Factory Employees

Each day in the life of the employees of the factory, begins with motivational activities that boosts their morale, and invigorates both their bodies and souls.

From the first impression at the gate that commences with a beaming ‘Ayubowan’ greeting, to each process, right up to the packaging section, the employees are cooperative, committed to team work that leads to efficiency, and most importantly happy faced and content with their part of the job in the large industry.

There are many touching stories that are whispered among the employees, here are two such poignant tales:

Each blue aproned day begins with a morning ritual that is tailored to nourish and empower the minds of these employees. Every day, before the manufacturing process begins, they queue up in the patio of the factory, and as the pleasant background music gives way to the National Anthem, they gain composure; heads bowed, hands in worship. After paying their respects to the hoisted flag, they devotedly stretch out their right hands to recite a pledge through which they vow to behave in a manner that would be sustainable to themselves and their families, to be dedicated workers, to make the organization they work in, the best, and to strive towards happiness. Notably, this pledge was drafted by the team effort and ideas of the employees themselves, and later recorded for playing out loud each morning. The pledge is followed by a few minutes of meditative silence to compose the mind, rid it off evil intents and shift into a peaceful attitude. After this session, the employees either literally “shake it’ to some hearty Baila music, or play games for enjoyment, just to ensure they walk into the factory invigorated. Considering that most workers here come from broken homes and abandoned families, the morning programme truly works like a warm bowl of chicken soup for the soul!

The Wikiliya Plantation also follows a unique ‘7S’ programme that was designed, mainly to solve problems in the individual and factory lives of its employees. Led by the supervisors, each day of the week, one subject ranging from topics such as the mind, body, team work, working process and systems, culture, family life and children are discussed. The employees are not only encouraged to share their problems, but also inspired to provide consensual solutions that would be beneficial to colleagues. The ‘7S’ session ends with a big ‘Yay’ and hand clasping, just to provide that added boost of togetherness.

These activities are pivotal, especially because most of these employees hail from despondent backgrounds. The factory is almost an oasis to them, wherein they can not only work, but also share their plight with colleagues who are part of their extended family. Besides endeavouring to financially support its employees, the Wikiliya Plantation also makes it a responsibility to provide them with much needed morale backing, gumption, and hope for the future.

Some of the welfare facilities provided for the employees include conducting dental and eye clinics, and general health camps. Wikiliya believes in creating a brighter future for the employees, by providing educational incentives for their children, which include monthly donations of scholarships for Advanced Level & University students, contributions towards rural area schools development, annual book donations, and even seminars for scholarship exam candidates. The Plantation also focuses on the spiritual wellbeing of its employee community, by hosting annual ‘Pirith’ and ‘Dhamma Dheshana’ programme. The Meditation sessions on Poya days too are designed to promote the spirituality and morale of individuals. On festival days, such as the Wesak festival, or the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, the Plantation organizes celebrations and activities befitting the occasion; Ice-cream dansal, Wesak lantern exhibition, and traditional new year commemorations are some of the fun activities that are conducted. In addition, annual staff trips to culturally significant places of interest and venues of enjoyment too are much looked forward to.

There is also a housing loan grant scheme in place for the employees, and a welfare society fund to contribute towards personal losses such as funerals, and to occasions such as puberty ceremonies. The communal well built for the usage of the estate line rooms is just another testament to the Plantation’s benevolent philosophy. Wikiliya’s involvement thus reaches far beyond factory walls of its employees, and deep into their personal realms of comfort and wellbeing.

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Appuhamilage Hasitha Prasanna

Position - Factory Assistant Manager

Age - 30

I joined Wikiliya right after school and with no prior working experience. Not only has Wikiliya been my second home for the past 13 years, but it has also taught me some invaluable life lessons that have ensured my future is stable. Today I stand qualified from NIPM (National Institute of Plantation Management), and have successfully climbed up the corporate ladder, right from being a Supervisor to Managerial level, thanks to the training invested in me. Not only have I been successful in my chosen career path, but I have also been able to build my own house, comfortably settle my siblings, and secure for myself a happy life with my wife, here in the Bungalow given to me at the estate. Wikiliya’s influence in my life has surpassed just my financials, it has enriched my spiritual wellbeing and paved the path towards becoming a better person in my position. It has enabled me to always be of help to those who need it the most; be it financially, or morally. As an Assistant Manager, the Company has afforded me an opportunity to train those who work for me, just as Wikiliya helped me build my life.

Employee image

Mudalihamilage Indrawathi Ménike

 

Age - 50

I joined Wikiliya not only because it was close to my home, but because it was popular, and its name was synonymous with success in the area. After I joined, I realized how different the work environment here was, as opposed to the regimental treatment I was used to at my previous work place, here we are allowed discussion, the staff is friendly and highly experienced, the officers are always courteous, and all of these led to us being motivated to do our best. At Wikiliya, I learned the art of forward thinking, and the importance of saving. Even though before this I was constantly afraid of what my future had in store, and especially about my daughter’s education, with Wikiliya’s guidance I started up my own back-yard cottage industry; cultivating fruits and vegetables. This made my dream come true- with the additional income I made with it, alongside the factory’s support, I was able to encourage my daughter to complete higher studies. Beyond this, Wikiliya plays a vital part in me being able to lead a peaceful life, with the wisdom needed to face the challenges each day brings. Through meditation, I have learned to live an enriched life.

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