Creating a new way of working based on trust
A Blue Circle Cement case study

Page 1: Introduction

In the immediate post-war era, firms in this country employed a command and control way of working. Decisions were made by senior managers and were then passed down the organisation in a top-down way through organisations characterised by bureaucracy.In recent years this pattern has changed. We have seen the stripping out of layers of bureaucracy as organisations have become leaner and flatter...
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Page 2: The programme of change

The programme of change involved a radical overhaul of working practices, reward systems and, not least, company culture. The results included gaining a flexible, multi-skilled workforce working on annualised hours contracts which eliminated overtime. Higher productivity and lower unit costs have been reflected in the bottom-line. The programme enabled management- employee relations at the works...
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Page 3: The new vision

The result of this research, fact finding, analysis and discussion was the creation of a new vision of how the business units could run. The shared vision for the future was to have a highly skilled and flexible workforce, working as an integrated team which, together with the new technology, would be able to compete with the best in the world. Key elements of this new vision were: Enhanced...
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Page 4: Training

In order to facilitate the changes team training was at a premium. Team training involved everyone in the workplace and was given active support by shop stewards as well as the management team. The training programme included four main elements: Senior Managers - This workshop looked at all aspects of team building, leadership and teamwork. For example, it was concerned with procedures involved...
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Page 5: Developing a total quality approach

The next step was to develop a Total Quality Approach throughout the organisation. Quality improvement is a continuous effort to eliminate wasteful practices and to make improvements. Quality management must become a way of life for a company, but it can only be implemented effectively if it becomes a way of life for every employee. Quality requires power and responsibility to be put in the...
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Page 6: Conclusion

In recent times Blue Circle Cement has won a number of awards for its Quality Improvement Cycle and Human Resources initiatives. What the company has done is to create an empowered workforce which has become the driving force for superior performance coupled with the utilisation of advanced technologies. It has taken Blue Circle Cement ten years to achieve this huge change in culture and this...
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