To help improve engagement with our factories in our Matrix ‘Medicine Cabinet’ of training modules, the Corporate Social Responsibility Team in China decided to carry out a training needs survey with the employees at our core factories.

The aim of this survey was to find out the topics that the factory workers would like to be trained on; if they feel that training will impact their future career progress; whether any other customers provide training options to the factory and if they think that training would have a positive impact on their personal situation and ability to deal with problems and stress in the workplace.

The top four topics most requested from factory workers and flagged as the most urgent needs included:

  • Caring (Parenting and Relationships)
  • Health & Safety
  • First Aid
  • Stress / Self-Management

The workers also responded that other customers do not currently offer this kind of training to the factory in China. Ideally, they think the length of each session should be kept to 1-3 hours to avoid impacting on the working time and all respondents noted that they felt training can help them to improve their personal situation and ability to deal with problems.

It’s really interesting to see that across all of our partner factories in China, the softer subjects like Caring and Stress Management were so popular as topics that the workers would like to be trained on. This is in line with recent studies by Gallup which have shown that in China factories, 40% of workers reported they are negatively affected by stress, whether emotional or physical, and this is also one of the major causes of absenteeism, illness and workplace disputes. By reducing stress and coaching stress management techniques we might be able to help make the factory workers happier and healthier, whilst at the same time improving performance and productivity, reducing absenteeism and improving internal communications.

We are now working on suitable training material for each topic and will try to roll out the top three or four requested training sessions at each factory over the year.