Engaging Employees - Create a culture of sustainability among employees

How do we build a global team of engaged, inspired employees? We start by listening to them. We surveyed C&A employees in our regions to hear what motivates them, what they think about C&A, and what we can do better. Overwhelmingly, sustainability emerged as a key driver for their engagement. This underscores the importance of continuing our engagement on social and environmental issues.


Our findings fit with research across other industries as well. Globally, around 80% of employees in multinational businesses agree that the more socially responsible their company becomes, the more motivated and loyal they are as an employee. Understanding the vision and purpose behind C&A’s sustainability strategy builds loyalty and engagement and enables our employees to help achieve our sustainability ambitions. Investing in their learning and development—in sustainability and beyond—is also a fundamental business priority, as motivated and well-trained staff are better able to serve our customers and inspire them to act more sustainably. 

C&A employees across our regions


Employee Engagement Survey - How Our Employees View Us

Across C&A’s regions, employees see the company as valuing sustainability—and they value it, too. Sustainability emerged as the top driver for engagement at C&A. In China, 90% of our employees rate C&A as socially responsible. In Mexico, 81% see C&A as environmentally responsible. And in Europe, 81% understand how the company’s Corporate Responsibility policy refers to the way we do business. But we have more to do. For instance, in Europe, just 60% agree with the statement, “My manager encourages me to take into account sustainability principles in my day-to-day work."

In 2016, the survey will also ask employees to rate C&A on our contributions to community, society, and the environment. We will use 2016 as a baseline to track performance against our 2020 goals.


Why employees give us high marks for sustainability

Five primary factors contribute to our employees’ ratings on sustainability:

  1. Company values – As a family-run company, our values are sacred to us. In all our markets, employees know that we respect the individual and give people the space to operate.
  2. C&A Foundation – C&A Foundation aspires to support a fair and sustainable apparel industry in which everyone can thrive, and has been visible with our employees by supporting global campaigns like Inspiring Women.
  3. Volunteering - Through Instituto C&A—part of C&A Foundation—store employees in Brazil have long been active in community volunteering on adolescent education, a topic of national interest. In Mexico, Fundación C&A—also part of C&A Foundation—hosts an annual volunteering day where employees can support their communities.
  4. Giving programmes - Across C&A stores in Europe, employees identify grassroots organizations that are working to improve lives in their communities, and C&A Foundation provides a small grant as core support. These community investments engage stores, employees, and customers.
  5. Activation campaigns – Whenever we promote a new customer awareness campaign, we also launch an activation campaign with staff to educate and engage them. For instance, our in-store bio cotton campaign was accompanied by an employee programme on the benefits of bio cotton.

  6. How we’re using the employee survey results

    Listening to our employees is just the first step. We have to apply what they’ve told us if we’re going to become even better, even more sustainable. And with stores in 23 countries, this means adapting employee engagement to national and local contexts. At the same time, we want to bring employees together to make a sustainable impact, so we’re building a more global C&A community—one based on shared principles and sustainability commitments.

    In 2015, we put in place a new global sustainability structure with regional roadmaps to increase awareness, engage employees, and meet global targets. Our regions are now empowered to execute the global strategy, while honouring the issues most relevant to their employees and markets.

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Inspiring Women

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increase employee sustainability engagement scores.

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employees took part in the first global C&A engagement campaign.

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Volunteering in our communities

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C&A Brazil volunteers carried out 1,800 activities, helping 15,000 children.

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Equality and diversity

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of employees in Europe have been provided with training.

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