Social Dialogue play an important role during a crisis

Social Dialogue is defined as, “Negotiation, consultation, or simply the exchange of information among representatives of governments, employers and employees, at a regional, sectorial and/or workplace level.” Applying social dialogue is an innovative approach to crisis management.

The key advantages of adopting a social dialogue approach include the promotion of human rights within the workplace. Social dialogue is instrumental in addressing the concerns of the employer and the employee as challenges and solutions can be handled jointly.

The approach promotes a sense of fairness, ownership and trust, which is known to reduce stigmas within the workplace, promote gender inclusiveness and favor productive relations between management and employees. Employee morale and productivity are as well likely to increase. The positive effects of social dialogue are felt not only through the employees but as well through their families, communities and societies.

Companies sharing cases

During the SWP webinar in April who gathered 48 participants from Sub-Saharan Africa, companies shared experience on their practical implementation of the promotion of the dialogue between management and employees.

Scania Kenya

Githaiga Kamwenji (HR Director Scania East Africa) shared that they have established crisis committees made up of both management and employees tasked with establishing local solutions for promoting business continuity. The committee has also been a key tool in ensuring the discussion on labour issues. It was noted that there are labour issues of concern which have come up due to the COVID -19 pandemic. These relate to sick leave, possibility of shift work, introduction of short time and possible retrenchment in some cases as businesses have been recording a slump in productivity adjustments, which has made social dialogue a crucial part of the running of day to day business.

Sodeico Group DRC

A case study from the DRC was shared which demonstrated the positive outcomes of fostering partnerships beyond the workplace, where strategies, innovations and solutions can be shared. As shared by Djo Moupondo (Executive Director of Sodeico Group), they have established partnerships with suppliers, customers and government which has enabled their implementation of strategies where they have secured business continuity and ensured that employees are safeguarded.

More recent highlights


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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.