Employee Engagement Programs
When individuals begin working at Gildan, they become a valued member of a larger family. This is why we feel it is important for us to develop and implement various programs to better communicate with our employees, to support them in the many aspects of their lives – professional, family, and personal –, to encourage them to adopt a healthy and active lifestyle, and to recognize and reward their unique contribution to our Company.
At Gildan, we believe that such initiatives have the power to make a difference in improving our employees’ quality of life at work and at home.
Here are a few examples of local initiatives.
In 2009, the Communications Department in Central America identified the need for a better and more efficient mean of communication to our employees. After conducting surveys across our facilities, television was identified as the communication vehicle of preference by our employees. Gildan TV was created in response to this survey and it has become a great tool to provide our employees with information in an easy-to-digest, attention-grabbing manner.
This closed-circuit TV system allows plant management to broadcast messages to employees through TV monitors which are located throughout our textile and sewing plants, as well as at our health clinics and cafeterias.
The content that airs on Gildan TV is mainly educational and is developed to strengthen awareness of the Company’s policies, activities, employee success stories, and community programs, among other items.
In line with the positive results of Gildan TV in Honduras, this creative way of communicating information to employees was extended to other locations. As of 2012, the program is fully operational at our offices and facilities in Barbados, Charleston and Nicaragua. At the beginning of 2013, the program was launched at our Corporate Office in Montreal as well.
The Human Resources staff at each location is trained on Gildan TV software management and programming in order for them to be able to update the Gildan TV content at each facility in addition to the Communications team. Gildan TV content includes important information specific to each facility.
Our Honduras and Dominican Republic sewing and textile facilities have formed independent cooperatives in order to provide an incentive and to encourage employees to accumulate savings. These cooperatives assist employees with greater access to loans, which can be difficult to obtain in these countries, and at low interest rates compared with those available through standard banking channels. Participation in these cooperatives is voluntary and may be terminated at any time.
The cooperatives operate as independent legal entities supervised by an administrative manager. All cooperatives are exclusively available for non-management employees, who freely elect a Board of Directors among themselves on a biannual basis. As the cooperatives are located within our facilities, the finance department and external auditors are mandated with ensuring they are properly managed and operated in compliance with local regulations.
In Honduras, approximately 11,000 employees are affiliated with these cooperatives. We are proud to report that in 2013, the cooperatives granted more than U.S. $7,000,000 in loans to employees from our textile and sewing facilities.
In the Dominican Republic, Gildan is affiliated with an independent cooperative, which operates at Industrial Free Zone Las Americas, to offer this program to its employees. In 2013, our employees in that region received a total of over 8,170 loans, which amounted to over U.S. $5,200,000.
The "Writing our Future" program
In February 2013 Gildan launched the “Writing our Future” program intended for our employees in Nicaragua and their families. This initiative consists of a sponsorship program aiming to motivate employees’ children to continue their educational studies. Over the course of the second quarter, the Company distributed more than 3,000 school supply kits to employees’ children.
Recognizing Our Employees’ Service
To close the 2013 year, our Eden office held a special lunch in November to recognize all employees with five years or more of service at Gildan. Thirty-one of our collaborators were recognized for their five years with the Company and four were recognized for their 10 years.
As a token of the Company’s appreciation, all recognized employees received a certificate and a gift bag. After the ceremony, lunch was served for all the attendees.
Perfect attendance Luncheon
Our Charleston office organized a Perfect Attendance Luncheon in November to recognize Gildan’s appreciation to the hourly non-exempt employees who had a perfect attendance record during fiscal year 2013. Regular attendance at work is an important part of the success of our operations. Many employees go above and beyond to a have perfect attendance record throughout the year.
A total of 34 employees were honoured for their perfect attendance of one, two or three years. Each recipient was invited to the annual Perfect Attendance Luncheon and also received a $100 gift card for their hard work and dedication throughout the year.
