Direct worker reporting

Gaining regular insights directly and anonymously from workers is crucial yet communicating directly with workers at scale can be a challenge. Sedex is offering a worker reporting tool to enable feedback directly from workers throughout the supply chain, using surveys and mobile voice technology.

Sedex has partnered with &Wider to offer the tool, which will enable businesses to listen and respond to workers and make improvements in their working conditions across their business and supply chain. Using surveys through mobile voice technology enables businesses to track changing working conditions and wellbeing of workers, enabling efficient data collection to understand where to prioritise business’ response.

Key highlights gained through direct worker reporting will be integrated through Sedex Analytics, enabling members to understand, analyse and prioritise in conjunction with their Sedex data. (SAQ & Audits)

Worker Voice - A new way to reach out to your workers

You can use the tool in four different ways:

  1. Direct worker reporting as a standalone measure. Businesses can use &Wider’s Engage tool – using the standard survey with SMETA compatible indicators or as a tailored survey to suit sector-specific needs.
  2. To measure the impact of COVID-19 on supply chain workers. This survey provides insight into the impacts of the virus on working conditions, livelihoods and wellbeing of workers. It allows brands and suppliers to better understand what will be needed once the threat of COVID-19 has passed.
  3. To measure the wellbeing of people working from home. This will help monitor the wellbeing of workers now working from home, under new pressures.
  4. Direct worker reporting via mobile to enhance virtual assessment. Using insight gathered directly and anonymously from workers using automated calls to workers’ mobile phones. The tool captures responses from workers, allowing brands to hear from workers directly, complementing site assessments.


Benefits of using direct worker reporting

The tool uses simple traffic-light dashboards, helping brands and large suppliers identify areas of improvement, and which sites and suppliers may need further support. It produces a prioritised list of issues regarded by workers on each site that requires timely action.

Using the direct worker reporting tool, alongside other Sedex products, such as risk profiling, social auditing, and self-assessment, will enable your business to:

  • Maintain oversight of labour practices in global supply chains while traditional audits cannot take place
  • Conduct easier remote monitoring of changing working conditions, at a time of rapid and unpredictable social change.
  • Offer critical insight into worker wellbeing in workplaces, that may be experiencing new circumstances and pressures.
  • Offer insight into worker wellbeing, working conditions and productivity for businesses’ own workforces, that may be required to work from home.
  • Monitor the impact and effectiveness of any measures taken to mitigate the effects of COVID-19, whether on a business’ own workforce or workers along the supply chain.
  • Gather new additional data at regular intervals gathered directly from workers, giving your business stronger insight to drive sustainable, resilient supply chains.

Practical information for using mobile technology to hear directly from workers

Setting up worker voice technology in a workplace is straightforward

  1. The &Wider team leads the process and asks for an introduction to the site management using a text message (provided by &Wider).
  2. If a business is involved, the &Wider team equips the buyer to introduce the practice of direct worker reporting to suppliers and secure their support.
  3. The &Wider team onboards the site manager or contact and registers the site information and preferences for call times on the &Wider platform.
  4. During this process they are supported by the team to upload workers’ mobile numbers in a manner that is consistent with the requirements of GDPR. Workers are given a week to read through information provided via the site manager, about the calls that will take place.
  5. The first call cycle is launched.

In practice this onboarding of site and workers is light on managers, and light on the workers. If site managers have workers’ mobiles on hand, this onboarding need take no longer than an hour.


Generating meaningful results is immediate

Drawing on our experience, the majority of first call cycles will immediately identify clear priorities for workers. This means that employers or site managers with access to the results can use the worker feedback to prioritise interventions immediately.

Employers are encouraged to use every set of results to determine the priority changes needed according to workers, and to identify where working conditions have improved. All results include clear response rates.

Falsification or coaching of workers is not a threat to data quality for the &Wider system, as it is built to ensure that coaching cannot affect the overall results. Coaching is not necessarily driven by the employer. Any party with a vested interest in particular results may try to pressure workers to respond to the calls with a particular bias. The system has an extensive series of anti-coaching measures built into the onboarding, technology, survey design and data analysis, so that you can be confident that the results you receive offer meaningful insight into practices on the site being covered.