Engaging employees Driving purpose through sustainability

We believe motivated and engaged employees are the key to C&A’s success. Our store staff are the ones who create special relationships with our customers. We need to understand what makes employees feel valued and motivated, so that they can play their part in creating great customer experiences and engaging them in the issues that move them. 

Many employees – especially those from younger generations – want to feel a sense of purpose from their work. In addition, our 2018 consumer survey shows that globally, ‘treating employees well’ is a reputational strength for C&A and that our performance in this area is perceived to be strong.In 2018, we continued focusing on employee engagement as a key lever for sustainability at C&A and beyond.

Inspiring World

Listening to our employees

Equality and Diversity

Learning and Development

Our 2018 actions

Continue to roll out C&A Employee Code of Ethics across our global retail markets.

Ask employees to rate C&A on our contribution on the community, society, and environment via the employee engagement survey.
Engage employees worldwide through the Inspiring World campaign.

Our 2018 performance

Employee engagement remains high

Involving employees in sustainability takes many forms in our four regions, but generally includes information, training, or direct engagement opportunities. The first step, of course, is listening to them.

  • In 2018, our employee engagement survey was extended to 1,079 employees in C&A Mexico, our largest sample size to date in this region. Within C&A Mexico’s corporate office, employee engagement remained high, and 90% of employees said they felt proud of C&A’s contribution on the community, society and environment.
  • In Brazil, we conducted a full employee survey for our headquarters and distribution centres, and a pulse survey for store employees during August and September 2018. A total of 5,278 employees were invited to take part, and 5,042, or 96%, participated — an extremely high response rate. Employees reported 90% favourability on the question related to understanding how C&A’s sustainability practices and actions are related to our employees’ work. In addition, employees reported 92% favourability on their pride in C&A’s contribution to communities, society, and the environment.
  • In China, the 2018 employee engagement survey also included two questions on sustainability, aligned with the questions asked in Brazil. 86% of employees strongly agreed that they understood how sustainability practices are related to their job. More than 93% felt proud of C&A’s contribution to communities, society, and the environment.

Inspiring first-year outcomes for Inspiring World

In 2018, we launched our next campaign, Inspiring World, encouraging employees to share their input and stories of a better world, and partnering with C&A Foundation to donate over €1 million to charities chosen by employees. The objective of this campaign is to build C&A employees’ capacity to support our 2020 sustainability goals by engaging them over three years on campaigns aligned with Sustainable Lives, Sustainable Products, and Sustainable Supply. During its first year, the campaign involved:

  • 65% of C&A global employees
  • 21 countries and six sourcing hubs
  • Forty-five charities, which shared a collective €1 million in donations from C&A Foundation, benefitting more than 250,000 people

Although our successful, multi-year campaign Inspiring Women has evolved, we remain committed to improving the situation of women worldwide: in our own company, in our supply network, and in communities around the world. Women are the driving force behind the apparel industry and our brand. Just as the majority of our customers and employees are women, so are most of the people making our clothes. Yet around the world, women have less access to education, earn less money and are more at risk of violence. But it doesn’t have to be this way. When women are educated, healthy and economically empowered, families, and communities can thrive. Through partnerships with C&A Foundation and others, as well as diligent programmes to ensure safe and fair workplaces throughout our supply chain, we are working to lift and empower women throughout the apparel industry.

Who we’re working with

Engaging employees to make sustainability the norm

We want employees to be empowered and motivated to build sustainable practices into their day-to-day roles. We believe in bringing out the best in us all, so that together we can bring out the best in our customers, their families, and their local communities. By engaging employees through our sustainability initiatives, giving back, and assisting in our work on strengthening communities, we can make the most of these opportunities.

Contracts and terms of employment

At C&A, our all employees are provided a contract where the terms and conditions of employment are clearly defined.  Each employee has the opportunity to review and understand the implications of thier contracts prior to signing.    Our contractual process follows the local labour laws in the countries that we operate and contains important information related to type of employement, working hours/rest breaks, effective dates, benefits provided to the employee, termination conditions, disciplinary actions, notice period, disciplinary actions and the dispute process.  Learn more about C&A as an employer here.



Brazil: Engaging employees in #WearTheChange

Making sure store employees are familiar with and excited about #WearTheChange positions them to be sustainability ambassadors with our customers. In Brazil, a multifaceted employee engagement campaign introduced employees to the platform and kept momentum going throughout 2018. Activities included:

  • Launched #WearTheChange concurrent with a Cradle to Cradle CertifiedTM Products collection.
  • Gave a #WearTheChange T-shirt to all employees — more than 15,000 T-shirts total — encouraging them to post selfies and videos wearing the T-shirt on social media; almost 700 photos were provided, and the employees who received more likes in social media channels won a kit that enables more sustainable habits.
  • Held Webex session trainings for employees, provided managers with scripts to use during the daily employee meetings, included the campaign in the internal newsletter, and provided additional email promotions.
  • Used in-store communications, including window displays, product racks, and informational audio played in stores, known as ‘audiostore’.
  • In the Brazil headquarters employee cafeteria, played the video clip produced in partnership with Brazilian singer Mahmundi, hosted karaoke where employees could sing the song, and set up an Instagrammable space, where they could take photos for posting online.
  • Invited employees to join our public C&A Fashion Futures events.

Read more about #WearTheChange