‘Y’ generation empowerment at Watawala

Tuesday, 2 September 2014 01:47 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

A member of the Sunshine Group, Watawala Plantations PLC has launched a novel concept, the ‘Y’ generation inter regional debate, targeting the company’s younger generation between 20 and 30 years of age. The initiative, which provides a platform for the younger members of the company to showcase their talents and skills, was a concept created by Watawala Plantations CEO Dr. Dan Seevaratnam to stimulate and encourage innovation and new ideas from the younger members, which could be used in the decision making process. The debate is a process of empowerment, which not only provides an avenue for the second line of the company to engage with their seniors but also enables a process to collect valuable inputs for the company’s development. The management’s goal is to eventually introduce the concept across all the subs within the Sunshine Group in order to create a better work culture.                       The venue for the inaugural ‘Y’ gen inter regional debate was the Members Lounge of the Institute of Personal Management, presided over by Sunshine Holdings Group Managing Director (GMD) Vish Govindasamy and Dan Seevaratnam, who conceptualised the initiative. Several other company officials were also present to watch the two debating teams showcasing their talents. The two teams who locked horns under the topic ‘Whether or not work life balance is important to improve employee performance’ were the ‘Y’ gen team representing the Plantations Head office and the ‘Y’ gen team representing the Udugama region. The head office team, who argued against the importance of work life balance won the day despite the uphill task of the argument, emerging victors of the debate. Commenting on the initiative, General Manager HR and Administration Ronnie Almeida said that the enthusiasm with which the employees met the debate was very encouraging and the first session was a complete success. “Team members and fellow colleagues engaged in extensive research which resulted in constructive and analytical points that made the debate interesting. Apart from that it also contributed towards heightened interpersonal relationship auguring well for more stimulating and friendly work environment. We also hope that this would direct our employees to find new and creative ways to make work mentally engaging and physically energising.” “The initiative is not limited to the executives of the company. The team positions are open for anyone in the company to apply,” said the GM. “This in turn creates a sense of equality and unity within the company and also facilitates an efficient process of organising the work in terms of the debate and also where other work is concerned with minimal disputes. The senior management of the company is eager to utilise the new ideas brought forward at the debates to ensure that young thinking is given deserved recognition.” Homadola Estate Assistant Manager Rohana Deshapriya who headed the Y gen team from the Udugama region says that the opportunity provided by the company to bridge the gap between the X and Y generations has contributed largely towards increasing productivity of the staff. “The preparations for the debate motivated the staff to find new knowledge and while providing a forum for young voices of the company to be heard.” The next ‘Y’ gen debate is scheduled to take place between the Hatton Watawala team and the Lindula region team. The winners of the second debate will compete with the winners of the inaugural debate. Watawala Plantations PLC hopes to continue the initiative periodically with teams from the Group’s different subs participating. The company also hopes to form a debate team with talented young individuals who would represent the company at the ‘Great HR Debate’ competition organised as annual national event by the IPM.