SCORE continues enterprise trainings despite challenges posed by COVID-19

As enterprises face the challenges posed by the outbreak of COVID-19, the ILO SIRAYE programme, understanding the needs of enterprises, is continuing to deliver productivity and quality training to factories in tandem with preventing and mitigating the health impact of Covid-19.

Article | 24 June 2020
Followed by the 4 month pilot phase in 2019 that benefited four enterprises, the SCORE Training have scaled out to seven enterprises, since the breakout of Covid-19. Throughout April- May, the programme has been able to conduct seven training sessions in four factories in Addis Ababa and Mekelle as well as in-factory advisory services by SCORE trainers.
Early results after completing the training show promising signs of improvement and factories feel encouraged to continue implementing the learnings as they begun witnessing a decrease in absenteeism, increase in productivity, a better working relation between the management and workers and increased workers’ sense of ownership of the enterprise;
After the training was given, I realized the importance of involving workers in the decision making process. All of a sudden workers feel ownership of their work. I think they feel like their voices are being heard and they see the outcome of their work”. Blen Masresha – General Manager.

Training session
The training and in-factory consultation aims to increase labour and total factory productivity, improve product quality, reduce waste and re-work and most importantly helps enterprises to sustain business operation during this difficult time. In addition to the standard productivity and quality improvement training and consultation, the SCORE service providers’ advice enterprises in Covid-19 prevention and business continuity.
Establishment of Productivity Improvement Consultative Committees (PICC) comprised of workers and managers plays a critical role in maintaining the initial achievement of increased productivity as well as revamping the enterprise working culture and relationship between workers and managers. Further, clean and organized workplace, structural information sharing system, improved suggestion scheme, proper recording and visual display of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), improved safety through work instruction are some of the achievements indicated by factories implementing SCORE training;
Workers productivity and production volume improved after SCORE  Training. We started piloting the intervention on one line and established productivity improvement team that has taken training and learned various productivity and quality improvement tools on one production line. The team then managed to repeat the lesson to another line on its own. We also see clear behavioral change among our workers expressed in terms of ownership of the work, openness to suggest solutions, express concerns and contribute ideas for improvement”. Getnet Aregaw- Production manager.

Quantifying the impact – the case of an enterprise

Production capacity and productivity increased for jeans trousers and shirt line compared to what they have been before SCORE Training. The decrease in productivity for the shirt line in April was due to workers inability to go to work because of the state of emergency issued by the government.

By using defect identification tools such as root cause and why-why analyses, the enterprise recorded major improvement in quality.
Because of layout arrangement and flow efficiency of the factory floor, enterprise was able to generate two additional production lines - indication of an increase in space utilization by 40%.

COVID-19 and SCORE Training

The establishment of PICC in factories was also seen as timely and instrumental in mitigating the spread of COVID-19. The PICC was found to be a good platform to exchange information between PICC members and to disseminate information to workers on the nature of the virus and the preventive measures that need to be taken to maintain safety and health in the work place.

“Since the outbreak of the virus, workers have developed fear of coming to work. In many cases, workers took their salary and never came back. However, since we established the PICC and committed to having 10 minutes morning meeting with workers every day, the absenteeism rate has decreased. Workers started expressing openly their fear of the virus to managers and supervisors. They also suggest preventive measures. This is not only useful for workers but it was valuable to the factories performance in general”. Getnet Aregaw- Production manager

Similarly, workers also acknowledged and appreciated the outcome of the SCORE Training:

“I never really felt that I have a responsibility for bringing change in the company, it just felt like a routine job done for survival. They give us order and we work accordingly. We never saw the fruits of our work. But now, we are speaking to the managers. We jointly discuss what we achieved yesterday and what we need to achieve today. It is also displayed on the board for transparency. We also tell them what we need and they hear us. They also started giving incentives for achieving target. This has created a spirit of competition and motivation to achieve more’’ Meron Jemato – line Supervisor

Training session

“Unlike other trainings we receive, this training was very practical and it helped me in understanding the need for open communication with my supervisor. I now feel like I am part of the enterprise and that my opinion are valid.” Sewarg Asefa - Operator

The SCORE Training will continue supporting factories to improve their productivity and competitiveness while taking the necessary measures to prevent the exposure of workers and SCORE service providers to COVID-19. With the aim of scaling up the SCORE intervention to 25 enterprises by 2020, additional service providers, identified from key partners, will be trained in SCORE service delivery starting June 18th 2020. Upon completion of the 20 day virtual Training of Trainers, the participants will be guided to implement SCORE modules in textile and garment, leather/footwear and horticulture industry. In addition to the existing module, the service package will include topics related to COVID-19 and business continuity planning.