To keep workers informed and connected during COVID, a footwear factory in China choose to launch Labor Solution's worker engagement app and platform, WOVO. Before implementing WOVO, the factory primarily relied on in-person meetings and WeChat for workplace communications. While these channels were easily accessible for workers, they did not provide easy integration of additional tools to support workers or the data needed for management to make more informed decisions, especially as workers were more stressed during this challenging time and COVID regulations were changing rapidly.
Management was eager to have a more effective tool to connect with workers no matter what. They were particularly interested in keeping workers engaged and informed during these challenging times, but also were keen on hearing from workers to understand their needs.
This case study examines how one factory implemented and successfully promoted WOVO during COVID.
Challenges: While factory management saw the benefits of WOVO, they worried that workers;
would question the security and anonymity of WOVO;
may not understand the new features and tools; and
would be reluctant to adapt to a new platform.
Management was also concerned that these challenges would result in the small human resources team feeling overwhelmed. When implementing WOVO for the first time, many factories have similar concerns.
As a result, the Labor Solutions’ Client Advisory Team created an easy to implementation plan and supporting documents. Factory A’s Client Advisor was able to provide these tools and support factory management in a seamless implementation and promotion. This case outlines how Factory A used these tools to ensure a successful launch.
Factory management hoped to have 30% of workers registered on WOVO in the first month, and 50% within the first three months.
Solutions: Easy Promotion
Labor Solutions encourages and supports factories to focus WOVO promotion on addressing all the questions: Who, What, Why and How.
Introduce WOVO to Workers. The WOVO launch package includes a worker-facing introductory video, led by WOVO’s ambassador Laso Robo and his animated friends, who us local language to introduce WOVO’s main functionalities, benefits and its differences from other social platforms. Laso Robo and his friends also go over the simple steps to register in the app, so workers don’t feel overwhelmed by the new platform. Factory A’s management shared the video in high traffic areas and posted it in the factory’s group chats.
How to Download + Register for WOVO. The WOVO implementation package includes promotional posters and cards with QR codes for workers to scan and automatically download the app. This factory piloted WOVO’s new simplified registration process allows workers to select their own avatars and create their own credentials upon registration, providing a sense of ownership and security.
Supporting Workers with Questions. While most workers were able to complete the registration without problem, management understood handholding might be needed for some workers. A WOVO Steering Committee was formed, including three HR members and ten worker representatives. For a period of two weeks, committee members spent 10 to 20 minutes every day attending morning meetings on different departments and production floors to answer workers’ questions about WOVO and provide additional guidance. From WOVO’s management portal, the Worker Engagement Dashboard, committee member was able to get live data on the registration rates of each department, which also helped them to decide which departments would need extra support.
Incentivize Workers to Download. The management also utilized WOVO’s survey function to run a lucky draw among workers who registered. The lucky draw was open for two weeks, during which the registration rate spiked.
Ask workers for feedback: Once the registration rate exceeded 30%, the committee sent out a test survey to all WOVO registrants for feedback on the launch process and challenges they had faced or heard about, including from those who had not been able to register. More targeted solutions were provided, such as sharing a Q&A list about WOVO in high traffic areas
Ensure Long- Term Utility of WOVO for Workers. The key to workers downloading and using WOVO is making sure WOVO is useful to workers! This requires factory management to respond promptly to workers, publish useful information on WOVO, use WOVO to digitize previously analog processes, conduct eLearnings and keep WOVO up-to-date. The Labor Solutions team continued their follow up during the year to support the HR team and ensure they engaged with workers proactively and positively. Once a quarter the client advisor would check in, look at data and give feedback and tips. The HR team was also able to use their training hours to get specific trainings on better grievance management and follow up. Once management started providing updates on key complaints to the workforce, workers increased their utilization of the tool.
Results: Half of workers in the factory registered on WOVO within the first two weeks and 80% in the first quarter. That covered nearly 90% of workers who used smartphones.
With the help from Labor Solutions, the management also made a plan to regular monitor WOVO’s utilization data, which was lively updated on the dashboard, to keep track and further understand workers’ needs and engagement trend in the factory.
About Labor Solutions
Labor Solutions, an impact-focused business, leverages technology to connect, engage and educate workers to build resilient supply chains. Over a million and a half workers in 25 countries have access to Labor Solutions’ worker engagement platform, WOVO. Workers can respond to worker surveys, report grievances and access eLearning modules on rights and responsibilities.