Employee Engagement at Reliance Industries Ltd.

R Muralidhar Rao

Vice – President HR

Reliance Industries Limited


Reliance is the largest producer of polyester fibre and yarn in the world, with a capacity of 2.5 million tonnes per annum. We have our Polyester Manufacturing Units at Hazira, Patalganaga, Barabanki, Hoshiarpur and Silvassa. Silvassa is also known as the Polyester Hub of India and we at Silvassa Manufacturing Division, or SMD as we call it, produce three Polyester products namely, POY (Partially Oriented Yarn), FDY (Fully Drawn Yarn) and PTY (Polyester Textured Yarn). Our Vision for the Polyester business is to “To continuously grow on sustainable basis and be the largest, the most innovative and the most admired polyester producer in the world.” To ensure that we are on the right track to achieve our vision, we need to create the best quality of products day in and day out and keep our people continuously motivated and engaged in their jobs.

Employee engagement is the extent to which employees feel passionate about their jobs, are committed to the organization and put discretionary effort into their work.It is the emotional commitment the employee has towards the organization and its goals.This emotional commitment means engaged employees actually care about their work and their company. They don’t work just for a pay-check, or just for the next promotion, but work on behalf of the organization’s goals.

This means an engaged Field Executive at Reliance works overtime when needed, without ever being asked, it also means the engaged panel officer picks up the trash on the shopfloor, even if the boss isn’t watching and finally, it means the Security staff will pull a suspicious bag to be searched, even if it’s the last bag on their shift. Engaged employees lead to better business outcomes.

When employees care—when they are engaged—they use discretionary effort.

                  Job Satisfaction

• All about “Doing My Job”

• Making myself Successful

• Personal Commitment



– Going above and beyond    the call of my duty

– Making the Organisational Successful

– Mutual Commitment


Research says..

1. They are 480% more committed to helping their organisation succeed.

2. They are 250% more likely to suggest improvements in current methods & processes.

3. They are 370% more likely to recommend their organisation to others.

4. 7 out of 10 employees are disengaged (52%) or actively disengaged (18%).

5. Low Engagement increases Attrition risk by 400%.

6. Disengaged Managers are 300% more likely to have Disengaged Employees.

Engagement Model at Reliance

We at Reliance Industries Ltd. have an Engagement Model which we follow across all our diverse set of businesses including our manufacturing sites. It is built around four dimensions of Leadership Support, Manager Support, Performance & Benefits and Work Environment which lead to organisational impact.

We here drive a high performance work culture where achievers are regularly recognised for their contribution and are always aiming to achieve more challenging goals and higher levels of customer satisfaction. In doing so, we follow the ‘GET-MILD’ strategy: Growth Meritocracy Empowerment Innovation Trust & Relationships Learning Agility Diversification

Our focus on Quality Management..

Being a manufacturing site, we emphasise a lot on continuously improving the quality of our products by focussing a lot on TQM activities like Quality Circles, Six Sigma, 5S, SGA and Kaizen. Through this, we not onlyengage our employees but also contribute to their personal development and channelize their energies into more productive areas. Implementing such activities requires diligent effort and a lot ofdiscipline, and wetherefore handhold our employees by training them on the various aspects of Quality implementation and then send them outside to various State and National LevelConventions. After returning from the conventions, they present their work, learnings and even mistakes to large employee gatherings creating a chain reaction which results in a highly inspired and productive workforce. We started with our first Quality Circle four years ago and since then have seen a huge rise in the number of QC Teams and the overall engagement levels of our people. We have managed to bag a total of 33 Gold Trophies at various state and national level competitions organised by Quality Circle Forum of India during the past two years.

Keeping them Engaged..

Engaging the workforce forms an integral part of the Human Resource KRA and we have a host of other activities to get the best out of our people and create a ‘High Peer-formance Work Culture’. This includes aMonthly Townhall called TELL US (which has aRewards &Recognition Ceremony, Competency Development Sessions, sharing of Departmental Best practices, Plant Performance &Technological Updates), Suggestion Schemes, Monthly Performance Reviews(MPR), Storytelling, Sessions on Job significancecance (to create a sense of pride in them for the work they do), Success Celebrations, Family get-togethers and Festival Celebrations.

