Best practices

Built from knowledge and experience

The best practices we share are a compilation of best practices and lessons learnt from iterations of the programme and the peer to peer network. We will continue to share new best practices, cases and studies during the programme.

The Swedish Workplace Programme (SWP) is centered around addressing three strategic areas: Decent Work, Sustainable Business and Partnerships. Each of these areas include a wide variety of themes important to any company who wants to instill their policies in the company culture and to fulfill their objectives towards Agenda 2030. These themes can include skills development, gender equality, occupational health & safety, as well as diversity and inclusion.

Dialogue and cooperation

The main goal of dialogues in the workplace is to promote consensus building and democratic involvement among the main stakeholders in the world of work. Successful dialogue structures and processes have the potential to resolve important economic and social issues, encourage good governance by supporting the implementation of policies to practice, and boost economic progress.

Diversity and inclusion

The benefits of diversity in the workplace include higher revenue, more innovation, better decision making, higher rates of job acceptance and better performance. Diversity in the workplace is the “what” while inclusion is the “how”. Making diversity a priority is important, but the next logical step is creating a culture where all personnel feel included. Inclusivity is key for maintaining (not just creating) diversity in the workplace.

Youth perspective on a diverse society

SWP promote conversations on how our differences present unique opportunities to grow and improve as a society.

SWP and the corporate partners in Colombia support this in many ways. The latest activity is a dialogue with children and youth on their perspective of what a diverse society is.

Watch the video created by SWP’s partners in Colombia.

Equality awareness

In Colombia, SWP partners with SKF Latin Trade and support its work in gender equality.

SWP and SKF in Colombia choose to challenge biases and stereotypes in the workplace and throughout broader society by generating inclusive dialogue about gender.

Watch the video to the right to learn more about the equality awareness initiatives by SKF Latin Trade that strengthen the dialogue.

Equality and diversity

Watch the video to the left about our insights on inclusion for equality and diversity together with our partnering company Atlas Copco Colombia. 

Business cases

The Business Case section serves as a source of inspiration and wealth of knowledge for our current and future partnering companies. Discover and learn more about the employee driven initiatives and the impact they have had in the workplace as a result of the approach.

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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.