Environmental, social and governance: the worker voice app

ESG is not a new concept, the definition has been in use for many years. It is a fundamental part of the social contract between business and society and usually managed as part of “CSR” or Corporate Social Responsibility. The worker voice app is a core component in the delivery of ESG compliance.

Find out more about ESG with this one minute guide: here.

Find out more why social and governance are important with this one minute guide: here.

And ESG is reaching a higher and higher profile across the world – see this McKinsey article for more insights: here.

The worker voice app – a breakthrough

The worker app goes onto the mobile phones of workers. It enables a worker to rate his workplace across a large panel of different questions. Worker responses, combined with data on how the app is implemented and the frequency and types of responses are then combined into a “social score”. The worker voice app delivers ESG compliance for social and governance.

The social score is standardised. It can also be compared across geographies, industries, products and cultures. This means that we finally have a system which allows us to understand who is doing well and who is lagging behind – all measured by the opinion of the workers themselves.

Measure it, manage it, improve it.

Worker voice

Measuring S + G: the existing model

Systems and processes have emerged over recent decades that measure compliance with standards around social and governance issues. These systems are typically anchored around annual audits and an evidenced, self-certified process.

  1. Workplaces submit to an audit involving interviews with handful of workers and a site visit.
  2. They answer lengthy questionnaires providing evidence in support of statements made.
  3. This information is then processed into some kind of “supplier rating” and there are numerous providers of audit services and non-credit rating systems available.

These systems are pretty good, and are the best that we have. There are some issues:

  • It is not that hard to fool the system, so called “greenwashing”.
  • Workplace owners are also subject to the performance of a handful of workers in the interview processes – which makes the system somewhat of a lottery. Large scale interview processes are usually impractical.
  • Ratings are not easily comparable across providers – leaving us with a myriad of numbers, ratings, and data sources that we then need to push into some kind of sensible system.

The worker voice app – a breakthrough

The worker voice app delivers on ESG compliance for social and governance issues. Key features of the worker voice app:

  • It is real-time, and it is continuous. So this is not a survey – the app operates 365 days a year.
  • Workers are compensated for contributing their opinions.
  • Statistical models are used to spot artificial response patterns – enabling potential manipulation of the results to be detected and bad actors amongst a workforce to be detected and catered for.
  • Usage is by invitation only – so whilst the app can be downloaded from the Google play store, it cannot be used without the owner of the workplace consenting. This is important – since it is essential that we all ensure the data provided comes from the workers themselves.
  • No personal information on any worker is stored. The app simply does not know any names, mobile numbers or email addresses. No permissions are taken in respect of the app on the worker phone. It is truly anonymous.
  • For workers without smart phones, we provide a web version and tab versions that can be used on premises easily, including the ability to have questions to be read-out for workers who have limited literacy.
  • The app is available in any language, so workers can choose the language that they prefer – it only takes a day or two to create a new language version.

Imagine ..

The worker voice app is a breakthrough – a technology that allows real-time, continuous and standardised measure of social and governance compliance globally.

The social score is more than one number – it is supported by detailed diagnostic information that allows a workplace (or its corporate customers, or their retail customers) to drill down into details and understand where issues may be arising.

The implications are profound:

Workplaces:

  • Can understand how its worker feel from day to day about their treatment – seeing pretty much instantly the impact of real-world changes – for example, extra overtime, new policies, holidays, changes in rates of pay, losing or winning orders.
  • Can compare their social scores to their peers in-country and internationally – and to other types of workplaces, again both domestically and internationally. This is at the social score level and with diagnostics.

Corporate buyers:

  • Can see their global supply chains and monitor compliance in real-time with social and governance standards. They can see their top suppliers and bottom suppliers and see the movement week-to-week.
  • Can compare themselves with their peers domestically and internationally – at social score level and with diagnostics.

Retail consumers:

  • Can see the social score of the workplace(s) involved in the manufacture of the products that they are browsing – instore or online.
  • Can make purchasing decisions based upon social scores – finally, perhaps, accepting that compliance comes with a cost and, perhaps, being prepared to pay more for more compliant products.

How can I find out more?

With a global network and global coverage, talk to us.

  • More about trade finance: here
  • More about ESG: here

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  • Read more about PrimaDollar: here
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