general managers. In some cases, departure of a supervisor results in damage to the tangible assets of the company.

Also for unskilled labourers, graduated engineers and professionals, there is no formal channel of recruitment. There are no job advertisements, no job boards and no recruitment companies. Instead a channel of relationships and references prevails which totally ignores metrics, hard work and devotion.

Despite the availability of written rules of working hours, leave and holidays, nothing is followed properly. The top management of company remain unaware of the man hours requirement of their manufacturing processes.

As a result, fewer workers are available or recruited for high man hours of work. This results in excessive overtimes and reduces the overall working efficiency and motivation. This translates into losses to the company.

Increased working hours greatly reduce an employee’s motivation and his performance for doing his job\properly. Quality of work suffers. Various informal and unethical tactics are employed to enhance performance. Employees are frequently penalised for exercising their right of leave and holidays. They are described as non-serious workers.

There is no formal training of workers for machines and processes. Usually, an unskilled worker gets training by an experienced worker which most of the time exploits his position.

Very few companies appoint an HR manager. Most of the time, HR manager is busy in publishing lay-off lists for presumed cost-saving reasons, triggering a sense of de-motivation and job insecurity among employees, greatly affecting their performance and an overall manufacturing loss.

All these issues emerge due to the total absence of HR policy. One cannot expect innovation or improvement in this scenario.

The government on its part builds training institutes for textile workers and there also exists engineering institutes which produce managers who are upgraded with latest technologies.

The outcome of these institutes would only be fruitful and beneficial if there is a proper HR policy in textile companies. In the prevailing situation, the corporate growth will remain a dream because of the lack of an efficient human resource management.