Challenge: Employees are timid, afraid to raise questions, lack general communication skills, and don’t know how to behave appropriately toward others.
Most employees are young immigrants, have high school or lower education levels, are recently graduated, and/or have never left home or live independently before. Experiencing new living and working environments make them timid and afraid to express their points of view. Many feel uncomfortable to raise questions if they are unclear about or do not understand their obligations and rights with regard to work, wages, or employees’ rights and labor codes. Additionally, they may not behave appropriately or communicated skillfully at work or in daily life. Often, they do not spend the money they earn sensibly or wisely.
Solution: Equip employees with knowledge and skills that help to enhance both their competence at work and their quality of life.
The project collaborators at the factory were trained in personal development skills to be resource trainers. They will then facilitate future training courses in personal development skills for employees.
All project collaborators were taught active and participatory training methods, as well as curriculum content for training courses in communications, collective dispute resolution, listening, and time/work/expenditure management.
Results: Positive changes in attitudes and skills at work and at home, observed by work colleagues and self reported
− Employees utilized their time more efficiently, resulting in increased work productivity and more free time at home to take care of their own families.
“Better time management helps me to schedule my daily work more appropriately and logically. For example, I don’t waste my free time for unnecessary work/things but use those times for self-study to enhance my specialty and technical skills in order to get a promotion” _ Viet Hung Co. employee.
“Thanks to the time management course, I realize I have wasted so much free time. So I decide to study a foreign language and do yoga instead of watching TV” _ Viet Thinh Co. employee.
“Thanks to the time management course, I now know how to arrange my work more efficiently such as which job should get done first and which one is second; therefore I get work done faster. In the past I usually did the dishes first then followed by laundry so it took me a long time as I had to wait for the washing to be finished before I could it out. Now I do laundry first, and then the dishes second; when the dishes are done, the washing is ready for me to hang out, so I can save time” _Viet Thinh Co. employee.
− Employees spent money more rationally in order to save for their future.
“Like time management, employees did not know about money management. After the training sessions, now they do.” _ Viet Hung Co. management.
“After training, I know how to save through banking.” _ Viet Hung Co. employee.
“I used to buy whatever which were cheap but I sometime or rarely use or did not know what to use it for. As a result, I had to give it or throw it away, so it was very wasteful. Now I just buy what I need.” _ Viet Thinh Co. employee.
− Employees became open and more confident in behaving with others at workplace and expressing their points of view, especially when they wonder about their rights and responsibilities.
“In the past, if employees could not understand what the group leaders said, they let it pass without asking for clarification. After the personal development skill training, employees now feel comfortable to come to the line leader and ask him directly to make sure they understood the instructions correctly and if they have the work done correctly.” _ Viet Hung Co. management.
“Employees now come to see the highest management if the low and middle levels could not solve their problems.”_ Viet Hung Co. management.
“The new listening and communication skills I have developed make me more confident when talking to other people. For example, I felt more confident when discuss work-related matters with my supervisor.” _ Viet Hung Co. employee.
“I now resolve work issues or conflict more agreeably as I have learned communication skills so I know how to restrain myself and listen to others.” _ Viet Thinh Co. employee.
“Now I know how to behave comfortably with others, exchange ideas or express my points of view more easily, and talk in a confident manner to supervisors; so coming to work becomes joyful. Before, when I was afraid to meet or talk to my supervisors and tried to avoid them, coming to work was so stressful.” _ Viet Thinh Co. employee.
− Employees become more skillfully in behaving with other people in their home.
“I now talk to my husband in a smoother and sweeter way. I don’t order my husband do this or do that anymore, but ask him nicely for help with housework instead. So he now willingly shares house-work with me” _ Viet Thinh Co. employee.
“After communication skill training, I respect and listen to my wife and children more than before. If I disagreed with my wife’s opinion, I tried to be calm and to solve the problem together with my wife.” _ Viet Hung Co. employee.
− Employees become more open, friendlier, and close to each other.
“After training, some colleagues and I told the others about what we learnt. The other employees found it useful and applied their work and life, especially managing their time more efficiently.” _ Viet Hung Co. employee.
“We discuss lessons learnt from the training with each other, especially how to share and apply those lessons with those who could not participate in the training.” _ Viet Thinh Co. employee.
− The project had studied employees’ problems and needs before choosing the training topics. As such, the personal development skills upon which the training courses focused are appropriate and essential to employees. The participants can apply these skills in their workplace and daily life.
− The training program is designed to workers’ preference. Training content is practical and easy to understand. Active training methods including games, role play, and case studies were used. These methods made the ambience in the class lively and joyful and kept participants engaged during class. The facilitators were experienced, enthusiastic and understand employees. Training session were scheduled after working hours, which is suitable for both employees and production.
− Strong support and creating favorable conditions of the factory management to the training team – Life and factory trainers – made the training program a success. All workers participated in the training sessions not so long after working hours were still provided with food and drinks.