A good and trusting relationship between management and its employees is very important to Asia Pulp & Paper (APP). In addition to the frequent formal meetings for employee-related matters in its operations, APP has been conducting Labor Union Forums which serve as an informal medium for both management and employees to interact and get to know each other. The Forum, which is held at least once a year, consists of team building activities, trainings and informal discussions aimed at strengthening teamwork and trust among both parties.
APP has eight big mills across its operations and close to 40,000 direct employees. Like other corporations of its size, it can be quite a challenge to bring together the different cultures, perspectives and personalities of APP employees. Through the Forum, APP gathers representatives of more than ten labor unions in its operations in an informal setting that is conducive to open and effective communications. The informal setting allows all parties to shed their management or union title and get to know the person behind it.
This method is proven to be effective in significantly improving future communications and fostering better understanding among both parties. Often times both sides seek the same goal, although they approach it from different paths. By building trust among both parties, day-to-day differences and challenges are more easily overcome.
Employees are a valued resource and the core asset for any corporation to be able to move forward and compete in the global market. Realizing this, APP allocates capacity building or training sessions during the Labor Union Forums aimed to strengthen the technical knowledge and personal skills of its union leaders. Various topics from labor laws and regulations in Indonesia, to communication and organizational skills are introduced during the forum. Since the sessions are also attended by representatives of the Human Resources Departments from all APP mills, these management team members also benefit from the extra knowledge.
The latest Union Forum was held on November 3rd – 4th, 2011 and was attended by over 50 union leaders and HR representatives from eight APP mills across Java and Sumatra Island. The three day event consisted of an outbound activity, a capacity building session about leadership and communication skills, and a CSR Competition among Labor Unions.
The Labor Union Forums allow employees to be heard and to grow, and are an important part of APP employees engagement programs.