Open LinkedIn for example.

You'll find good advice.

Specifically, this:

Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.


And then they also say this:

Customer satisfaction depends on employee's satisfaction.


And also:

You can't be the best place to buy if you're not the best place to work.



Don't build a company, build a family.


Ahm, yeah.

That's like a cool-sounding idea but how to get there?

The Textile /Garment Industry is the second most labor-intensive industry with the rapid growth of electronics, automobiles, telephones, tourism which are less labor-intensive has seen a migration of garment workers to other industries.

Automation is happening rapidly in Garment Industry but not everything can be automated as the retail scenario is different.

Order size are smaller, complicated, test runs are more.

What is the reason for decline of workers?

  • Is it the workplace?
  • Work pressure?
  • Salary?
  • Working conditions?
  • Bad management?

There are manufacturers who are successful in a short time and rapidly growing, what are they doing so different?

So I asked...




What are winning garment manufacturers doing to keep their employees?


You guys know me, and you know how much I LOVE examples, stories, pictures out of real life in our industry.

And that is exactly where Ms. Lien Director of HR/Labour/Trade Union of Phong Phu International in Vietnam helps us with today!

They open the curtain and share their approaches of creating good annual habits and events for their employees that yield remarkable results.

Maybe this is one of the secrets behind Phong Phu International to grow from a few hundred to 16.000 employees in 13 years and rapidly expanding to be the biggest apparel manufacturer in Asia.

Thanks so much letting us in behind the scenes!

Ms. Lien sums up this effectively as she has been a board member of the company from inception.

She says:

"We do not build factories at Phong Phu International we build families.

This has been the single most important factor as employees see the company as one big family.

The company is very diverse attracting talent from many countries like India, Sri Lanka, Italy, USA, Philippines across all tiers.

We believe in social responsibility and organize activities for employees, their families and charitable events.

Inclusion make us stronger and we believe we are in the right path."



Let's get into details and real-life examples of what that means plus looks like...

Annually 300 children of employees are invited each 1st June for the Children's Day.

Ms Lien: "This is an important event...  As children visit the workplace of the parents to learn about the work and sacrifices of the parents.

So that they understand the value of working. The event is full of activities for kids, movies, party and gifts.

The future of any country are children. PPJ believes that it’s important that children are molded with right principles to be better global citizens of the future."



Next annual event the Women’s Day  - for 200 female employees with sports activities and motivations.

Ms Lien: "Women are the backbone of the garment industry. It’s important to recognize their contributions.

PPJ promotes Women’s Day in a big way where in the management greats all the female employees and thanks them for their contribution for the company. It's normally followed by a gala lunch where the management and employees get together for celebrating the event."


Annually PPJ organizes Team Building or Year End Party for 500 employees to help them look at the development of the company and help them connect more closely.

Ms Lien: "Talent wins games but teamwork wins championships."

"The company is built on strong foundation of teams since we are vertically integrated from yarn manufacturing to fabric to garments, washing and printing.

There is a lot of inter dependency and close networking between different departments. Team building is an important activity for cross functional teams to join and bond together for “One Company –One Goal"


The Labor Conference every year and Trade Union Congress every 5 years to help management and workers so they can understand each other better.


Sustainability and positive impact for all... PPJ plants trees around facilities.  So that trees take in carbon dioxide and provide people with oxygen, clean & fresh air.

Ms Lien: "PPJ is a very strong believer of sustainability and the best way to spread this message is not only to be sustainable in manufacturing but also engage the employees in the path of sustainability, planting trees, discouraging the use of plastic, plus waste reduction. This is important as the future is all about proper utilization so that future generations have a clean green planet."  

Charity – ½ billion VND annually given to charity activities.

Charity at Nha Trang Province: support in form of money and foods to help workers repair their houses after Damprey typhoon.

PPJ supported Phong Phu Nha Trang factory 100 millions VNĐ to fix facility.


Charity at Phu Yen Province: money, rice, noodles to poor person to help them have a happy TET.

Charity at Temples: money, rice, noodles to Temples to help Orphans on TET.

PPJ employees donate approximately 50 liters of blood to hospitals every year.

Sport Activity annually organized sports activities for all employees for fun and staying fit.

Ms Lien: "Vietnam has been making great progress in sports and it’s heartening to see the younger generation actively involving in sports.

PPJ encourages sports activity across all facilities and also organizes sports days where there is competition between departments in football - this is a great motivational tool."

Now you.

Do you have annual events for your employees? What do they look like?

Which one of these would you try first?



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Thanks a lot! I read most of ur article about the fashion business.
Those are really good and it’s helps to increase my knowledge. Yes it’s really good.
And I wish u will share more of your knowledge to make us good managers.

Tanver, thank YOU for the review! I love that you are gaining so much insight from my episodes
— that truly makes my heart so happy! That’s genuinely what I strive for with all that I create.
Thank you so much for taking the time to leave me a review, it truly means so much to me!

    6 replies to "Doing not trying. Unexpected ways to keep employees in garment export"

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