‘Truly a joy working in a company like this which provides personal care to its employees’ tweets Jitesh, working as Mechanical Fitter in Underground Mine of Madhya Pradesh. ‘Motivated to perform with exuberance’ posts Sudhanshu, Mine Manager of Gokul Opencast Mines of Maharashtra. These & many more on social media are feelings coming straight from the heart. This is all about caring & motivating your Human Capital. This is Western Coalfields Ltd.(WCL) called as ‘Team WCL’, ‘Humara Vekoli’ by its employees as they believe, it is their company & they are part of the WCL family. The sense of belongingness necessary for cultural change in any organization has started creeping in at WCL which can be felt and seen ubiquitously here.
WCL, a coal-producing Subsidiary of Coal India Ltd is emerging as a case study for PSUs & other organisations that how persistent care & motivation of Human Capital can not only transform & put a company on growth trajectory but can also bring a cultural change. A company on the verge of collapse 6 years ago is now setting examples of growth with out of box thinking by its inspired & motivated employees.
WCL came in existence in 1975 after nationalisation of the Coal Industry with old legacy of large no. of Underground mines with adverse geo-mining conditions. Despite constraints, WCL grew well till 2008. However, with the exhaustion of reserves & high land rates, Company started sliding down & reached at a level in 2013 where it was destined to be referred to BIFR.
It is said that when going gets tough, the tough get going. New management with a new concept took the rein in the latter part of 2014 with a concrete plan to have multi-pronged action for revival of the company. First, making projects viable with land reforms to acquire & possess required land. Second, energizing Human Capital to take up the challenge. Vision 2020 document was prepared and the plan started working well & the first new project started in January’15. In just 1year time, WCL started bouncing back with the opening of 12 projects & registering growth in production.
The main ingredient of turnaround was active employee engagement. WCL started fostering a feeling of belongingness. Gen-Nxt leadership development was introduced for young executives as a proactive succession planning strategy. Cross-section of the workforce from General Mazdoor to General Manager was empowered to ideate, plan & implement initiatives as a team for the growth of the company. To its disposal, WCL used social media platforms to inspire and motivate its vastly spread workforce.
Despite registering yearly growth in production, the financial crisis was a persistent problem for WCL as the production cost was high due to most difficult geo-mining condition. Mission WCL 2.0 was launched in June 2018 with an idea to quickly have all fundamentals identified & strengthened. Again Human Capital was the key ingredient. More than 10,000 suggestions received from employees through social media platforms and vast interactive sessions formed the base of the Mission. WCL with this inspired workforce started on its fundamentals and action started with a definite timeline.
Year 2018-19 became remarkable when Team WCL not only surpassed its coal production target but also registered a phenomenal growth of over 15% with positive PBT. The company could achieve production of 53.14 Million Tonnes against a target of 49.7 Million Tonnes with major contribution coming from 20 projects opened in the last 5 years. This growing spree continued in 2019-20 also when WCL again surpassed its coal production target & registered the highest growth of 8.4% among all other Subsidiaries of CIL. WCL recently kick-started Mission 100 Days roadmap prioritising initiatives for achieving beyond 75 MT Coal Production by FY 2023-24 as its contribution towards ambitious 1BT target of Coal India Limited.
Flagship programme in line with Nation’s priority like Eco-Mine Tourism, Mine Water Utilisation as Coal Neer for irrigation & drinking purpose, Sand from Overburden at cheaper rate for common man added further feather to the cap. WCL has gone beyond all bounds to emerge back from ashes. Ground-level teams like Mitra, Shakti & Synergy works round the clock for a vibrant and engaged WCL.
Even during the current corona crisis, being a coal-producing subsidiary working as emergency services, the entire workforce is on its toes to fulfil the coal requirement it is in sync with nations’ energy needs. The top management is directly in touch with employees over the cellphone and social media. Employees have also been volunteering individually and collectively to help the needy and homeless with food, ration, masks & other essentials. WCL’s Corona Coal Warriors are working behind the curtain 24×7.