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IIBMS – Employee Relations Audit

Case 2 : Employee Relations Audit


Triveni Foods Pvt. Ltd., a multinational confectionary company, having its branches in more than 50 countries and marketing its products in about 135 countries, established one of its production units in 1988 at Mathura near Delhi. It had a workforce of nearly 320 employees and sales turnover was more than Rs. 150 crores. Being a confectionary unit, hygiene was given the upper most priority to the extent that no one was allowed to enter the production area without taking bath and wearing sterilized clothes provided by the company. The entire process was automatic and required only food specialists and labor. In order to match the required standards, emphasis was given on training and welfare of employees on regular basis. Facilities like transportation were also provided since delay by ten minutes could cause production losses at the time of shift changes.

Over a period of time due to start and workers’ redundancy, it was observed that problems like lethargy, absenteeism, violation of work practices were increasing. Absenteeism rate went up to 18 percent. Employees visited canteen for drinking water and started gossiping during working hours. Buses did not arrive on time due to which production suffered. Operators came late and left shop floor early without waiting for relievers. Employees were found hovering in administration building without any reason. It was also found that employees were violating personal hygiene standards. Malpractices were also reported with attendance process and records. These activities were having a negative impact on managerial effectiveness and performance of the unit. The management tried to take number of initiatives to overcome these problems. However, these initiatives seemed ad hoc solutions and did not serve the purpose in the long run.

In 1996, Alok Trivedi joined the company as Head of the Department H.R. While facing these problems, he realized that the causes of these problems were deep rooted and required a proactive approach. He started with an approach called Employee Relation Audit, developed by him, where everything was to be monitored, regulated and reported on regular intervals. He along with his team prepared an action plan (Appendix 1) and corrective measures were taken accordingly. Facilities of drinking water were arranged at 3 to 4 places in the production area which stopped employees from going to canteen for this purpose. Action was taken against the late arrivals of the buses. A proper time study was done and they were given ten minutes margin so that they could report on time. Operators were frequently questioned and stringent vigilance was kept for amenities. Regular counseling was also arranged. A grievance register was also kept and effective grievance redressal was undertaken. Groups were formed called ‘Pragati’ groups for solving work related problems. Employees were frequently checked for ensuring their strict adherence to personal hygiene standards. For ensuring timely processing and printing of attendance records, training was given to al! line officers and production of records was made mandatory on shift basis.

It was further decided that based on this action plan an audit should be carried out at regular periods so that actual performance could be measured. For quantification, a 5 point. scale 0- poor, 2-below average, 3-average, 4-good, 5-v.good) audit report was prepared featuring practices, criteria for evaluation, standards, observations/comments and rating :Appendix 2). For example, in canteen criteria for evaluation there were food quality, menu, timings and unauthorized presence of the employees in the kitchen. The standards were strict adherence to the rules defined. For transportation, arrival, departure and punching of cards by drivers were the criteria for evaluation. Internal teams of auditors were asked to observe and comment against the set standards and give the rating accordingly. Performance vas evaluated on the basis of percentage, the highest point being 215. For example, if the total points scored on various parameters in a audit report was one hundred and fifty five, hen percentage score would be seventy-two (l55/215xl00 = 72 per cent). The first audit “as carried out in August 1999 and percentage of performance was sixty two.

In the year 2000, the performance rose to sixty-five per cent. Proactive approach of solving le problems was adopted. For example, registers were maintained at different work areas, write down the complaints experienced by employees and action was taken by the concerned person. A complaint of tap leaking in a bathroom was recorded in register by a workman. It was attended by a supervisor in charge and he got it repaired immediately. At times these were reviewed and signed by H.R. department and the higher management. Due to these practices, a lot of improvement was observed. Better working conditions, increased productivity, rise in employees’ commitment towards their goals and better superior -subordinate relationship could be seen. In 2001, the percentage of the performance rose to seventy two. While reviewing the Employee relation audit, Alok Trivedi was quite satisfied to note the steady though slow improvement in the figures of performance.


  1. Had you been in place of Alok Trivedi what additional measures would you have taken?
  2. Critically analyze the Employee Relations Audit in the light of its contribution to self motivation of employees.


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