To create a sense of togetherness, we take a lot of interest in our employees’ personal and familial growth. Over the period of years, we have observed that if the personal life of our employee is taken care of, professional success is just a matter of time. Therefore, we consider our employees’ problems as our own and we go the extra mile to resolve them.For instance, one of our employee’s son had developed a keen interest in playing Badminton and we provided financial assistance through which he got access to the best equipment, coaches, training facilities and Sports Competitions. He is now a national level player.We also go above and beyond the call of our duties to improve the personal well-being of our employees by taking various initiatives like Dengue Awareness Campaign, Blood Donation Camp, Free Eye Sight Checking and Bone Density Checkup (especially for the spouses of our employees), etc.Every year, on the occasion of The Republic Day, we recognize the children of our employees who have performed exceptionally well in class Senior and Higher Secondary classes. By doing so, we are investing in the most powerful resource that our country possesses, ‘The Youth’.It has come to light that after such incidents, the employees come back with an increased amount of motivation and energy and develop unbreakable emotional attachment with the company

“The Jacobin Cuckoo-The Chatak Bird Strangely, stares the bird Chatak curious In endless gaze at the rain fed sky furious Quenches not Chatak its unquenchable thirst With the rain water that pours, but the bird Legendary waits for the wonderful drops As shall fall from the Swati star!” – Kaliavijay

Organisation Culture at RIL-SMD

SMD’s culture is all about driving high performance, achieving extraordinary results and meritocracy, and this is not possible without rewarding high performers regularly, developing them and giving them the visibility they desire and deserve. Our achievers are recognised through Monthly Townhalls,R-Sammaan (RIL’s very own online RnR portal) and Departmental Notice Boards. Consistently high performing people are then polished through Job Rotations, Cross Functional Assignments and Behavioral& Technical Trainings to build on their competencies and take up higher and more challenging roles.

We at RIL-SMD believe in a culture of open communication and transparency. I am accessible to my people at all the times and my people don’t need to take prior appointments to meet me personally. We even encourage the Managers to talk to their subordinates regularly, helping them solve their problems in the process and develop camaraderie. We firmly believe in Collin Powell’s powerful saying:

“Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.”

Our primary responsibility is to percolate the vision and mission of our senior leadership to all the levels of our hierarchy. We do this by addressing our Leaders at the site level daily through the APEX Meetings. The desired behaviour is then passed onto the HODs and then eventually to their subordinates. By regularly interacting with our employees at the Field Executive Level, we ensure that the vision has been successfully imbibed by all thus closing the communication loop.We also have a practice of conducting Monthly Review and Communication Meetings where employees from all departments and levels get a chance to meet the Site President and discuss the Nitty-Gritties of their Jobs. To generate innovative ideas for solving common problems, we conduct Cache Sessionsand use the 3M Post-It method to generate quick and innovative ideas. In one of our meetings we managed to generate 64 new ideas for process improvement.

The average age of our employees at SMD is 31 years-this is relatively on the lower side, especially in a manufacturing setup, this is because we believe in cashing in on the potential of youth and developing them as we go forward. We have a structured Induction program for new joinees where we handhold them through the initial journey of their careers at RIL.

These youngsters would grow with the organisation and go on to become our future leaders. As one of the HODs quoted, “I believe that if I develop my People, the most important KRA of my job is taken care of.”Also, our Plant being a new one, is in the process of stabilisation and there are 4-6 days every month where we encounter newer and more challenging problems. We use them as a window of opportunity to take opinion and ideas from our employees and make them feel empowered. These critical incidents act as learning opportunities for both the Management and the Employees.

Our people are like the Jacobin Cuckoo, which does not drink water from the pond or rivers and patiently waits for the rain (of wisdom and knowledge)to come down and we as managers, are like clouds with the responsibility of quenching their thirst for knowledge.

To Summarise our Motto of Employee Engagement:  

1. “The way your employees feel is the way your customers will feel. And if your employees don’t feel valued, neither will your customers.” – Sybil F. Stershic

2. “When people go to work, they shouldn’t have to leave their hearts at home.” – Betty Bender

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