BBA (H) – HR
Name: Sarah Imtiaz
ID No.: 20151-18887
Major Field: Human Resources Management
1.1 Organization where internship was served: Gul Ahmed Textile Mills Limited
Duration: From July 26, 2019 to August 7, 2019
1.2 Report based on: Option 1 – Case Study
1.3 Due date of the report: August 21, 2019
(2 weeks after the successful completion of internship)
1.4 Report submitted on: August 22, 2019
1.5 Delayed by days: 01
1.6 Reasons for delay: Severe health emergency in nuclear family (duly informed Internship and Placement Department and got confirmation)
Introduction of Gul Ahmed Textile Mills 04
Departmental Information 04
What does Learning and Development at Gul Ahmed do? 04
Relationship with Corporate Objectives 05
What did I do at Gul Ahmed? 05
Similarity Index 09
Introduction of Gul Ahmed Textile Mills
Gul Ahmed Textile Mills, the countrys textile powerhouse is one of the oldest textile manufacturers of Pakistan. Starting from scratch in 1900 to 2019 with the greatest textile network in Pakistan, Gul Ahmed secures the leading position in textile milieu of the country. With its flagship retail brand, Ideas, and multiple sub-brands like Ignite Gul Ahmed serves country by great magnitude. The organization derives heaviest revenue from its export market having clientele of Zara, Mango, IKEA etc. With the vision of enriching lives and inculcating the inspiration to change and never settle for ordinary, Gul Ahmed is every textile graduates dream.
Executing everything from yarn production to finished products in clothing, home textile and bedding Gul Ahmed does everything on its own. Having an exclusive energy production facility to meet the enormous energy requirements and state of the art technology for the production, Gul Ahmed aims to expand further and its footprint can be seen at the premises.
Operating with 24,000 employees and hundreds of production units located at far and wide of Pakistan Gul Ahmed deserves to be called the key player of textile industry of Pakistan.
Department: Learning and Development Human Resources Management
Supervisors Name: Muhammad Sibtain
Designation: Manager Learning and Organization Development
Duration: Six weeks starting from July 26, 2019 to August 7, 2019
What does Learning and Development at Gul Ahmed do?
Learning and Development department at Gul Ahmed does not work like every other L&D Department in Pakistan. This department is responsible to manage the learning and development of 24,000 employees coming from diverse ethnic background, different sets of values and from zero to excellent levels of qualification. Gul Ahmed has a lot of physically disabled employees who are playing a vital role in production facilities and their learning dynamics are entirely different.
Learning and Development is responsible to track the learning requirements of personnel and provide them with tools and facilities to facilitate the process. It plays a significant role along with Training and Development to ensure that the learning outcomes are met and new learning benchmarks are created.
The said department works closely to improve overall work practices at Gul Ahmed. It is involved in creating relevant material to help employee issues and reporting. This department, after the requisition has risen, creates forms for data recording and relevant operational management.
Learning and Development at Gul Ahmed is actively involved in employer branding. This department is directly not involved in number crunching work domains but is an active influencer on the number generating practices at the organization. What benefits Gul Ahmed on the intangible side holds a vital connection with the Learning and Development.
This department works diligently to improve work performance of employees. Introduces concepts like work-life balance, employee efficiency, employee satisfaction and other HR intangibles in the departments and keeps track of it.
Relationship with Corporate Objectives
Everything happening at Learning and Development of Gul Ahmed has something to do with the corporate goals of Gul Ahmed. In general, the major chunk of revenue is earned by export department where global clients like Zara, Mango and IKEA are found. The corporate objectives of Gul Ahmed are based on their practices that favor their export market. Learning and Development is always working to deliver the mechanism for the objectives. It creates the link between the C-Suite, employees and the global clients.
It improves group and individual performance and serves as a bridge between management and employees. I must say that this department is not given its due importance and is quite underappreciated.
What did I do at Gul Ahmed?
During my six weeks internship at Gul Ahmed I was involved in three major projects while multiple minor projects that tested my competence, patience and ability to work on short deadlines. This internship majorly had me writing and creating tools for employer branding.
Project I: Employee Handbook
Gul Ahmed Textile Mills never had an Employee Handbook that could serve their employees with an easy and readily understandable policy manual. Normally people do not grasp the essence of policies due to the tough legal language and remain uninformed. They lack their understanding of individual rights policies give them. They are unaware of SOPs and what security protocols they must observe at floors. Lately, one such effort was made but went too futile that Gul Ahmed never had audacity to present it to its employees. It had structural issues and failed in portraying Gul Ahmed as what it is.
Scope of Inquiry
After I was assigned to create the text of Employee Handbook, I had to study every single policy Gul Ahmed has ever had. I read the documents with third parties like EFU to frame my understanding of things happening at Gul Ahmed. I had several sessions with my work colleagues to understand how clear the policies were to them. I talked about the policies and the scale they are implemented on with the leads of HR. I often found that the policies lacked somethingthat needed to be supplemented in order to justify the effectiveness and crucial nature.
