The Ethical Toy Program partnered with MicroBenefits to pilot a large-scale worker voice program, which leverages mobile technology to make the sharing and collection of direct feedback on workplace conditions in the toy supply chain simpler. This industry pilot will deploy worker voice technology at 50 different toy factories in China.

Frontline manufacturing workers are most affected by conditions at their places of employment, but communicating directly with them at scale can be a challenge. Workplace culture, fear of retribution, or poor communication processes can prevent workers from giving direct feedback on their working conditions.

To improve communication, the Ethical Toy Program is using mobile technology to receive insights directly from frontline manufacturing workers. Mobile devices connected to the internet are ubiquitous in China. Because of the high-rate of existing usage, leveraging mobile technology to create a worker voice platform is an effective way to reach a digital generation of workers.

The Ethical Toy Program received funding from The Walt Disney Co. to pilot the worker voice technology at 50 toy factories in China, reaching thousands of workers. This pilot will use MicroBenefits’ mobile-based worker voice technology platform to deploy worker surveys in factories, improve communication, strengthen grievance channels, deploy targeted digital learning, and to gather other data on working conditions.

The Ethical Toy Program will use the MicroBenefits platform to support audits by facilitating worker surveys at scale. Workers will be given a Quick Response (QR) Code with five or six questions to answer. This new process will work in the same way as current worker interviews, but at much larger scale. Survey data will be used to validate audit findings and strengthen audit integrity.

The Ethical Toy Program will also use the platform to survey workers about their needs and concerns and to gather workers’ insights on specific issues in the workplace. These insights will inform the ongoing development of the Program’s assessments, capability building, and worker well-being initiatives.

MicroBenefits’ CompanyIQ Worker Voice platform enables the Ethical Toy Program to distribute digital education directly to workers to increase workplace safety, knowledge of workers’ rights, and to provide opportunities for personal and professional growth through gamified learning.

Findings from this pilot will inform how to best employ technology with Ethical Toy Program audits and how to efficiently integrate it into the day-to-day operations of toy factories to support workers.