Celebrating excellence at every level: Hayleys Plantations hosts inaugural staff awards gala

Friday, 29 March 2019 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

 From left: (first row) Winners of the Inaugural Hayleys Plantations Staff Awards 2018; (second row) Hayleys Plantations Managing Director Dr. Roshan Rajadurai; Hayleys PLC Group HR, Legal, Security and Corporate Communications & Sustainability Head Darshi Talpahewa; Hayleys Plantations Deputy General Manager (HR & Corporate Sustainability) Anuruddha Gamage, speaking at the event


  • First ever dedicated plantation sector employee awards in Sri Lanka 
  • Winners treated to an educational and recreational foreign tour 
  • Reiterates commitment to employee empowerment, vibrant performance-based culture
  • Calls on industry to emulate the success of its HR-centric business model

Sri Lanka’s highest-ranked plantation group, Hayleys Plantations, hosted its inaugural Annual Staff Recognition ceremony to felicitate and celebrate the outstanding achievements of its 24,000 strong team of employees across Talawakelle Tea Estates PLC (TTEL), Kelani Valley Plantations PLC (KVPL) and Horana Plantations PLC over the year 2018. 

Hosted at the BMICH, the event brought together the top performers across the group’s plantation sector staff categories for the first time, in order to showcase and reward the group’s most exemplary employees. 

Addressing his team of employees, pioneering industry veteran and Managing Director of Hayleys Plantations Dr. Roshan Rajadurai reiterated the group’s commitment to drive forward a more progressive, more sustainable vision for the Sri Lankan plantation industry as a whole. 

“Today’s inaugural awards are a milestone for our company as well as the entire Sri Lankan plantation industry. We are here to recognise and celebrate the outstanding accomplishments of our entire team and I must say it is humbling to stand before such a dedicated team that has travelled the breadth of the country to be here with us today. Together we have achieved a great deal in an extremely short time and while we still have a great deal more to accomplish, I believe that we are well on our way thanks to each of you. 

“Hayleys Plantations has strived to catalyse a transformation across the Sri Lankan plantation industry. Over the past year, we commenced vocational training for our estate staff, thereby establishing a clear path for absolutely anyone at Hayleys Plantations to rise in the ranks to executive, and even managerial level; provided they give us their best efforts. These are the kind of measures which make our business, more resilient and vibrant. It is my hope that the example we set today will be emulated and improved on in the years to come.” 

Senior officials from the Hayleys Group, including Group Human Resources, Legal, Corporate Communications, Sustainability, and Group Security Head Darshi Talpahewa, Hayleys Group Talent Development Head Patrick Pereira, General Manager (Corporate Communication & Sustainability) Pradeep Carvalho, General Manager (Industrial Relations) Jayendra de Silva, Kelani Valley Plantations Director/Chief Executive Officer Anura Weerakoon, Talawakelle Tea Estates Director/ CEO Dilantha Seneviratne, and Horana Plantations Director/ CEO Manuja Kariapperuma, together with luminaries of the Sri Lankan plantation industry, such as Dr. Dan Seevaratnam and Nimal Amarasekere were also in attendance at the event. 

Over the course of the evening, a total of 156 awards were presented to 156 employees, including all five categories of estate staff as Office, Supervisory, Production, Human Development and Support. Based on the performances of 2017/ 2018, Gold, Silver and Bronze awards were presented for 1st , 2nd and 3rd places. 

Notably, 1st place winners at the inaugural awards were also provided an all-expenses paid foreign educational and entertainment tour, in what promises to be a hotly anticipated annual tradition at Hayleys Plantations.

“For many years now, Hayleys Plantations has been at the centre of some of the most important innovations in the industry. Guided by the visionary leadership of our Managing Director, Dr. Roshan Rajadurai, we have placed an unprecedented level of focus towards the implementation of progressive human resource management combined with excellent plantation management practices. This strategy has been vital to our collective success, and we are proud to note that Hayleys Plantations has even out performed industries which have traditionally led the way in business best practices. 

“Ultimately our success is built on your remarkable efforts, and that is why we celebrate the outstanding work of our entire team. As Dr. Rajadurai often points out, we are yet to reach our full potential, but today you have each proved that we are well on our way,” Deputy General Manager (HR & Corporate Sustainability) Anuruddha Gamage stated. 

Attendees at the inaugural awards were entertained by memorable musical performances to liven up formal proceedings, including a variety of colourful performances featuring the children of employees of the company. 

For several years, Hayleys Plantations has stood out as a true pioneer in relation to human resource management. Over the recent past, Hayleys plantations implemented an award-winning performance management system that has enabled the company’s hardest working employees from field workers to upper management to be recognised and rewarded for their dedication. The system was declared as winner of the Great HR Practices at National HR Conference 2018 organised by IPM as is one of many innovations introduced to the domestic industry. 

The company has also received wide-spread recognition for its pioneering development programs advanced under the ‘Home for every plantation worker’ program which has been featured as a benchmark for HR best practices in the United Nations Global Compact Sri Lanka Network. The program provides extensive support in terms of nutrition, community and capacity building programs and community empowerment initiatives including vocational training, child care and assistance in seeking higher education.    

Among its more recent achievements, Hayleys Plantations companies recorded a dominant performance at the recently concluded Social Dialogue and Workplace Cooperation Awards, organised by the Department of Labour at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, walking away with a total of 8 awards – including two gold awards, two silver awards, and four bronze awards - the highest number of accolades to a single company for the year.   

Similarly, TTEL also emerged as Overall Gold Winners at the National Business Excellence Awards in addition to pairing with KVPL to claim a combined six golds and five silvers at the event. Furthermore, TTEL and KVPL also annexed gold and silver awards respectively at the CA Annual Report Awards. TTEL also clinched five awards at the Presidential Environmental Awards 2018 for the fifth consecutive year, making it the only plantation company to have successfully gone up against local industrial competitors.  

The most recent achievement with international recognition was when Hayleys Plantations became the winner of the Global HR Excellence Awards in 2018 for the second time, ranking Best HR Organisation to Work For, which was organised by World HRD Congress. In addition, Hayleys Kelani Valley Plantations PLC won the Sri Lanka Corporate Health and Wellbeing award 2018, becoming the first plantation company to win this special award, which was organised by Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) and Chamber of Young Lankan Entrepreneurs (COYLE).