In 2022, we helped John Lewis Partnership (JLP) to listen to their workers' voices ensuring they are treated fairly, rewarded appropriately, and protected for their fundamental human rights. Through the Better Jobs Programme, we deployed WOVO Engage, the worker survey tool, to assess over 6,000 workers’ needs.
Directly Engaging with Suppliers + Workers
First, we directly engage with suppliers then workers to establish trust and a system to gather transparent + accurate information. The survey was deployed in two new countries: India and South Africa across 10 factories and 10 growing sites. We believe that this first step of engagement is highly determinant for the program's success; ensuring that every stakeholder understands what is and why it is important, what to expect, roles, and responsibilities.
Through videos and other promotional materials such as posters, the initial survey was deployed + made known to 6,125 workers. Through WOVO App and QR codes, workers provide answers and give us direct insights into their experiences. In capturing workers' reality, we recommended using experience-based questions which allow workers to feel at ease and ensure there is no right or wrong answer in the questionnaire but rather a willingness to understand and uncover unknown issues within their workplace.
Making Worker Surveys More Inclusive than Ever
To reach the maximum number of workers, we made sure WOVO was accessible through various channels such as QR, Web, and WOVO application. The surveys were done in multiple languages and in addition, to be more inclusive, there were audiovisual aids for workers with literacy challenges. We piloted audio translations of the questions, and this allowed us to reach fruit growers and packers in the supply chain for the first time.
Worker Survey to Workplace Improvements
These worker survey data were reflected in real–time on WOVO Dashboard – which is accessible by both JLP and its suppliers – ensuring that the suppliers are continuously engaged in this process of improvements. The dashboard allows the analysts to compare, track, and dissect according to their needs and unearth insights. Moreover, the dashboard also offers insights with color-coded indicators which help analysts to identify + prioritize issues. This worker survey in partnership with Labor Solutions not only allowed JLP to be more inclusive in their workers' voices but also came away with some notable insights. In India, the worker survey data “revealed that care responsibilities create stress for workers and highlighted instances of workplace mistreatment”, and now being addressed.
We applaud JLP for taking immediate action. Health and safety training was held at 52 tier 1 supplier sites helping over 11,000 workers to enjoy safer working conditions. 6 Managing Directors overseeing over 1,000 workers also completed a leadership development course based on the feedback from the surveys. We are looking forward to continuing to support JLP and its partners in achieving their social sustainability goals.
Read JLP’s 2022/23 complete Ethics and Sustainability report here.