SAMSON RUBBER PRODUCTS
Q: What does it mean for you to be recognised as ‘Best Future Leader’ at the CMI Management Excellence Awards?
A: Receiving such an award – especially one that is particularly focussed on leadership – provides validation of some of the practices you’re using. It also provides an opportunity to focus on shortcomings that you would like to improve in terms of leadership in the future.
However, it is also important to note that teamwork is one of the key factors that drove us to achieve this award. It follows that this is more a team achievement than a personal award.
Q: What qualities are necessary for management, in your opinion?
A: Good teamwork, communication and taking responsibility for one’s scope of work are important for success. It is also important to develop empathy for different stakeholders to understand each person’s point of view and concerns.
Over the years, I have observed the management style of Samson Rubber Products’ (SRP) Managing Director Ranathunga Rajapaksa – his success can be attributed to integrity, and an ability to be empathetic, and communicate effectively and clearly.
Good management is important for an organisation’s health, which refers to more than its ability to garner profits, to include its environmental footprint and the human touch applied to employees or the community surrounding the business.
As all stakeholders expect something out of a business, its role is to have a larger impact on society as a whole. Good management will encourage, guide and stimulate this.
Samson Rubber Products believes in engaging its community and helping underprivileged individuals. One of the ways in which we have helped is by providing flood victims with new housing. We also look to use techniques in our operations to manage waste and emissions so as to ensure a cleaner environmental footprint, and engage in other CSR activities as and when we have the opportunity.
Q: How can good leadership encourage the achievement of organisational goals?
A: A major part of a leader’s role is to reinforce the company’s mission and vision, and incorporate the organisational culture to achieve corporate goals.
Successful leaders will encourage employees to actively engage in these to create the experiences, stories and skills needed for the final outcome. These elements guide employees at different levels across the organisational structure to achieve success. This is why they should be nurtured and promoted by their leaders.
At the same time, while dealing with structural elements of the business, leaders should also engage in personal elements such as professional development, mentoring and motivating staff on a personal level.
Q: What are some of the elements that contributed to this recognition?
A: Teamwork is a key attribute to achieving success in the marketplace and delivering the best possible product to the consumer.
At SRP, we practise a culture where everyone contributes to the ultimate goal and that’s how anything is achieved. There are many cross functional views and opinions in our teams as there may be engineers, accountants, marketers and others who must come together to achieve a single task. Encouraging teamwork is important when people with different backgrounds work together to achieve an outcome that will be satisfactory to customers.
A good communications strategy that’s timely and effective is the key to success in any task. Whether it is with an individual or a team, it builds trust, and enables problem solving and discussion of simple matters or major problems – all of which can lead to positive outcomes.
We also encourage regular meetings, goal setting and key performance indicators (KPIs) – these are important management tools that provide direction to every part of the business and provide a pathway to get there.Regular followup meetings on KPIs are important to ensure that employees and leaders achieve their goals.
Q: Does SRP provide opportunities for mentorship?
A: With regard to mentoring, we have a system where new entrants to the business – be they operators, executives or top management such as general managers – are assigned mentors and spend two to three weeks under the wings of more experienced team members.
This is designed to aid entrants to understand the organisation from the perspective of existing employees, enabling them to align themselves to SRP’s organisational culture and assist in professional development through career guidance.
Q: How does your organisation maintain integrity in its dealings with clients?
A: We believe in pursuing open and honest discussions with customers. These discussions cover client concerns, and our policies and practices. In the event that the matchmaking proves successful, we update clients onany changes.
The line of communication is always open – and this open and honest conduct builds trust and encourages good business practice.
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