Challenge: Employees do not participate actively in activities which aim to raise employees’ awareness of their rights and responsibilities.
During project activity implementation such as Law talks, seminars, training, and communication material distribution, employees tend to be passive beneficiaries: listening, receiving, and rarely asking questions or actively thinking about the topic. As such, one of the project aims is to empower employees to become more dynamic and to take part in the project activities in a more proactive and lively manner.
Solution: Establishing a team of core “cadres”, called the project collaborators. They are employees, specially chosen and trained for mobilizing other employees’ active participation in the communication events alternatively organized by the project and the participating factories.
Two employees on each production line are nominated as project collaborators. They are individuals whom other employees respect and trust. Their participation in the project as collaborators is of their own free will and free of charge. In return, they are trained in labor-related knowledge and issues, as well as in general health protection, reproductive health, and personal development skills. After the training sessions, they become the focal points of future communication events, sharing what they have learned with other employees. In addition, they help to disseminate information about upcoming events: encouraging and guiding other employees in the same production line to participate actively in the events.
Result: Employees become dynamic and active
− Employees help with logistic arrangements for the event, such as setting up the communication booth or stands, distributing drinks and foods, and giving presents for winners.
“I participate in all communication events concerning reproductive health, love and gender, labor law and other topics. I help to distribute presents, food and drink to other employees participating in the events.” _ Viet Hung Co. employee.
− Employees take part in music performances, knowledge competition, and assist in facilitating knowledge-related games during events.
“The factory employees are very dynamic, playing enthusiastically in the music performances. Although tired and busy with family and housework, they stay after work for a whole week to practice and rehearse their performance. When they are on stage, their colleagues are their supporters, cheering them enthusiastically, making the ambiance very animated.” _ Viet Thinh Co. management.
“I participated in the Golden Bell Challenge and Food Festival as a collaborator. I performed in a music performance and took part in collaboration/production exchanges with Viet Hung Co. and T&T companies.” _ Viet Thinh Co. employee.
“I joined in the communication fair, reproductive health communication, and Golden Bell Challenge as a collaborator. I took part in the knowledge competition, performed, and played knowledge-related games with other employees.” _ Viet Thinh Co. employee.
“I happily competed against my co-employees in the Golden Bell Challenge. I was also a vendor managing a booth and selling goods to others in a communication fair. Where there is a communication event is, there I am!” _ Viet Hung Co. employee.
− Employees become courageous, open and close to each other and have better relationship with their supervisors.
“In the past, employees – even married ones – blushed with embarrassment whenever someone talked about condom, but now they are braver, proactively buying condoms to make words to decorate their booths and to design their costumes for the fashion show.” _ Viet Hung Co. management.
“Communication events help to create a channel of communication and interaction between employees and factory management. Thanks to these events, we are friendlier and closer.” _ Viet Hung Co. management.
Key factors to success:
− Communication events create more rooms and equal opportunity for every employee to join, help strengthen and increase employees’ knowledge systematically.
“Everyone is attracted by and eagerly participates in communication events.” _ Viet Thinh Co. management.
“Communication events attract employees and lift their spirits up.” _ Viet Hung Co. management.
“Only in the communication events do we have chance to get together, have fun, and relax.” _ Viet Thinh Co. management.
“Each production line plans their own play, from writing scripts, building characters, setting up the stage, and, of course, performing. As actors and actresses are employees, the implication and message of their performance can reach other employees more easily.” _ Viet Hung Co. management.
“Even though employees learn about or are trained in labor law and codes; they only partially understand or even understand nothing about the study contents. When they participate in the communication events, through knowledge-related games, knowledge competitions and plays/performance, they realize and grasp the knowledge more deeply.” _ Viet Thinh Co. management.
– The communication events are very diverse. They integrate various entertainment and competition styles into the events.
For instance, one communication fair included a music show which was presented by professional singers with factory employees, as well as knowledge competitions such as drawing lots to traditional games, and food and beverage stands.
“Employees learn a lot through communication events as these events integrate knowledge into fun games and competitions that help them to review their learning. For example, the communication fair scheduled knowledge competitions before music show. In this competition, if someone could correctly answer the question(s) printed in the lot they drew, they would get a reward. So the participants could review their knowledge, helped the others remember and review their knowledge too, and got rewards as well. After that, everyone happily enjoyed the show and relaxed.” _ Viet Hung Co. employee.
“Through these communication events, I learned about labor law and reproductive health as well. These events are interesting and fun. They make everyone relaxed and happy after work therefore everyone eagerly and enthusiastically takes part in these events.” _ Viet Hung Co. employee.
“The events are pleasurable and draw countless participants. They help me to learn more about labor law, health, and reproductive health care. The music shows and performances and sport activities help us release stresses from work and life and lift up our spirits.” _ Viet Thinh Co. employee.
− The project collaborators enthusiastically spread communication topicsrelated knowledge throughout their own production lines, guide the other employees prepare for the competitions or shows/performances in the communication events, teach them how to facilitate games offered in their booths, etc.
− Last but not least, there is strong support from the factory management throughout the communication event organization and implementation: providing food and drinks for those who participate in the events, providing a budget for those who perform in the events to buy food and drinks during rehearsal and to prepare costumes and stage props, and so on.