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Case Study: Leveraging WOVO to Improve Engagement + Protections of Migrant Workers in Malaysia

Labor Solutions’ Jen Green presented the following case study on a Verite’s Panel “Amplifying migrant workers' voices through digital solutions – a crucial challenge and delicate balance.


Malaysian companies face increased scrutiny over recruitment practices and treatment of migrant workers, especially in the electronics manufacturing sector.


This case study explores how one electronics manufacturer took significant steps to become a more responsible employer by leveraging WOVO's comprehensive tools, enhancing their human resources management, and improving migrant worker safety, protection and wellbeing.


Context + Background

A Malaysian electronics manufacturer employs approximately 4,000 workers, with 40% being migrants from Nepal, Bangladesh, and Indonesia. In response to increased buyer due diligence and growing awareness among management and workers, the company sought to leverage WOVO tools to improve its practices and address specific challenges concerning migrant workers.


Challenges

Lack of Systematic Workplace Risk Prevention:

  • Despite a rigorous due diligence process for recruitment agencies, there was no systematic approach to prevent workplace risks or educate management on globally recognized standards and appropriate practices.


Underutilized Grievance Mechanisms:

  • Existing mechanisms like suggestion boxes and hotlines were underutilized due to language barriers and cultural differences, leading to insufficient insights for top management.

Limited Engagement of Migrant Workers:

  • Migrant workers were less outspoken about their needs and issues, often communicating within their own groups rather than engaging in company activities and initiatives.


Solution: Implement WOVO: A Supplier-Owned Platform to Engage, Educate + Listen to Workers. 

The factory decided to work with Labor Solutions to implement the WOVO Ecosystem, enabling the company to integrate human rights due diligence into human resources management and address issues holistically.


All workers gained access to the WOVO platform and were able to access eLearning modules, a grievance mechanism and newsletters and updates from the factory. All in their local language. 


WOVO eLearning for Managers

All managers were enrolled in the following eLearning modules via the WOVO app:  

Responsible Recruitment (Just Good Work)

Communication for Managers


WOVO eLearning for Workers:

All workers were enrolled in the following eLearning modules via the WOVO app:  

Responsible Recruitment (Just Good Work)

Fair Working Conditions (Better Work)


WOVO Connect:

Grievance Mechanism: Allowed workers, especially migrants, to easily and safely report issues directly to management via various channels, including multimedia submissions.


Case Management Tool: Enabled HR to view all grievances, triage issues, and respond effectively using auto-translate features and live data analysis.


HR Communication Tool to Support Connect Beyond Grievances: Shared company updates in multiple languages and organized regular events to connect and engage with migrant workers.


Results:

Education + Ease of Access Led to Increased Migrant Worker Engagement

The implementation of WOVO's solutions resulted in improved engagement between management and migrant workers, enabling proactive and effective identification and addressing of potential human rights risks:


  • 13x Increase in Reporting: 13x more cases were submitted in the first six months post-WOVO launch,than in the whole year before WOVO.

  • 50% of cases from migrant workers.


  • Identified Risks: Issues included excessive heat on the work floor, inadequate drinking water, poor canteen sanitation, substandard hostels, and scam calls.

The Right Tools Enabled the Factory to Collect, React + Respond to Workers Better + Faster

WOVO case management system provided the factory with the tools they needed to understand + remediate issues


  • Prompt Responses: 98% of cases received a response within 48 hours.


  • Effective Resolutions: 95% of cases were resolved within an average of six weeks, with 77% of resolutions rated satisfactory by workers.

  • Better Data Enabled the Factory to Address Incidents + Improve Processes


  • Systemic Remediation + Prevention:

Worker Housing Improvements

Additional Manager Training

Support to Help Workers Identify Scams


  • Increased Worker Social Participation

Inclusive approach to planning events, sports competitions

Introduction of foods suggested by migrant workers


By leveraging WOVO's comprehensive solutions, the company significantly improved the management and wellbeing of its migrant workers, highlighting the importance of responsible practices and innovative solutions in the industry.

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