Implementing worldwide restructuring,
International group production units, 12,000 employees,
present in 15 countries.

  • Multiple factories are being utilised for less than 50% with high overheads
  • Conflictual social relations in several countries, little dialogue
  • Social disputes usually result in judicial intervention
  • Factories have been making losses for years
  • Parent company wants profitable factories or closure
  • Necessary changes are not getting implemented

ANALYSIS

  • Listening sessions show lack of alignment about the strategy to be applied
  • No integrated European action plan, just a number of ad hoc plans
  • European works council asks questions about the transnational implications
  • Works councils in the various countries demand clarity
  • In a number of countries, actions have been taken in court to clarify the situation
  • Lots of changes in a short time with little resources and follow-up
  • No proactive approach from the social partners to provide context for the changes
  • Management credibility in certain locations is an issue
  • First line supervisors have no answers to questions from their team members

APPROACH

  • Vision and mission workshop with executive team to get everyone on the same wavelength
  • Project charter and project team to develop an operational plan for this project
  • Mapping all changes and determining priorities within the organisation
  • Plan drawn up to gain the trust of trade unions step by step through a transparent policy and to make them aware of the importance of changes to ensure the future of the factories through a “didactic approach”.
  • Formal and informal communication structure set up with social partners
  • Concrete agreements about how to relate to each other in a more constructive way
  • Formal and informal communication structure set up with social partners
  • Concrete agreements about how to relate to each other in a more constructive way

RESULTS

  • Cascade for the implementation of the strategy has been introduced
  • Communication of the content from the listening sessions has worked as a catharsis. Employees have finally been able to make their complaints public
  • The approach of the unions was critically examined by employees who are open to improvements (future)
  • Focus on the strategy and practical implementation with concrete proposals and actions (step-by-step plan over 18 months)
  • Teams work better together and understand how they depend on each other to achieve results
  • Relationship with unions is less formal and less tense
  • Increase in employee engagement through clear communication and less stressful discussions with unions