Reorganisation with five works councils

Reorganisation with five works councils

A major reorganisation involving numerous phases and

Reorganisation with five works councils


A major reorganisation involving numerous phases and sub-processes had to be carried out within four business units and the head office of a Dutch multinational corporation. The complex prior consultation procedure involved five works councils, and time was of the essence. The executive board and the works councils asked the WissemaGroup to structure and facilitate the process.


A temporary codetermination structure was formulated, laid down in a covenant, and then put into practice. A key element of this was a codetermination platform composed of representatives with a mandate from all five works councils. Every stage of the sub-processes was planned in advance in accordance with a strict timetable. Consultation within the different works councils, between the different works councils, and between the works councils and the executive board was also included in the planning schedule for the process. The executive board was responsible for the process management, and the codetermination platform organised the meetings and was responsible for the prompt distribution of requests for advice, recommendations, agendas, and reports, etc., all in line with the timetable.
In order to reduce the lead time, and to enhance the impact of the codetermination, assignments and reports from the working groups and project managers were sent to the codetermination platform so it could give feedback and put forward suggestions. Consequently, right at the start of the decision preparation phase, the executive board and the codetermination platform had already exchanged ideas, instead of postponing any dialogue until the management had ‘made its intentions clear’, and submitted a request for advice to the codetermination perform.
In addition to structuring and management of this process, the WissemaGroup supported the works councils and working groups with analysis instruments, organisational structuring models, marketing concepts, calculation models, and so on.


Major decisions were discussed, formulated, and approved following a strict timetable. The plans, ideas, and solutions of the management and executive board were enriched and reinforced by the input and ideas from all levels of the organisation. Although the end result had a considerable impact on a large number of employees on a personal level, there was a broad understanding of the need for the changes and general acceptance of the chosen direction and solutions.