Employee Engagement Programs
At Gildan, employee engagement is at the center of our human resources strategy. We believe that an engaged workforce is one in which employee performance and retention stand out. Employee engagement can be defined as the extent to which employees feel passionate about their jobs, are emotionally connected to the company for which they work and show commitment to the organization and their role. Employee engagement is key for the betterment of any organization. This is the reason why Gildan in 2013 rolled out a global engagement survey that measured employees’ emotional satisfaction and intellectual commitment to Gildan.
During the course of carrying out this engagement survey, employees from the majority of our locations were invited to participate by filing out a questionnaire which typically measures 3 key behaviors: saying positive things about Gildan, staying within the organization and striving to achieve above and beyond what’s expected in their day-to-day role. Extensive analyses of the results of this survey highlighted the main strengths, as well as main areas for opportunities in terms of employee engagement within Gildan. The 2013 survey results showed high global scores relating to corporate social responsibility (CSR), employer reputation, sense of accomplishment, work/life balance and work tasks. Areas for improvement were also identified and have been currently addressed with concrete action plans that include regular follow-ups. A second employee engagement survey was conducted in 2015. The goals of this survey were to gather information about the current level of engagement of our employees and measure the results of the aforementioned initiatives taken by the Company. With a high 2015 response rate, we surpassed our engagement level objective and remarkably increased our results.
This will allow us to continue to measure our progress and continue to work on improving employee’s engagement and satisfaction at Gildan.
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.
Almost all our facilities and offices have the GildanTV units installed in the lobby areas, cafeterias or health clinic waiting rooms. Educational videos and other information relevant to the respective locations are broadcasted on a daily basis.
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, over 15,000 employees are affiliated to the cooperatives. We are proud to report that in 2015, the cooperatives granted over U.S. $11,000,000 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 2015, the cooperative granted 18,885 grants to affiliated employees, amounting to U.S. $2,039,078.
Supporting the education of our employees’ children
As part of the “Escribiendo tu Futuro” program (Writing your Future) in Nicaragua, Gildan supported the children of our employees at the San Marcos and Rivas facilities at the start of the new school year in January 2015. Employees were invited to present their children’s school registration receipt in order to receive a back to school kit. The kits were classified by education level: preschool, elementary and high school, with supplies adapted to each level, including notebooks, pencils, pens, play-doh, crayons and ruler sets. A total of 4,200 kits were distributed in all.
PROMOTING CLEAN WORKING SPACES
As part of the internal activities to reinforce good housekeeping habits among our employees, in June 2015 Gildan launched an internal housekeeping campaign in all its facilities in Honduras. The campaign included audiovisual material such as posters for the bulletin boards, educational videos for our Gildan TV channel, a campaign theme song and accompanying music video. A recognized character from national TV was invited to promote the campaign among employees, touring our facilities to launch the campaign during production break hours and at the offices.
ENCOURAGING AN ACTIVE WAY OF LIFE
With the goal to promote an active way of life and camaraderie among our employees, a soccer tournament was organized at our integrated facility in Bangladesh for the first time. The tournament was held over a period of one month, where six teams participated to determine the tournament champion. Gildan provided all uniforms and gear required for the tournament, which was a successful employee engagement and motivational activity.
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 facilities in Honduras and the Dominican Republic. In 2015, the program offered more than 1,300 sessions for our employees in Honduras and over 600 sessions in the Dominican Republic.
In 2015, our operations in the Dominican Republic launched a program to offer financial counseling to our employees. The program was broken down in different sessions covering topics such as: family finances management, debt settlement planning, prioritizing due payments, planning for short term and long term savings and management of expenses according to income. The counseling was provided to employees upon request and offered by a Finance expert. A total of 220 sessions were offered to a total of 150 employees from our Dortex, Las Américas and San Pedro de Macorís facilities.