Gildan's Saving our Family Program
Gildan’s "Saving Our Family" assistance program responds to the needs expressed by many of our employees who request support in handling personal issues and family situations in a safe environment and non-confrontational manner. This program provides employees with free access to confidential counseling conducted by a certified professional specialized in marriage and family affairs. The "Saving Our Family" initiative has been in place at a number of our textile and hosiery facilities since 2009 and has fully extended to all Gildan Honduras facilities in 2011 and all Nicaraguan facilities in 2012. In 2013, the program offered more than 700 sessions for our employees in Honduras. In 2013, the program was extended to all our facilities in the Dominican Republic, completing the year with a total of 188 sessions in all.
Emphazising the importance of family
At the beginning of December 2012, our Eden colleagues and their families were invited to participate in a Family Fun Day. The event was held at the Eden YMCA center and the agenda included various family oriented activities such as playground games for children, a basketball game for adults, snacks throughout the day as well as lunch.
A total of 570 people attended the event, including employees, their families and the organizing staff.
Also, on March 30th, employees from our Barbados office were invited to participate, along with their families, to the third edition of “Fun Day”. During this event, many activities, such as slides, bumper cars, face painting, a climbing wall and an egg hunt, were organized to entertain our employees’ children, while adults participated in a friendly football tournament, a kite flying competition or played dominos. Approximately 85 employees participated in this event with their families, for a total of 300 participants. Also, 15 employees volunteered to make this day a success.
Committed to An Active Way of Life
In December 2012, Gildan organized the first soccer tournament amongst its employees in the Dominican Republic. During this tournament, at the Santo Domingo sport complex, employees from our sewing and textile facilities were grouped into different teams named after Gildan’s products. The main goal of this activity was to strengthen employee engagement and encourage team spirit. Employees' families also participated in the event supporting their favorite teams.
Again, with the objective of promoting the adoption of an active lifestyle amongst our employees, Gildan sponsored its Dominican basketball and softball teams to allow them to compete against other community-based teams in several tournaments in Guerra, where our Dortex textile facility is located. A total of 59 employees from Dortex participated in the games, which were held in February and March.
The grand finale of the 2 second edition of Gildan’s Soccer Tournament involving employees from all of our facilities in Honduras was also held in December 2012. In this competition, the textile facilities (Group A) were facing the sewing facilities (Group B). At the final game, which took place at the Francisco Morazán Stadium in San Pedro Sula, Villanueva was representing the sewing group and Choltex, the textile group. In the end, Villanueva’s team defeated Choltex’s team 4 to 2. All team members played with passion, enthusiasm and team spirit, in front of a stadium filled with supporters, amongst which there were Gildan colleagues, friends and family members.
Our Eden Distribution Center joined the "Get Fit Eden" initiative, whose goal is to increase physical activity and improve the health of Eden residents who suffer from high rates of obesity and diabetes. This program developed by the local Chamber of Commerce and the City of Eden aims at building a stronger workforce and reducing medical attention requirements. The program, which was held from June 1st to August 31st, 2013, encourages members of the community to use walking trails, provides access to free trainers and free classes at participating fitness centers as well as informational sessions on diabetes and obesity. As part of the Company’s participation in the program, Gildan made a donation of T-shirts decorated with the “Get Fit Eden” logo and has promoted three weight loss contests among its employees, reaching an impressive collective loss of 400 pounds.
On February 1st, 2013, employees at our Charleston facility were invited to attend the launch of the "90-day Walking Challenge", with the objective of improving employees’ overall health.
In order to kick off the event and encourage participation, Gildan offered employees a pedometer and a water bottle. At the end of the Challenge, on May 24th, 2013, the top two employees with the most steps logged were awarded a $100 gift card. A total of 160 employees signed-up for the challenge. The participating employees convened every month to share their results and success factors. This initiative was created based on employees’ feedback received through the Wellness Survey conducted in the Fall of 2012.