Paris – March 24, 2022 – B4IG, a global CEO-led coalition of major companies partnering with the OECD to fight against inequalities, publishes its Responsible Transformation Guidelines.
Now that transformation is a permanent dimension of our economies, how can we ensure that any restructuring process considers socio-economic impacts and considers employees fairly, thereby avoiding the reinforcement of inequalities?
To answer these questions and help members and the wider business community in this process, B4IG has brought together a Working Group on Responsible Transformation, led by Michelin and Unilever, and encompassing Accenture, Danone, JAB, Hitachi, and Schneider Electric. This group held several working sessions focusing on companies’ experiences and efforts, and shared learnings to develop a holistic framework for adopting inclusive and responsible practices.
The ‘Responsible Transformation Guidelines’ have been adopted by the B4IG Board, with the objective of contributing to a more responsible and inclusive way to manage restructurings, by encouraging open dialogue and knowledge transfers across the global business community.
These Responsible Transformation guidelines contain eleven inclusive actions and are presented under three main pillars, each of them illustrated with several examples, to explain:
- How a company prepares for transformation by creating and investing in a culture of continuous learning and adaptation.
For example, a leading technology and consulting B4IG member company is investing in tools that utilise machine learning to scan the CVs of displaced workers for skills, as well as scanning the market for jobs, assessing the associated skills gaps between the two, and proposing learning curricula to prepare those workers for future jobs.
- How a company can proactively plan the transformation and implement a step-by-step procedure, from designing the plan, to engaging stakeholders, to preparing reskilling/upskilling programs.
For example, an agri-food company of B4IG helps understand existing organisational, social and human stakes and provides a complete toolkit to (1) negotiate with social partners, (2) identify future jobs, (3) build training programmes, (4) support each employee to develop their future re-skilling and up-skilling training modules through a 2-year training journey.
- How a company can provide support to vulnerable workers and related communities as well as prevent discrimination in the restructuring process.
Several B4IG companies have incorporated individual and collective group pathways through which employees discuss interests, are provided small business workshops and assisted to discover alternative internal job opportunities as well as external employment within the ecosystem and/or outside.
The Guidelines also offer a set of KPIs for companies to measure and monitor the progress of each inclusive action and whenever applicable, outcome indicators are presented for usage. At B4IG, we believe that a clear distinction is required between output indicators, used to evaluate the effectiveness of an action or program, and outcome indicators, that measure their impact.
The complete version of the Responsible Transformation Guidelines is available on the B4IG website.
Florent Menegaux, Michelin CEO, declared: “Responsible restructuring must become the norm, not the exception. It’s not about damage control. It’s about translating a difficult business decision into new opportunities and solutions for people and communities involved. Our stakeholders demand it. Our employees of course, but also investors, partners, customers, public authorities, etc. This is not a Public Relation stunt. It is a strategic decision.”
Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Schneider Electric CEO, stated: “What is particularly important in the Responsible Transformation Guidelines and in any restructuring process, is the efforts that should be carried out before the process. Being responsible in restructuring essentially entails anticipating as much as the company can.”
Jean-Marc Ollagnier, CEO of Accenture Europe shared: “Responsible transformation means helping people grow their skills and find opportunities for the long-term. This is even more true in today’s world, where the scope and speed of transformations are unprecedented, requiring skills to evolve at fast pace. Implementing reskilling and upskilling initiatives, as well as a culture of continuous learning, will not only ensure that companies have the right talent to support their transformation, but will also benefit society overall.”
Camille Putois, B4IG CEO, declared: “As the global economy is now going through a fundamental transformation, ranging from decarbonisation to digitalisation, the risk of increased inequality is real and significant. We share these guidelines with an acute awareness of the difficulties that companies have had and will have to go through. Strong business action and effective partnerships between the private sector, governments and trade union for responsible transformations are more critical than ever.”
- Marie Brambilla Bas – firstname.lastname@example.org /+33 (0) 6 23 09 72 74
About B4IG: Business for Inclusive Growth (B4IG) is a global CEO-led coalition of major companies fighting against inequalities of income and opportunity. With the OECD as its Strategic Partner, B4IG coordinates with governments to advance inclusive growth at both global and local levels. More information on www.b4ig.org.