The approach

The programme facilitates companies to strengthen
workplace relations and sustainable business

To support companies in strengthening decent work and sustainable business, Swedish Workplace Programme (SWP) provides three ways of collaboration:

Workplace Programmes

The programme facilitates an applicable and versatile approach to develop an inclusive workplace dialogue and address workplace challenges.

Sustainable Business Platforms

Regional forums for companies to discuss and share sustainability challenges, find joint solutions, and create new partnerships that contribute to sustainable business.

Global learning and sharing

Sharing of best practices on how to apply workplace cooperation to address challenges in communities and in the world of work.

Workplace Programmes

Swedish Workplace Programme (SWP) is a multi-step approach to facilitate dialogues between managers and employees with the aim to find solutions to company specific challenges.The approach is versatile and replicable, and can be used to develop sustainability of the workplace, supply chain, improve customer relations and create engagement within communities. 

Adaptable to the specific workplace

SWP establishes, trains and develops workplace committees based on mutual respect, commitment and international labour standards. By having a structure where joint goals are formulated, management and elected employees/trade union representatives can change attitudes in the workplace, thereby improving both the working environment and business operations. 

We believe that when a company places employees’ engagement at the centre of its business, it encourages and creates an inclusive work environment. This in turn enhances the company’s profile and position to attract and retain employees and increase its competitiveness.

The 6 steps for our approach at the workplace

Step 1 - Getting everyone aboard

Agree on roles and responsibilities. Create a baseline assessment to get an understanding of the challenges at the workplace (e.g. interviews and questionnaire).

Step 2 - Workplace committee

Establish or strengthen a workplace committee with representatives from both management and employees. Agree on meeting frequency and roles in the committee. Create an understanding of the importance of workplace cooperation, inclusion and how to create sustainable change.

Step 3 - Identify challenges and create an action plan

Feedback results from the baseline assessment are presented to the committee and management team to consider. The committee identifies and prioritises challenges and decides which thematic area to tackle. SWP provides capacity building by external thematic experts. A change management process is used during the programme to create sustainable change. The committee creates an action plan – from policy to practice.

Step 4 - Implementation

Activities in the plan could include: Complementary employee survey within the thematic area (if needed), training of workplace champions/peer educators, policy development, awareness activities at the workplace.

Step 5 - Learnings

Sharing of peer to peer experiences internally and insights from networks discussions. Monitor and evaluate the results of the Workplace Programme. SWP leaves the company after a period of 12-18 months.

Step 6 - Share best practice

Companies are included within network meetings where like-minded actors meet to share lessons learned and experience of SWP interventions (e.g. CEO groups, HR groups, OHS groups, etc). Companies can also share the approach within their value chain and eco-systems. SWP will share learnings with our partners and engaged companies in studies, conferences and best practice.

Sustainable Business Platforms

Forums for dialogues

Swedish Workplace Programme (SWP) utilizes platforms and networks as a catalyst for companies to engage in joint strategic discussions concerning improvements, solutions and actions taken to address local sustainability and related workplace challenges.

Companies use the dialogues as a collective tool to promote their decent work and sustainability agenda within their business environment.

Your company does not have to be involved in a Workplace Programme to participate in the sharing and dialogue session called Sustainable Business Platform. The Sustainable Business Platforms are established according to region for companies that want to address sustainability challenges and generate results in the field of Agenda 2030 and specifically the global goal 8 (decent work and economic growth).

Read about the SBPs that have been performed so far here.

Global learning and sharing

Global learning – the bigger picture

This component includes the development and diffusion of best practices and learnings from the Swedish Workplace Programme’s (SWP) iterations. To support our iterative approach, the Global learning- component provides the programme with learnings from the regional Sustainable Business Platforms (SBP) as well as from the Workplace Programmes.

The key for SWP is to create an enabling environment for learning within the programme through the peer to peer exchanges between and within companies, including the supply chain.

Contact us

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Global office

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Klarabergsviadukten 70
111 64 Stockholm


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.