El Salam for Ready Made Garments success story
New Company, New Culture
El Salam for readymade garments is a new company in Ismailia. While its founders were in the business of importing clothes, the newly added taxation and floatation of the Egyptian pound forced them into changing their practice.
The group of young owners decided to venture into the garment industry by establishing a factory in July 2016. With over 200 workers producing jeans for men and children, the founders had a rare opportunity to establish their own organisational culture - but it didn’t come without its set of challenges.
Sameh Mohamed, one of the founders and manager of El Salam, explains that they had trouble enforcing their own policy on their supervisors who had already been established and gained experience in other companies. The management wanted to ensure that the workers were being treated well, with respect, and that rules were followed and no favouritism took place. But the supervisors already had their own management style, and it wasn’t based on that.
“We quickly saw differences in their attitudes with both the management and the workers,” Sameh commented on the SST. “The training helped them best utilise the experiences they have in their work. The positive work environment also contributes to lowering the turnover rate of workers. When a worker stays longer we can invest in training them, elevating their expertise or give them promotions.”
Mohamed Ahmed, a supervisor and one of the participants of the training explains that the SST provided them with what they lacked in interpersonal skills.
“This training really opened my mind beyond work, it wasn't just about work or production,” he says. “At home my family was affected by the training. If you look at the training from outside, it's about work but in essence it's about improving relationships between yourself and others.”
Mohamed Ibrahim, another supervisor and training participant says that the positive work environment has an impact on production. “Personal relationships create trust between us and the workers, it means that I support them and in return, they support me” he explains. “Even if sometimes I have to ask for overtime because we're late on a deadline or something, they will be willing to step in happily.”
The Supervisory Skills Training is provided through KHATWA for improving job quality. KHATWA aims at raising the awareness about the importance of job quality and at paving the way for SMEs to do so. Its success lies in establishing close networks with SMEs nationwide, thereby significantly influencing employment potentials.
KHATWA’s endeavors are piloted under the umbrella of the Federation for Economic Development Associations (FEDA) and supported by the Labour Market Access Project (LMAP), implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).