Your Say helpline enabling positive change for workers globally
Officeworks is committed to ethical sourcing and driving a culture of integrity and accountability, where team members, including factory workers in its global supply chain, can raise concerns and have their voices heard.
To complement its ethical sourcing audit program, with an aim to improve worker wellbeing and engagement within its direct supply chain, Officeworks has continued to extend its worker surveys to better understand working conditions and employee concerns in its global supply chain.
Worker surveys allow Officeworks to continuously engage with workers to identify concerns that may not have been captured during audits and to work with factory management to take appropriate action to embed positive change for workers.
The surveys capture worker sentiment across five areas of grievance mechanism, wages and working hours, workplace wellbeing, environment, health and safety, and productivity and stability. This is the third year Officeworks has implemented the worker surveys following successful rollout in four factories in the 2022 financial year. In the 2023 financial year, the program will double, taking the number of factories engaged to eight.
During the first round of worker surveys, a total of 1,810 workers across eight factories shared their concerns, which included a lack of trust in internal grievance channels, lack of understanding in how wages are calculated, reported feelings that wages were unfair and a hesitation to speak up at work.
Using this information, Officeworks collaborated with factory management to implement appropriate actions to address worker concerns and improve the overall working conditions at each site. This included rewarding workers for providing their feedback, introducing several team member engagement activities, including town halls, to encourage togetherness and feedback, organising additional activities to encourage worker belonging, monthly meetings with worker representatives and quarterly surveys to continue to ensure concerns were being addressed.
As part of the improvements to address worker concerns, wage calculations were conducted to review wage fairness, while training on wage calculation and grievances as well as creating an anonymous channel for wage complaints was established, to ensure workers had the appropriate mechanisms in place to provide ongoing feedback.
Six months after the first round of surveys, Officeworks conducted follow-up surveys to understand worker sentiment at these sites and saw an improvement in worker sentiment of 13 per cent, enabling positive change to 3,390 workers.
After three years of working collaboratively with its suppliers, Officeworks has gathered valuable program insights into the outcomes of this work, enabling it to expand its worker voice program, take meaningful action on direct worker feedback, and continue to progress towards its commitment of enabling positive change for 15,000 workers in its supply chain by 2025.