Modernising social dialogue – from conflict to culture of dialogue-
production company, 1400 employees, France.


  • Constant conflicts between unions and employer
  • Inability to make changes
  • Constant social legal conflicts in court
  • Heavy loss-making organisation
  • Foreign headquarters wants profitability or closure
  • Very frustrated executives
  • Employees speak openly about the lack of vision
  • Employee satisfaction survey
    < 40%


  • Average productivity of full-time employee < 5 hours/day
  • Works councils and safety committees take a very long time without any contribution to improving the situation
  • Accidents 50% higher compared to other companies in the group due to non-compliance with guidelines
  • Managers not visible among the people
  • In the past only exchange of strictly necessary information
  • A large number of pending issues have remained unresolved for years
  • Poor reputation in labour court



  • Map out non-productive activities and ‘root cause’ analysis
  • Listening exercises at all levels and analysis of satisfaction surveys from recent years
  • Analysis of all court cases in recent years, in search of causes
  • Map out the necessary information for employees, works council, safety committee and managers
  • Draw up a structured formal communication plan
  • Establish informal communication
  • Leadership training for both front line and senior executives
  • Modernisation of the HR approach (with the same employees)


  • Accidents at the average level for the group
  • From conflict situations to consultation and exchange of information
  • Managers involved in the daily activities of the employees
  • Coaching of the senior management team on how to deal effectively with ‘difficult’ employee representatives
  • In one year from < 5 productive hours to > 6 with very positive consequences for the operating result already in the first year
  • 3-year pathway to profitability because the necessary changes can be made.