Collaboration decreased employee turnover

Workers from the shop floor and middle management gather around a large conference table at Dayeon Bi Jou, a jewelry factory about 1.5 hours south of Hanoi by car. It is time for the collaboration committee’s monthly meeting.

Dayeon Bi Jou manufactures and sells jewelry to H&M and other brands. The factory has just over 100 employees, and most are women. The collaboration committee was established as a platform for dialogue between managers and employees and consists of 13 members, one worker from each production line and mid-level managers representing different functions.

Quang Trinh, from the sales department, sees the collaboration committee as an effective tool to drive improvements in the factory.

“This is a totally new way of working for us. Through the committee, we get valuable input from all departments. It is also a good way to anchor and spread information within the factory.”

One of the first challenges the committee tackled was the high turnover rate among new workers. The committee members raised the issue with their colleagues on the factory floor and through dialogue it was discovered that the way older staff treated new hires was the root cause for the high turnover rate. As a result, the collaboration committee developed guidelines for introducing new employees which top-level management approved.

“We have already seen a decrease in the number of new workers leaving the factory since we started with the new guidelines,” says Quang Trinh from the sales department.

“We have already seen a decrease in the number of new workers leaving the factory since we started with the new guidelines”

Quang Trinh, Sales Department

Proud to be able to contribute

This is the seventh meeting. At first, the workers appear a bit reserved, and it is mostly the managers who speak up. However, as time passes, the workers become more engaged and actively participate in the discussions. The atmosphere is friendly and relaxed, and a range of concerns raised by the workers are addressed, including how to manage hazardous waste, improving staff planning, and that the scissors in the production are not user-friendly.

One of the worker representatives in the committee, Tran Thi Thuy, from the warehouse department, shares that she feels proud to represent her colleagues.

“If we discuss a problem in my department, I can bring it up in the committee where we often find a solution. It feels good to be able to contribute,” she says.

In addition to addressing ongoing concerns, committee members have carried out structured needs assessment discussions with their colleagues in their respective departments to gather ideas on areas that need to be improved.

Trust and respect

Committee members have received training in soft skills to increase confidence and create a culture where they truly listen to each other.

Chu Thi Khanh, who works in the gliding department, shares that her role as a worker representative on the committee has contributed to her personal growth.

“At first, I was too nervous to speak during the meetings and I didn’t know what to say. Even though I am still shy, I am starting to feel more comfortable speaking,” she says.

The collaboration committee was established through a partnership between Dayeon Bi Jou and the Swedish Workplace Programme. The programme is financed by Sweden and supports companies to create a structure for dialogue between managers and employees as well as a culture where everyone can make their voice heard. 

“In Vietnam, we have a hierarchical business culture. In many workplaces it is common that employees simply do what is required and no more, even though it is often the employees who know best how to solve the problems in the areas they are working in,” says Nguyen Thu Hien, regional coordinator for the Swedish Workplace Programme in Vietnam.

“However, the most important factor is to create a culture of safety within the committee, permeated by trust and respect where everyone, not only managers, feels confident to speak up and feels listened to,” she says.

Challenging in the beginning

Nguyen Thu Hien’s role is to coach the chair and the vice chair of the committee on how to run a committee. This includes, for example, coaching on the importance of having a set and clear meeting agenda, that everyone is given the opportunity to speak, and that meeting minutes are shared with all employees. Furthermore, to institutionalise the new structure, she has supported the committee with developing a terms of reference, including roles and responsibilities, that now has been signed off by top management.

“However, the most important factor is to create a culture of safety within the committee, permeated by trust and respect where everyone, not only managers, feels confident to speak up and feels listened to,”

Nguyen Thu Hien, Regional coordinator for the Swedish Workplace Programme in Vietnam

Quang Trinh admits that it was challenging to form the committee and that they did not really understand the committee’s purpose in the beginning. However, they have learned, and he now finds it rewarding to see the results of the committee’s work.

“I think that we all feel that what we are doing is valuable, both for ourselves and for the factory as a whole,” he says.

After 1,5 hours and with several new items on the to do list this months’ committee meeting is over and the members return to their respective departments to continue their workday.


Evalena Persson, Programme Manager SWP Asia

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This executive summary presents the findings from the study “Workplace Cooperation: Finding Practical Solutions in the Colombian Context,” conducted by the Fundación Ideas para la Paz (FIP). The study evaluates the added value of the Swedish Workplace Programme (SWP) dialogue and cooperation model within the Colombian labor market.

Throughout 2022, FIP dedicated efforts to thoroughly understand the SWP model, including its concept, foundations, implementation process, and contributions to the labor market. In 2023, FIP documented the experiences of three companies—SKF Latin Trade, Securitas, and Epiroc—that implemented the SWP model in practice. The study also included face-to-face workshops to gather feedback from various stakeholders including civil society, businesses, government, academia, and international cooperation. The findings suggest that the SWP model has the potential to strengthen labor relations, contribute to decent work, and resolve workplace conflicts in Colombia.

The case studies highlight the importance of collaboration between employers and workers to promote decent work and sustainable development in Colombia. They demonstrate that social dialogue facilitates worker participation in labor decision-making, enhances their representativeness, and promotes cooperation between employers and employees, thus improving labor relations and contributing to the well-being of both employees and companies.

The SWP model is particularly noted for improving workplace relationships and commitment to jointly finding solutions to challenges faced by workers and the company. It empowers workers, enhances leadership, and helps integrate business policies into daily practices, reducing the initial disconnect between management objectives and the day-to-day realities of workers. The study also highlights the model’s capacity to manage conflicts constructively, transforming the perception of conflict as an opportunity for improvement. Structured dialogues deepen understanding of the underlying causes of conflicts, fostering empathy and facilitating effective resolution. This promotes a culture of collaboration and a democratic approach to decision-making, building trust.

Additionally, the model is recognized for enabling workers to make decisions, identify challenges, and propose solutions that impact their well-being, and bridging gender gaps in the workplace. Its inclusive approach adapts to the unique needs and characteristics of each company, promoting a stronger and more diverse organizational culture. It also drives good work performance and productivity by involving workers in problem identification and resolution, as well as in implementing improvements and efficiently identifying ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) risks for companies.

The document identifies the SWP model’s added value in empowering direct interaction among labor stakeholders in Colombia, overcoming historical or cultural reservations, and contributing to the development of stronger labor relations and improved workplace environments in the country.

Challenges and opportunities of the model are also discussed. The study points out the importance of addressing value chain risks, particularly in a global context where corporate clients demand decent work processes and due diligence. It emphasizes the need to integrate SMEs into this process and use anchor companies as drivers of social dialogue throughout the value chain. The role of the state in social dialogue and the importance of highlighting the benefits of the model for adoption across various business sectors are discussed.

The opportunities of the model include raising awareness of human rights in the workplace in line with the United Nations Guiding Principles (UNGP), to strengthen due diligence, manage risks, promote long-term sustainability, and improve organizational culture. The document also underscores the importance of involving workers in change processes, leveraging their insights for continuous improvement of processes, and fostering innovation opportunities. Lastly, it suggests replicating the model in value chains to address work environment risks and gender biases, involving suppliers and contractors, and integrating the model into corporate policies to strengthen existing programs and transform organizational culture towards resource efficiency and effective participation of employers and workers.