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Communities case study

Bangladesh factory training

Dhaka Textile Factories

The Very Group partners with suppliers globally who put people first.

Collaborating with likeminded suppliers enables us to implement training courses that improve the lives and livelihoods of workers within our supply chains. In a, we identified two such partners, Silken Sewing and Essential Clothing, to work on a revolutionary new training programme that focused on colleague wellbeing, stronger relationships and better productivity.

Like us, the leadership teams at our partner businesses were passionate about creating a better environment for their people.

To help us put the programme into action, we chose Impactt, a Dhaka-based consultancy that specialises in improving workers’ livelihoods in a way that benefits businesses and colleagues.

Bangladesh factory training

People Module

The people element of the programme focused on building an even stronger relationship between the workers and mid-level management.

The course included supporting the HR team to update HR policies, procedures and identify ways to improve worker-management relationships. Thetraining highlighted what colleagues expect from their employer and vice versa. After the module the factories saw significant reductions in both absenteeism and worker turnover.

A buddy system to help new starters settle in faster and raise issues in an informal setting was also introduced following the module. These initiatives saw worker satisfaction increase at both factories and workers reported feeling more supported at work.

Productivity

The productivity element of the programme focused on how to improve efficiencies in the factory by reducing the defect rate of products made, as well as implementing Kaizen to help the leadership team better understand where existing processes could be improved.

The purpose of introducing this concept to all employees at both sites was to encourage individuals to create small improvements, which In turn resulted in big achievements like improved efficiency and reduced waste.

In addition, new worker recognition schemes helped to boost performance and morale, with workers receiving zero defect operator status and bonuses for contributing to activities and ideas.

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Thanks in particular to the communication part of the course, I now have better relationships with the workers and I’m more able to help with their issues.

Wellbeing

The general wellbeing element, called ‘UP!’ focused on 3 topics; communication, health and hygiene, and finance. Over 2,200 workers completed the training across the two factories.

Most of the workers in the garment industry in Bangladesh are female. Due to wider social issues within the country, females do not generally have enough access to education. This can have a negative impact on their ability to lead healthy and financially stable lives.

The improved communication skills, coupled with the benefits of the productivity module, have led to more than 60% of workers receiving an attendance bonus, which represents a significant improvement from before the training. This additional money supports the workers to send their children to school and save money in case of emergencies.

The final part of this module focused on financial literacy. It encouraged the predominantly female workforce to open their own bank accounts so that they can plan better and understand the benefits of saving part of their income. Helping the workers to create their own budgets gave them a clearer understanding of their income versus expenditure, improving their ability to manage their finances better.

Purpose

The programme was introduced to assist our suppliers to better support their people. The stability this training has brought to these factories will have social and economic benefits for the factories, our communities in Dhaka and ourselves.

We will continue to strengthen our relationships with even more factories to enable us to support more factories improve conditions and access to support for their workers.

The course has increased my confidence so much. Before starting this programme, I never thought I would be able to stand up and present in front of groups of people, but doing this now allows me to share my knowledge with my colleagues.