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Achieving Worker Wellbeing: Lessons from The Children's Place

Companies often ask Labor Solutions about how other companies implement, encourage suppliers to the program, and gain leadership buy-in. We recently sat down with Mr. George Hou, the Regional Responsible Sourcing Manager of The Children’s Place to hear about the children's apparel brand’s worker wellbeing strategy and lessons.

Why is worker wellbeing important to TCP and suppliers and what is your goal?

George Hou, TCP: “At TCP, we strive to positively impact the lives of the people who make our products and the communities and environments affected by our business. Our commitment to positive social practices includes supporting the workers within our supply chain.

TCP’s ESG strategy focuses on 6 areas, namely: Grow, Reduce, Divert, Comply, Develop and Give. Worker Well-Being belongs to the Develop category, for which we want to develop worker well-being programs with our manufacturers.

For, TCP, a worker well-being program encompasses the development and implementation of workplace programs with a goal to improve workers’ lives. Our worker well-being model centers around 3 areas that support women workers:

  1. Personal Development

  2. Workplace Gender Equity, and

  3. Community Well-Being

Companies doing their part to address worker needs leads to tangible benefits on the production floor, including, but not limited to reduction in turnover and absenteeism, improvement in workplace cooperation, decrease in stress factors, higher level of worker retention, and opportunities for career development.

Our goal is to positively impact 140,000 workers by the end of 2023 through development on personal growth, workplace gender equity, and community well-being."

How TCP Implemented WOVO

TCP started by conducting a baseline survey to understand the needs of its workers. The survey found that workers wanted to communicate more with management, learn more about worker wellbeing topics, and take training that was relevant to their jobs. TCP leveraged WOVO's ecosystem of tools to make positive changes in their workplace.

What suggestions do you have for other companies looking to start a worker engagement program?

George Hou, TCP: I would suggest several things:

  • Commitment and support from leadership

  • Build up strategy on objectives from the worker wellbeing programs

  • Select key suppliers to pilot the programs

  • Communicate to the chosen suppliers to get their buy-in

  • Identify qualified service providers and negotiate a reasonable program cost.”

How has WOVO helped TCP achieve the goal of worker wellbeing?

George Hou, TCP: “TCP has been sponsoring in-factory training programs to teach soft skills to aid workers in areas such as communication, problem-solving, decision-making, time and stress management, and leadership. We have found women-centered projects to be particularly impactful in providing value to a predominantly female workforce within our supply chain. Such programs have a cascading effect and end up benefiting workers, their families, and the extended community. “

Supplier ownership is critical in implementing projects like this in complex supply chains. How did you get suppliers’ buy-in?

George Hou, TCP: “We provided Worker Wellbeing Program guidelines and explained the content through webinars with our suppliers in late 2021 when we first launch the program. We also targeted the top 25 global vendors to create an impact. That said, it paved the way for easier communication with vendors. We did not experience pushback. But, indeed, there are situations that require more rounds of communication to provide more information and share TCP’s expectations. “

Labor Solutions helped TCP take its worker well-being strategy to scale. Promoting supplier ownership, leveraging technology and advisory support, and collecting actionable data points with Labor Solutions is at the heart of TCP’s strategy. If you’re a brand or supplier looking to build up a similar program – or just want to take that key first step in the right direction– get in touch with us!

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