Impact Report shows changes on factory floor

April 14, 2020

The report, covering suppliers to Axfood, Martin & Servera, KICKS, Filippa K and Åhléns, indicates that working environments have improved since Quizrr training programs were introduced.

"Our assessment shows signs of improved worker engagement after Quizrr trainings, which is a significant result. A majority of workers and managers responding to the survey claim that nominations of worker representatives take place, followed by democratic elections and participatory meetings. More than half of the respondents claim these changes occurred after the training. If correctly reported, this is an important achievement" - says Viveka Risberg, Axfoundation.

Download the full report here.

Aiming to build capacity

Asia, particularly China, supplies most of the world’s food and goods. After decades of supply chain management based on audits, experience and research show that this top-down approach doesn’t lead to sustainable improvements. Capacity building measures are needed to empower employees through increased knowledge and stimulate dialogue between workers and management.

Axfoundation initiated a capacity-building drive in 2014 to support Axel Johnson companies to operate in a more effective and sustainable way by reinforcing workers’ rights and empowerment at supplying factories in China. Digital learning program Quizrr was chosen to provide training programs to increase knowledge of rights and responsibilities. Gradually, more advanced programs have been implemented like Wage Management System and Worker Engagement. In the fall of 2019, before the Corona pandemic, Axfoundation assessed the output and outcomes of the initiative by collecting quantitative and qualitative data via online surveys at 19 of the factories.

Many of the respondents report that the training has led to increased understanding of processes at the factory. In response to open questions about the training, some workers say that the training has led to more active involvement and has improved problem solving at the factory. When asked about changes they had noticed at their factory after training, the right to speak out, willingness to express ideas and increased motivation were often mentioned. Raised awareness and consciousness regarding working conditions and production processes is a prerequisite for actual improvements, according to Viveka Risberg at Axfoundation.

Results:

- 62 percent of workers say trainings led to improved communication between workers and managers

- 94 percent of workers say there has been an election of worker representatives

- 54 percent of mangers say trainings led to more resolved grievances

High number of respondents

In total 1,315 workers and 554 managers responded to the survey. The response rate is 49%. The number of respondents is high enough to support indications that positive change is ongoing, and that knowledge is crucial. However, methodological weaknesses should be taken into account.

“There is a risk of bias as respondents may over or underemphasize their input. It is also possible that surveys initiated by customers tend to generate more positive responses from suppliers. In short, it is difficult to validate the veracity of the responses.” – Viveka Risberg, Axfoundation

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