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 will be conducted in 2015. 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. 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.
We now have Gildan TV in all Gildan facilities, with the exception of 3 recently acquired facilities in Honduras (former Anvil and New Buffalo Shirt Factory facilities) where Gildan TV will be implemented in 2015.
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 16,570 employees are affiliated with these cooperatives. We are proud to report that in 2014, the cooperatives granted more than U.S. $7,800,000 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 2014, our employees in that region received a total of over 9,445 loans, which amounted to over U.S. $1,900,000.
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 2014. Regular attendance at work is an important part of the success of our operations. Many employees go above and beyond to have a perfect attendance record throughout the year.
A total of 29 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 and the Dominican Republic. In 2014, the program offered more than 800 sessions for our employees in Honduras and close to 400 sessions in the Dominican Republic.
RECOGNITION FOR SUPPORTING THE ARTS
As part of our employee engagement activities, Gildan employees in Honduras and their families were once again invited to be part of the 2014 Christmas play, organized by Frances Lynch, Director of Quality and Socks Product Design & Development. This time, however, the Maquila Association of Honduras (AHM) sponsored a special presen¬tation of the play in order to recognize Gildan for this initiative. The event was held on March 4th, 2014 at the main theatre of San Pedro Sula and attending the event were the AHM special guests, media and the general public.
Daniel Facussé, President of the AHM, presented Frances with a special recognition for organizing the annual Christmas play. The AHM also recognized Gildan for supporting the arts, culture and camaraderie among its employees.
COMMITTED TO AN ACTIVE WAY OF LIFE
Central America and the Caribbean Basin
Gildan organized its annual soccer tournament amongst its employees, both in Honduras and the Dominican Republic at the end of 2013. Family, friends and colleagues supported the participants, who played with passion, enthusiasm and team spirit.
In Honduras, our San Miguel sewing facility team was the champion in both women’s and men’s categories. In the Dominican Republic, the Power Sox team of Dortex won first place. The final matches in both countries were played at the beginning of December.