Human Resources and Worker Empowerment

Worker Survey


In FY05/06 we shared a target that 100 percent of workers in focus factories would be surveyed. However, due to worker turnover and best-case response rates, we realized that 100-percent participation was not possible. We created a survey for factories to measure a statistically valid sampling of workers and revised the target accordingly. Surveys must be complete in advance of participating in HRM training and are referenced in the training.

One important first step in improving the lives of factory workers is for factory management to hear directly from them. We have integrated worker surveys into our HRM training.

In advance of the training, factories conduct a statistically relevant survey among workers that asks 70 questions about demographic information, employees' perception of pay and benefits, health and safety, management culture, hours worked, their empowerment as employees and general job satisfaction. We developed the survey in FY08, built on topics considered core to workers and validated with factories.

A third-party provider administers the survey through an on-site questionnaire, employee interviews and a factory tour. Results are reported confidentially to factory management and in aggregate to Nike.

In FY09, 24 factories in China and Vietnam participated in the training and conducted the worker surveys in advance of the training.

What We're Learning: Survey Results

The employee satisfaction survey has been administered by third-party service providers at 24 contract factories in Vietnam and China to date. The survey questions cover the following topics:

  • HR general status and factory regulation
  • Recruitment and selection
  • Training and development
  • Living conditions
  • Working environment
  • Safety and health
  • Work hours and overtime
  • Compensation and benefits
  • Performance management
  • Teamwork and supervision
  • Worker-management communication

Results Analysis

Overall analysis was conducted on the satisfaction scores of issues contained in the survey, and the correlation between these issues and overall employee satisfaction. The result can be summarized in order of priority as follows:

Worker Survey Results View Infographic

Issues of High Satisfaction & High Importance (Quadrant I)

Quadrant I covers the issues that the workers are quite satisfied with and need to be maintained, and they are also quite related to overall satisfaction. The issues include training and development, that is, job skill training, supervisory skill training, training on factory rules and regulations and environment, health and safety training.

Issues of Low Satisfaction & High Importance (Quadrant II)

Quadrant II, representing the highest priority, covers the issues that the workers are not very satisfied with but highly related to overall satisfaction. Making improvement on these issues helps to enhance worker satisfaction. The issues include: behaviors of direct supervisor, communication between workers and management and living conditions.

Issues of Low Satisfaction & Low Importance (Quadrant III)

Quadrant III covers issues of low scores regarding satisfaction and low correlation to overall employee satisfaction such as night shift meal, food in the canteen and service attitude of factory clinic.

Issues of High Satisfaction & Low Importance (Quadrant IV)

Quadrant IV covers the issues that workers were very satisfied with, but had a lower correlation to overall satisfaction such as safety and health, training on factory rules and regulations and recreation facilities.

Ideally, all issues of poor performance should be addressed through improvements efforts. Due to limitation of resources, it is typically necessary for organizations to prioritize improvement activities to achieve maximum results. Analysis of employee satisfaction survey data and other sources of work force data can provide a valuable tool to maximize impact on overall employee satisfaction.

Results of the employee satisfaction survey have been incorporated into the HRM capacity building workshops, where factory HR, corporate responsibility and lean leaders worked together to prioritize and identify issues to address. During the HRM workshop, factory leaders learned about the Plan Do Check Act (PDCA) problem-solving technique. As part of this process, each factory created reports to clearly define gaps in current HRM systems and create action plans to address the gaps. Based on learnings from the employee satisfaction survey and the HRM capacity building, factories have started to implement the following improvement efforts:

  • Improve team lead management skills (6 factories)
  • Improve training systems (5 factories)
  • Increase employee satisfaction with front-line managers (5 factories)
  • Decrease turnover rate through targeted interventions (4 factories)
  • Improve HR organization effectiveness; improve annual leave process

Nike's Sustainable Manufacturing and Sourcing team and NOS senseis are following up with the factory teams to provide coaching and feedback during bimonthly HRM Learning Community meetings. Progress on HRM system improvement is also being measured through a series of key performance indicators.