Elevate Global VP Patrick McKeller discussed ways in which companies can boost factory worker retention and productivity at the FDRA’s Footwear Production and Trade Summit in China.
As one of the biggest producers of footwear manufacturing in the world, China also has been faced with lousy factory worker retention. The FDRA Senior Vice President Andy Polk spoke to McKeller to find ways in which factories can improve worker retention.
“If we think about the reality of what is footwear manufacturing in general in a lot of countries especially China, the worker turnover is still a huge issue here,” said McKeller. “For example the average floor factory might have between 8-15 percent worker turnover per month. That means in 7 or 8 months they turnover an entire workforce.”
A solution McKeller thinks will help worker turnover is to hire a supervisor who is likely to stay with the factory longer, for years. He says this is a more sustainable way to affect workers.
“So if we can improve the relationship between supervisors and workers then maybe we can improve worker turnover, improve the amount of resources,” he said. “Improve the amount of investment supervisors might actually have the opportunity to influence. Maybe the person we’re missing is actually the person who talks to them the most.”