I am working in textile industry, I need a solution for operators and workers memo, basically In a factory if any operator or worker is doing mistake then memo has been made for that mistake and in that memo deductions has been made for 3hrs, 4 hrs. as per rule , but the problem is that we are not getting any benefit from that memos and memo number is increasing continuously basically workers and operators are habitual of that deductions. So I wanted a best solution to reduce the memo list, Plz suggest me what should I do for that.

From India, Delhi
Dear Richa,

Negative discipline does not work beyond a point. It has to be supplemented with positive discipline too. In your case, the workers have reconciled to the the fact that receipt of few memos is inevitable. For them deduction of 'x' amount from the salary is foregone conclusion.

You could have given additional information like what is your finished product, how many workers are there, what kind of work do they do. Why quality issues arise? Is it because of gap in their skills or inadequate resources like tools etc? Are the machines maintained properly? Are these calibrated well?

What about the quality of the manpower? Is your payment so low that your company can attract people of low IQ only? Do they have any desire to grow? Yes, I have used the word 'desire' and not 'ambition', please note.

What is the geographical location of your company? Is it the case that all good people move to urban areas in search of better remuneration and you end up in getting leftover morons?

What about your recruitment? What kind of tests do you conduct before employing them? Have you defined the recruitment standards?

At this stage, I can only say that you need to do memo analysis. How many memos were issued? Why they were issued? Do the people get memos in the beginning of the month or end of the month etc? Do certain people only get memos and in general, other people do not get memo. Your study will reveal some pattern.

Second initiative is to give some bonus payment for their quality work. This could be their quality allowance.


Dinesh V Divekar

From India, Bangalore
Mr.Dinesh has raised all relevent queries for you to pause and reflect up on the problem from systemic, organisational and attitudinal perspective.It is well established now that the disciplinary perspective did not yield any desired results. Your replies can throw some light on the causes for the repeated mistakes committed by the employees and cosnsequently, to a solution.
HR ^& Labour Law Advisor

From India, Mumbai
Dear Richa Mishra,

When you have found that memos and deductions are not making any impact on the behavior of workers, the system of memos has become obsolete. Hence some new concepts, methods and strategies are required to be drafted to improve the working and discipline. There are many methods to handle such problems. First, you must ascertain why mistakes in work are occurring. The frequency of occurrence of mistakes, whether a same set of workers are committing mistakes etc. This can be found out by talking to shop floor officers and even to the workers. A worker who has not committed any mistakes or has very less mistakes, is very useful in sorting the problems. Secondly, please find out whether any training is provided or not and the mistakes are due to inadequate training. In textiles, now a-days lot of modernization has taken place and as such workers are unable to cope up with the new machinery and technology.

Thirdly, the reason of mistakes may be a willful negligence of workers. Then obviously one has to find out why the deliberate attempts by workers.

Fourthly, whether the mistakes are due to poor working conditions, such as light, ventilation, temperature, noise, vibration etc.

Fifthly, whether it is due to no-strict-management and workers are not afraid of any punishment.

The points may be innumerable, I have just stated the above points by way of illustration.Upon a correct analysis of the problem, one can certainly find the proper solution to it.

From India, Kolhapur
Dear Richa,
You have already received good inputs, i would like to add that you should also go for coaching and Mentoring for those workers.
If the problem is with specific behaviours on job the same can be corrected through Coaching and Mentoring alongwith counseling (already suggested).

From India, Mumbai
I am very thankful to Mr. Dinesh, B.Saikumar and Mr. K. H. Kulkarni for giving me valuable suggestions. And I wanted to mentioned that, my company is having total 9 units and I am taking care of Embroidery, Knitting and garmenting industry, here both shift are running. So I did analysis and found that mostly memos are issued in night shift, In fact workers are getting all basic facilities including good working conditions, latest technology, Training, Bonus, Advance, Loan facilities and they are motivated too but still there is no improvment, Seniors I am thinking that there should be alternate solution of deduction so that workers have fear to commit mistake.

From India, Delhi
Dear Richa,
Please check the effectiveness of the training imparted. Has the training resulted in skill development of the workers?was the performance of workers evaluated before and after the training?
As also conduct survey, appreciative enquiry to find out what are the factors causing such problems.
have you tried to find out their level of engagement?.are there any kind of disagreements, fights, arguments which are causing such problems in the night shift?.Are your workers willing to work as a team?are you providing team incentives or individual incentives?.In many cases individual incentives lead to problems.Team incentives work wels as against lndividual incentives in case like this.

From India, Mumbai
Dear Richa,

I recommend you doing break up of memos for various sections i.e. Embroidery, Knitting etc. and find out in which section maximum memos are issued. Secondly, are there particularly few workers who keep on receiving the memos.

You have written that workers who work in second shift get maximum memos. But then sleep deprivation should not be a that serious problem. At what time your shift starts and what time it ends? Is it possible to re-arrange the timing of the shifts so that second shift workers can go back home little early?

One of the solutions to solve this problem is have meeting with the workers and ask them how to reduce the memos.

Untrammelled issue of memos has set a bad precedent. Punishment is something "tit for tat". But then in the bargain workers have started abdicating their accountability. Quality output is workers' accountability. Punishments have shifted this accountability to the "management".

To certain extent this problem also is caused due to lack of quality orientation. Are you ISO 9000 company? If yes, then are the concepts of ISO implemented thoroughly or it is an eyewash? You need to bring in quality culture. For this, every week workers should be told about the quality work from other departments. Yes, machines may stop humming for half an hour or so but then moulding of their mindset is very important. While workers stitch the garments, it appears that your management has not stitched them to the company's quality philosophy. Hence your problem!


Dinesh V Divekar

From India, Bangalore
It appears to me that your organisation can benefit a lot by starting on TQM activities.
Use a good consultant (Mr. Divekar can be one) and see the results. I am serious. It will pay for itself four-fold.
R Ramamurthy

From India, Bangalore
Now it is clear that the problem is confined to night shift only. It means tehre is nothing wrong with machines or maitenance an dthe problem is man related. If an attitudianal problem, no amount of technological or quality interventions will mend the situation. Some simple methods of slutions according to me are :

1) I particularly refer to Mr.Kishore Kulkarni's suggestion to find out the employee who has not recieved any memoes or recieved far less memoes. Find out such employee in the night shift only and talk to him as to how and why he is able to maintain quality standards and then talk to the erring employees to find out as to what is lacking in tehir case -- a) whether it is attitude b) lack of required skill or c) sheer negligence or some other factor.

2) You can try shiting some erring employees to the day shift and see whether there is nay change in the quallity of their work. If they have shown imrovement, then it can be gathered that working during night may be an issue.

3) if they still persist in committing the same mistakes and others in the same shift have no issues, then the reasons may be either a) attitude or b) lack of training.

4) depending up on your findings, you need to choose the line of action.

From India, Mumbai

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