From left: Hayleys Plantations Sector (KVPL and TTEL) Managing Director Roshan Rajadurai, Assistant Manager HR and Admin (KVPL) Nirmala Maheswaran, IPM Council Member U.A.C. Obeysekera, IPM President Rohitha Amarapala, Hayleys Plantations Senior Manager HR Anuruddha Gamage, Hayleys Plantations Human Development Manager S. Ram, Assistant Manager HR and Admin (TTEL) Sangeetha Dharmasekara and IPM Assistant Secretary Aruna Dayanatha
The Hayleys plantations sector is the proud Gold award winner of National HR Excellence Awards 2016, presented by the Institute of Personal Management Sri Lanka (IPM).
This accolade is in recognition of the revolutionary HR practices and policies which the plantations sector of Hayleys adopted just a couple of years ago, breaking traditional boundaries and industry norms. The sector’s clearly defined HR strategy has been the catalyst to uplift and transform the lives of its workers and as a result of this complex HR framework, the productivity levels of the company have shown remarkable growth.
What makes this achievement even more significant is that it was attained despite the most turbulent period faced by the tea industry throughout the nation. The Hayleys plantations sector, unwavering in its vision and adherence to its strategy, was ranked as the best performing plantation due to the innovative and strategic movement of its strong HR policies.
Hayleys plantations developed a four-year HR strategic plan in order to reshape, enhance and uplift the quality of work and quality of life of all plantation employees. The plan has spurred the company to transform its human resources, over the last couple of years and has succeeded in mitigating key issues, which include the impact of labour migration from the sector.
Managing Director Roshan Rajadurai said, “The implemented endeavours have immensely improved morale and motivation amongst our workforce, which has resulted in a noteworthy increase in productivity and performance. Our strategy covers all aspects of our workforce and includes insightful focus on even basic amenities such as the provision of uniforms and light weight and ergonomically designed harvesting baskets for the ease of operations and maintenance of health and safety, which were a step beyond industry norms, but yielded higher comfort and health levels, which in turn reflected in productivity and output. We have also introduced an online-real-time electronic weighing system to accurately measure and evaluate each employee’s performance levels in order to improve their rewards and earning potential. This has reduced repetitive work and ensures fairness and transparency.
The other key focus areas included comprehensive training programmes. Elaborating on this, Rajadurai said, “We appointed dedicated executives to train ground level employees in the plantations sector, a segment that makes up over 90 percent of our workforce. We are pleased with the results and will continue to build upon these initiatives. At Hayleys plantations we go over and beyond what is traditionally expected of both the plantation sector and its HR management. We have taken the initiative to spearhead these innovative practices and our passionate HR team has worked diligently and tirelessly to achieve this paradigm shift, along with the entire staff of Kelani Valley Plantations PLC and Talawakelle Tea Estates PLC.”
One of the key development programmes of the company is the corporate social responsibility (CSR) project ‘A Home for Every Plantation Worker’, which was developed to enhance the overall quality of life of the plantation community and its dependents, covering diverse areas which include, living environment, health and nutrition and youth empowerment to name just a few. This initiative won the JASTECA CSR Gold award presented by the Japan–Sri Lanka Technical and Cultural Association.
The plantations sector of Hayleys has set a benchmark for all other plantation companies in Sri Lanka by continuing its best practices consistently and has obtained the Rainforest Alliance (RA), Forest Stewardship Council (FSCTM), UTZ, GLOBAL G.A.P., Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP), HACCP/ 1SO 22000 Certifications for conducting its operations in an environmentally friendly and socially responsible manner. Hayleys plantations sector consists of Kelani Valley Plantations PLC (KVPL) and Talawakelle Tea Estates PLC (TTEL). Both companies ma nage 44 tea and rubber estates covering approximately 20,000 hectares of land spanning
over three distinctive agro-climatic regions.