Devki Group Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Narenda Raval has about 4,000 employees, some of whom he says have been in his company since its inception 30 years ago.
The Group is behind three companies that include Maisha Mabati Mills, Devki Steel Mills and National Cement Company (Simba Cement) and has an annual turnover of annual turnover Sh59.6 billion.
In an Interview with Capital Business, Raval gives five tips of how he has kept his employee loyal even when his was unable to pay them for months.
1. Interact directly with your workers.
I used to directly work with my workers in the factory especially in the beginning we were a small company so I didn’t have time to be the boss and spend the whole day in a fancy office. I was working with them; operating machinery, getting my hands dirty every day.
We interacted a lot informally with them on family, sports and other things, we treated them as family.
I got to know all about their personalities, and we created a relationship, I became approachable, and they could come to me with questions, Ideas.
During my trying times in the firm, when I did not have anything they said to me, “We know the problem. We will work for you; don’t give us a full salary- just gives us enough to run our house. Give us the rest when you’ve made money.”
Even now, I always try and interact with them; I visit their desks and places of work, not very often because they are many employees, but at least I try.
2. Never give false promises to your employees
When I got my breakthrough, I paid them. Most of them are still with us, and we went a step ahead and took their children to school and some of their kids are working with us.
This keeps our workers happy and loyal.
3. Look after your own workers.
For the company to grow workers must also grow with the company, when workers are stagnant, work is also stagnant.
Some of my workers especially those who started with us, earn a net of Sh200,000 without an education.
Take care of their Medical Insurance, their meals, let them be comfortable.
Take care of your workers; they will take care of your company.