Can how you learn, influence what you learn?
This is a question that the Fung Academy sustainability team grappled with as they brainstormed with the Li & Fung Vendor Compliance & Sustainability (LF VCS) team on how best to raise health and safety standards in factories in Li & Fung’s supply chain.
We knew that increasing awareness and education on key concepts in fire, electrical, chemical, and other types of safety issues, was critical to improving standards. We knew that repetition and practice were needed to sustain higher standards over time. Lastly, we recognized that traditional, PowerPoint-based classroom learning had limited lasting impact, while also not being scalable across the 15,000 factories in the Li & Fung network.
With these barriers in mind, the teams decided in 2012 to experiment with short, animated videos to teach factory workers and managers about fire safety. The videos were launched amidst a heightened awareness of fire safety because of several high profile factory fires. As a result, the videos were a big hit.
The subject matter and principles in the videos were largely similar to the existing course curricula, but the delivery was short, animated and lively, and used simple language so that it could be understood by people with even a basic education. The videos were translated into multiple languages, in eight minutes and in digital format, could be replayed and also replicated for workers and managers to watch at leisure.
The videos have become building blocks in our effort to impart a “safety first” culture within Li & Fung factory partners.
Since then, the team has developed and launched similar videos on key topics in compliance, sustainability and factory management, including worker-management communications, manufacturing excellence, good governance, chemical management, underage labor, and electrical safety, among others. Each video is available in 14 languages, and draws from content developed jointly by the Fung Academy and the LF VCS team.
The videos have become building blocks in our effort to impart a “safety first” culture within LF factory partners. Recognizing that managers and workers have different roles in a facility, the Fire, Electrical, and Chemical Safety videos have two versions, one for managers and another for workers. The episodes for workers emphasize awareness of potential risks, the importance of safe behavior, and communication with managers as important factors in keeping everyone safe. On the other hand, the episodes for managers emphasize identification of risks, systematized approaches to prevention, learning from near misses, and protection of human lives as priority during emergencies.
The videos are a key part of our efforts to promote sustainable business practices in Li & Fung’s supply chain.
The videos are a key part of our efforts to promote sustainable business practices within Li & Fung’s supply chain. The fundamental building block of any workplace, especially in the manufacturing sector, is a safe workplace. In many emerging markets where regulations are not well developed or safe practices are not taken hold, a lack of education and awareness can have serious consequences.
Sustainable factory practices pave the way to operational responsibility and excellence, which are at the heart of sustainable, responsible sourcing, and with over 15,000 factories across 40 economies, the videos demonstrate how technology can enable learning in an effective, measurable and scalable manner.