Operators' Incentive Scheme in the garment industry

The garment manufacturing sector is a highly labor-intensive industry. Many found It hard to motivate shop floor workers and getting the target production.  

But there is a way.

Garment export houses find a way to keep their employees (sewing operators, helpers, checkers, and line supervisor.) happy as much as possible by giving them chance to increase their take home. You might be interested to learn how garment manufacturers do it. They provide performance incentives to their employees.

Garment factory incentive scheme
Image source: Indiamart.com

In this post, I will show common practices followed by garment manufacturers based on my experience.

Types of Incentives Schemes

1. Individual incentives: 

Operators are paid incentives based on their individual performance. Individual performance is measured in efficiency%. (Efficiency%=Produced minutes*100/Available minutes). 

To earn incentives operators need to achieve up to a certain efficiency percentage (called as target efficiency). Individual operator efficiency% to become eligible for earning incentive are different for different factories. Also, criteria for earning incentives per point of increment are different. For example, an export house gives an incentive after reaching 40% while other export house keeps minimum efficiency at 50% to earn an incentive.

2. Group incentives: 
In group incentive, line output is considered for calculating incentive for the line. Individual performance is not considered here. The aim is to increase line output. If line efficiency or line output reaches the target, all sewing operators get an equal amount of incentives.

3. Part individual and part group incentives: 
Garment manufacturers calculate the total incentive amount considering part amount based on individual performance and the rest amount from group performance.

4. Different incentive schemes for employee categories: 
On a sewing floor, there are employees other than sewing operators. Like, line checkers, helpers, feeders, line supervisors. All these employees are included in the performance incentive scheme. As they are producing garments directly their individual performance can't be measured. They are given incentives based on the line performance (i.e. based line output).

Distribution of incentive earnings:

Incentive money is distributed weekly or monthly basis. Daily earning of individuals are added together and monthly earning is calculated. Or incentive amount is set based on weekly average performance level. As per my opinion, the weekly distribution of incentive amounts is more effective.

Conditions applied while providing incentives

To earn an incentive operator need to attend a minimum of days in a month (or in a week). Operators need to work minimum hours in a defined period to earn incentives. 

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