Partnership agreements have been so successful at BOC Edwards that it appears management cannot keep pace with the demand to introduce them.
Head of human resources Stephen Gaskell said other plants worldwide now want to implement partnership agreements.
But he said the amount of managerial time required to do so means the company is holding back temporarily.
He added, “The impact has been massive. We have world-class sites that are delivering far beyond our expectations.
Gaskell said BOC Edwards’ approach over the past five years would have “provoked horror” in former managers.
“In the 1970s and 80s the management had a macho approach and pretty well got what it deserved.”
He said partnership had involved spelling out to the workforce the link between individual employee contribution and business success as well as the company’s willingness to reward them financially for their skills.
Staff were told they would be rewarded for what they – or their team – contributed to the company. They were offered the opportunity to develop a career. If they did not wish to do so, they were told they could remain at the same level and be rewarded for the experience and expertise they brought to the job rather than see their pay remain static.
Gaskell added, “They [the employees] are very much involved in the business and are able to influence their future.
“We did not expect it [partnership] to have quite such an impact. We have found it has fuelled new initiatives which staff come up with themselves.”
One proposal put forward by staff, he said, was flexi-time in the early morning and evening.
“We had no reason not to. We chucked out the rule book.”