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Employee Engagement Programs

It is our belief that an engaged workforce is one in which employee retention and performance stand out. Vital to the betterment of any organization, employee engagement is defined as the extent to which employees feel passionate about their jobs, are emotionally connected and committed to the company where they work as well as the role they play there. Employee engagement is at the center of Gildan’s human resources strategy. 

When individuals begin working at Gildan, they become a valued member of a larger community. This is why we believe it is important for us to develop and implement various programs to better communicate with our employees and to support them in the many aspects of their lives – be it professional, personal or family – to encourage them to adopt a healthy and active lifestyle, and to recognize and reward their unique contribution to the Company. We believe that these initiatives have the power to make a difference in improving our employees’ quality of life.


    Gildan Global Engagement Survey

    In 2013 and 2015, Gildan rolled out global engagement surveys to measure employees’ emotional satisfaction and intellectual commitment to the Company.

    Employees from most of our manufacturing locations were invited to participate in the survey by filling out a questionnaire designed to measure 3 key behaviours:  speaking positively about Gildan, staying with the Company and striving to surpass expectations in their day-to-day role.

    An extensive analysis of the survey results highlighted Gildan’s strengths and identified opportunities for increased employee engagement within the Company. The 2015 survey allowed us to measure employee engagement across the organization, to identify workplace factors that have the greatest impact on engagement and to assess changes since the previous survey in 2013.  We were pleased to learn that the initiatives adopted following the 2013 survey resulted in solid improvements.  In fact, the results of the 2015 survey revealed a significant increase in target areas that were identified as our main priorities in 2013.

    In the course of 2017, we will pursue our commitment to measuring employee engagement through pulse surveys designed to track progress in areas that offer opportunities for continuous improvement, and this with a view to elevating engagement as well as overall satisfaction.

    Gildan TV

    In 2009, Gildan’s Communications team in Central America recognized the need for a better and more efficient means of communicating with employees. Having conducted surveys across our facilities, television was identified, by employees, as the preferred media. Gildan TV was created as a direct result of this process and has since become a fun, dynamic information vehicle geared towards employees.

    The closed-circuit system allows management to broadcast messages to employees through monitors mounted throughout our textile and sewing plants, as well as at our health clinics and cafeterias.

    The content is mainly educational and is developed to raise awareness around the Company’s policies, but also to announce employee success stories, special activities and community programs.

    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 faclity. Content is broadcasted on a daily basis to nearly all of our facilities and offices.



    Gildan facilitates the creation of independent employee Cooperatives formed to incentivize and encourage workers to set aside and accumulate savings. The Cooperatives aid employees through better access to loans, which can be difficult to obtain in some countries. Moreover, loans are granted at lower interest rates than loans extended through standard banking channels.  Employee participation in the Cooperatives is voluntary and can be terminated at any time.

    The Cooperatives operate as independent legal entities supervised by an administrative manager. Participation is available to non-management employees, who freely elect a Board of Directors from amongst themselves biannually. Since Gildan allocates space for the Cooperatives within our facilities, our Finance department and external auditors act to ensure that the Cooperatives are properly managed and operating in compliance with local regulations.

    Gildan’s sewing and textile facilities in Honduras and the Dominican Republic have effectively formed Cooperatives.  Over 15,300 employees in Honduras are affiliated and were granted over US $10,400,000 in loans. Employees in the Dominican Republic benefited from Gildan’s affiliation with an independent Cooperative, which granted 7,445 loans amounting to over US $1,800,400.

    Financial Advice

    In 2015, our operations in the Dominican Republic launched a program to offer financial advising to our employees. The program was divided into different sessions, covering topics such as: Managing family finances, Debt settlement, Prioritizing expenses, Planning for short term and long term savings, as well as Managing expenses according to income. The sessions were provided to employees by a financial expert.

    In 2016, our facilities offered 16 refresher sessions which represent more than 170 training hours for 177 employees in the Dominican Republic.


