Social relations management

Multinational, European region, 12.000 employees


  • A history of difficult and unproductive meetings, very formal, one way communication. EWC considered a necessary evil consuming time and resources without adding value.
  • Senior leaders not comfortable sharing financial and operational data with employee representatives.
  • Employee representatives quickly turning to legal advice and engaging experts even for smaller topics.
  • Very formal annual meetings and select committee meetings.


  • With listening sessions, information, ideas, suggestions, learnings, roadblocks were collected to launch a cultural change.
  • Effective two way communication showing that sharing of information is beneficial to all. Senior leaders learn about the organization and employee representatives understand he preoccupation of senior leaders.
  • Walking luncheons, working dinners, limiting presentations and focusing on dialogue and exchange, from very formal to less formal.
  • Using external advisors as subject matter experts vs having them steer the meetings


  • In less than 1 year meetings became much more productive and far less expensive. Time to prepare got reduced and tone of the meetings became much more friendly.
  • All stakeholders learned that moving together without necessarily agreeing upon everything is possible and even productive.
  • EWC meetings and exchanges helped move forward big change programs and allowed projects to finish within the expected timeline.
  • Working with the EWC seen as a development opportunity and not a punishment.


business transformation moving forward in Europe in a much more effective manner
Constructive social relations = great change management