Motivated workers lead workplace improvements

Huasheng Garments Co Ltd., a factory in China’s Zhejing Province, has a fresh look, thanks to SCORE Training. Employees now enjoy a cleaner working environment, higher morale and more harmonious working relationships.

Feature | 19 February 2018

As almost 300 employees form a line through the compound, Li Juanying, Vice General Manager, prepares to hand out gifts to each smiling face. It was the company’s 16th founding anniversary, and this event had become a tradition. In 2017, the celebration was a little different.

In the past, only a few people in management made the decision on how to celebrate."

Li Juanying, Vice General Manager
Now, thanks to the establishment of an Enterprise Improvement Team (EIT), both workers’ and management are involved in planning festivities, “It should always have been like this,” Li added.

Huasheng management was first introduced to SCORE Training when buyer, British fashion company, White Stuff, offered to sponsor their participation.

When we were told the project could help us improve our management everybody, including our president, thought we should do it."

Li Juanying, Vice General Manager
White Stuff is a member of leading UK alliance for the promotion of worker rights’, the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI). An ILO partner, ETI supports the promotion and implementation of SCORE Training amongst its’ members’ in order to encourage better working conditions as a means to improve productivity and enhance their compliance capability.

Only three months into the project, the company was already enjoying a neat and tidy working environment, improved communication between managers and workers, substantially improved productivity, decreasing numbers of defective products and more motivated and engaged employees.

This year’s anniversary celebration highlighted these improvements, “we had a special EIT meeting to discuss what presents the employees want,” Li said. “In the end, we decided to let the employees vote.” This not only demonstrated that management value the opinion of their workers’, but also relieved the pressure to get it right.
Employees collect celebration gifts for Huasheng's 16th Founding Anniversary

Less than six months after completing Module 1: Workplace Cooperation, 11 Enterprise Improvement Projects – each contributed by an employee, were implemented. “We give financial rewards to the workers whose suggestions are adopted,” said Li. Amongst others, a cleaner who suggested cutting power in the workshop after-hours in order to curb energy wastage received a reward. Workers now also address problems collectively via an instant messaging app group.

A recent survey at Huasheng revealed that more than 80% of employees are satisfied with the company, nearly 5% higher than before SCORE Training.

The ETI-ILO SCORE project is running between February 2017 and February 2019 with funding from Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) via its programme. DevelopPPP helps German and other European companies conduct business activities in a responsible manner in line with the expectations of the Sustainable Development Goals. In the context of the SCORE initiative, ILO and ETI are cooperating with SEQUA, one of DevelopPPP’s designated partners charged with implementing the programme.