    “Escribiendo tu Futuro” Program (Writing your Future)

    At the beginning of the 2016 school year in Nicaragua, Gildan distributed 4,400 back-to-school kits adapted to the specific needs of our employees’ children heading to preschool, elementary and high school.  The kits included important staples such as notebooks, pens, pencils, crayons, geometry sets and modelling dough.

    Saving Our Family Program

    This assistance program responds to the needs of employees who have requested support in managing personal issues and family situations in a safe, non-judgmental place.  Through this initiative, Gildan provides employees with free access to confidential counselling by a certified professional specialized in marriage and family matters.

    In addition to individual counselling, group sessions are also offered to address widespread issues affecting numerous workers. These sessions provide co-development opportunities that encourage participants’ personal growth through others’ experiences.  Some topics explored include: Women reaching their full potential, Self-happiness, Joy in motherhood, Family budgeting, Health awareness, Raising teenagers, Children and self-esteem, The value of work, and Perseverance.

    The program is currently in place in Honduras and the Dominican Republic.  In 2016, the program offered more than 2,800 sessions for workers in these countries.


    Housekeeping Communication Campaign

    As part of Gildan’s internal activities to reinforce good housekeeping habits amongst our employees, the company launched a communications campaign at all of its facilities in Honduras.

    To launch the campaign, a local celebrity was invited to promote the initiative and raise awareness amongst employees during a tour of our facilities. The campaign also featured posters for bulletin boards, educational videos on Gildan TV monitors, as well as a campaign theme song and music video.


    Soccer Tournament

    To promote an active lifestyle and to encourage camaraderie amongst employees, our facility in Bangladesh organized a soccer tournament.  The tournament took place over a one-month period and featured the participation of six teams.  Gildan provided all uniforms and gear required for the tournament, which also proved to be a great team building success.


    Women’s Empowerment Program

    Gildan first implemented the Women’s Empowerment Program two years ago in collaboration with the Walmart Foundation and World Vision® Honduras. The program supports women by helping them to develop the skills they need to become more active decision-makers and leaders in their jobs and their families. The Women’s Empowerment Program is unique in that it helps employees recognize their capabilities and equips them with the tools needed to balance demands, from both work and home.

    The program offers over 70 hours of training as well as the opportunity to learn about subjects such as management, finance, communications and health. At the end of the program, a group of women graduates who demonstrate strong leadership potential are selected to be trainers for the next round of candidates. The cycle then repeats itself to sustain the program in each facility.  An interesting aspect of the program is that men can also receive basic training by learning to recognize some of the challenges women face and ways to support them. 

    More than 1,000 Gildan employees in Honduras, both men and women, have participated in this training to date.  In 2016, employees at Gildan’s Villanueva sewing facility attended an advanced workshop and the facility received a special recognition from World Vision® Honduras for its successful completion of the program. The Company’s San Miguel and San Antonio sewing facilities have also implemented the program and are working towards graduating their first participants.

    Gildan is committed to implementing the Women’s Empowerment Program at all of its facilities throughout Central America.

    International Women’s Day

    Gildan hosted a series of developmental activities across the company during the month of March 2017.  The Company’s headquarters in Montreal hosted a panel discussion focused on professional development featuring three employees. The panelists, made up of woman employees in finance positions, shared their perspectives on continuous development.  Gildan also invited some members of the Association de Femmes en Finance du Québec (AFFQ), an organization that brings together women in Finance and is an established network that supports professional development.

    Partnership with Catalyst

    Gildan launched a partnership with Catalyst, a leading, global, non-profit organization with a mission to accelerate progress for women through workplace inclusion, which is clearly aligned with our Diversity and Inclusion Policy. Catalyst represents a community of leaders committed to expanding opportunities for women and business. This partnership allows Gildan to become part of a strong network of leading organizations committed to diversity and inclusion.