There were a few policies that have celebrated necessity but Gul Ahmed never had them like Social Media Policy, Material Abuse Policy to name a few. Harassment Policy was so vacant at so many spots that I almost restructured it by 80%. It involved many online sources, a lot of reading of policy samples and already available Employee Handbooks of leading Pakistani companies.
Employee Handbook that would be available online in a few days taught me the dynamics of an organization so big and impressive. It helped me understand how processes and compliance go hand in hand and how everything needs to be documented duly. Employee handbook tested my patience as there would be times where I had severe writers block and I always wanted to settle for the best and nothing less. I was exposed to a lot of sensitive situations and people asked me about policies on the spot but the fact that I treated this project as something to reflect myself; I knew everything and was able to give them crisp answers.
Project II: Employee Engagement Survey
Gul Ahmeds retention rate is not that impressive. It has massive turnover and everyday people are hired and fired. It also came into observation that employees are generally not satisfied with the culture (that is laid back), compensation packages, overall rigidity of employer and they are not getting what they anticipated with the big name of Gul Ahmed. Employee morale is constantly on downward trajectory and they feel the sense of association with Gul Ahmed just on the surface. Deep inside they are harboring the sentiments of resentment and detachment with the organization. For a market leader it is not a normal behavior that is gradually forming a pattern. Employees keep remembering their old employers and are just working for the sake of monthly salary that is also not sufficient against the workload.
Scope of Inquiry
I, together with my supervisor, worked on a model of Employee Engagement and did a lot of research on contributing factors that are as follows:
I was given the task to create a mechanism for the inclusion of Employee Engagement Survey in the veins of Gul Ahmed for the first time. Studying the effects and impacts of the above mentioned factors and the consequences of their absence, I adopted the approach of transforming the already happening engagement activities into something valuable that employees appreciate and feel like giving respect to organization. I was asked to create a presentation for the General Manager HR, Mr. Wasif Sattar, to be presented to the C-Suite of Gul Ahmed. For relevant data and matrices, I outsourced Ascend Consulting, after my supervisor gave me complete liberty to pick the competent consulting firms of Pakistan. Ascend provided us with a properly chalked out proposal that is a sensitive document and sharing its details would be a breach of the Code of Conduct. I prepared costing for the execution of Employee Engagement Survey and backed it with statistics of Harvard Business Review, Forbes and MIT Sloan Management Review.
The project work was greatly acclaimed and earned me respect and trust of General Manager HR. Mr. Sattar clearly instructed the OD team to use the presentation and cost plans prepared by me for IKEA and Zara as their compliance structures are really tough and they expect Gul Ahmed to perform outstandingly. This project helped me understand the dynamics of consulting in Pakistan. I talked with key players like Ascend who are involved in the projects of big hats of the country. Employee Engagement Survey gave me hands on experience of executing a real time project where small actions were bringing in magnanimous impacts.
Project III: Employee Newsletter
Gul Ahmed launched its Corporate Newsletter of Apparel Division in 2017 that served as major employer branding tool. Having a subtle link with Employee Engagement, it was planned to issue yet another newsletter, corporate in nature, with emphasis on people of Gul Ahmed. This time it was conceived as a newsletter that would encircle all employees of Gul Ahmed.
Scope of Inquiry
I prepared the brainstorming of ideas to be included in the newsletter and presented it often during my tenure at Gul Ahmed with certain modifications, improvements and additions. I outsourced marketing and content agencies of the country like Olive Digital, Digital Tribe, Echo, Venture Drive, Brand Stallion, Mullen Lowe Rauf etc. We had meetings with Digital Tribe (whose brainchild is Humsafar, a PIAs magazine present in airport lounges and available on flights) and sought proposals from Venture Drive, Brand Stallion etc.
In a nutshell, meetings are still in progress and things are being chalked out. While not being connected with Gul Ahmed anymore, I am still a part of Organization Development team and I am still in the loop as I facilitate communication and idea generation. This newsletter will be out by October and will be seen online serving as an important tool of telling stories about life at Gul Ahmed Textile Limited from the eyes of 24,000 employees!
I am truly thrilled for my projects and the real hands on learning I have managed to receive from Gul Ahmed, the textile powerhouse of Pakistan. Usually interns are not given this level of exposure and are asked to do small scale projects but for me the case was entirely different. I had access to sensitive data and it harnessed my confidence level and sense of professionalism. I worked closely with many teams and was sent to the Gul Ahmeds Head Office located at the Centre Point, Karachi. I had the honour to work directly for General Manager HR and he had his complete level of trust in my projects. His guidance and my supervisor Mr. Sibtains constant welcoming approach towards my ideas helped me reflect my work standards in whatever I did. It was a great learning experience for me that has earned my resume big projects. I developed amazing work friendships and my LinkedIn profile grew and received views that increased by 90%. It added to my network and augmented my online presence and I started getting job offers.
Working at Gul Ahmed I realized the need of the following:
A little more focus on ethical practices
Great need of attention towards the overall hygiene and atmosphere of office
Appropriate space for incumbents
Massive necessity of developed and updated IT
Counter mechanism to shun verbal abuse and negative use of authority