At the heart of the manufacturing industry’s success lies the well-being of their workers, that in turn drives productivity and output. The recent Great Place to Work® event held in Colombo shone a spotlight on the 15 Best WorkplacesTM in manufacturing, of companies that have prioritized employee engagement and trust, leading to optimal outcomes.
Kshanika Ratnayaka, CEO of Great Place to Work® in Sri Lanka, in her opening remarks emphasized the importance of strong leadership in businesses and creating a positive workplace culture. She stated prioritizing employee well-being and engagement with top-down proactivity is crucial for organizational success and underlined the importance of research and checks for maintaining high standards and identifying areas for improvement.
Ishan Dantanarayana, Board Director of Brandix Corporate Campus and Executive Vice President of Brandix Inspired Solutions Institute delivered the keynote speech, advocating for a shift in thinking and innovation. Emphasizing the importance of staying up-to-date with new management practices and tools and adopting supportive technologies and cultures that are vital for a positive work environment, he highlighted that employee appreciation and prioritizing well-being create a sustainable competitive advantage.
Ruwani Alwishewa Practice Head of Assessment at Great Place to Work® in Sri Lanka provided an overview of the study on employee perception on workplace culture in the manufacturing and production industry and explained the ‘Great Place to Work For All’ methodology used to select the 15 Best WorkplacesTM. She highlighted strengths, areas for improvement and differentiators. Trust and employee engagement were the focus, and she stressed the importance of continuously improving standards and adapting to change for sustainable performance. To achieve this, she suggested seeking feedback, collaborating with employees and fostering a culture of ‘innovation by all’.
A panel discussion was hosted by Kaneru Godagama, Head of Consulting Services at Great Place to Work® in Sri Lanka, where senior leadership from three of the 15 Best WorkplacesTM in the sector shared insights on their approach to being an employer of choice. United Tobacco Processing’s General Manager, Neil Discombe, highlighted their commitment to employees by halting factory production on Saturday mornings to provide a life education program, whilst Heineken Lanka’s Director- Human Resources, Paduma Subasinghe, stressed the importance of diversity and inclusion as their success story , demonstrated through their sponsorship of a global LGBTQ “pride parade” and their achievement of 50% female representation in senior leadership. Dole Lanka’s Director of Legal and Corporate Affairs, Dilkushi Jayaweera, discussed the company’s efforts to alleviate employee burdens during the economic crisis and the importance of ensuring that employees feel valued by playing a role in the decision-making processes.
The 15 Best WorkplacesTM in the manufacturing industry in Sri Lanka, recognized by Great Place to Work®, included AB Mauri Lanka Pvt Ltd, Amsafe Bridport Pvt Ltd, Aqua Dynamics Pvt Ltd, CBL Global Foods Ltd, Dankotuwa Porcelain PLC, Dole Lanka Pvt Ltd, EWIS Colombo Ltd, Expack Corrugated Cartons PLC, Heineken Lanka, Horana Plantation PLC, PGP Glass Ceylon PLC, Roofmart Pvt Ltd, Royal Fernwood Porcelain Ltd, Star Garments Group Pvt Ltd, and United Tobacco Processing Pvt Ltd.