Within the framework of WE, dialogue is not just ‘people talking’. It is a structured process to create a desired future that gives everyone involved the opportunity to participate.
Dialogue allows all factory stakeholders (managers, workers and their representatives, factory owners) to co-create answers and work towards a desired future. In this process the dialogue participants exchange on how they want things to be, instead of concentrating on existing problems. Focusing on a desired future opens many new ways of changing the situation to a better. This process might take more time, but in creating a made to measure program it brings forth committed people who can jointly carry the necessary changes in their organisation.
This is beneficial for factories with regard to:
Work satisfaction When workers and managers start talking to each other and work together on solving problems, trust is developed. They improve their relations and feel more valued. This has a tremendous impact on wellbeing and work satisfaction. Their reaction towards problems will be more cooperative and willing. As a consequence, it will be easier to implement solutions, which can lead to better working conditions.
Knowledge sharing Workers are the masters of their machines and their tasks. If you create a platform where they experience enough trust to give more critical feedback, they start to share their knowledge. This increases the possibility of finding solutions that actually solve problems and improves decision making. Also, when workers and managers exchange honestly, workers become more aware of the complexity of running a factory and of improving working conditions.
Democratic benefit With participation win-win situations become more likely. If economic gains are invested back into social benefits for the workers, this in return will contribute to economic benefits for the factory.
The positive impact of human rights implementation has been widely documented through (scientific) research and case studies, for example through the ILO. It increases workers’ wellbeing and motivation, which, in effect, reduces high labour turnover and has a positive influence on efficient production processes. Establishing communication channels and worker representation also manages conflict better, thereby decreasing the risk of unrest and strike.