Social responsible enterprise-level practices

Increasing global and local competition is a reality that many enterprises of all sized, face every day, which requires them to continually upgrade their productivity. Without continued productivity improvement, their long-term viability is doubtful as is the quantity and quality of jobs they provide. It is widely accepted that no enterprise can afford to neglect to focus on improving the productivity of its workforce.

For small-scale economic activities and particularly those in the informal economy, the challenge is even more acute as generally they are less productive compared to larger firms and provide less favourable working conditions to their workers or family members.

The main ways that enterprises can increase their productivity are through investing in fixed capital, investing in developing the competencies of their workers, achieving economies of scale, investing in innovation and technology, and adopting better business practices.

Implicit within each of the ways of increasing productivity is the understanding that the way people are treated and managed is of central importance to workplace productivity. People tend to be more motivated in the workplace if they feel appreciated and respected. Creating a positive work environment not only boosts morale but also productivity levels. Thus, workplace practices based on good labour-management relations and respect for workers¿ rights are an important means of raising productivity and creating decent work.

The promotion of decent and productive workplace practices is an integral element of the ILO's enterprise development programme. A three-part strategy is used to promote such practices, including:

  • Promotion and awareness raising - This work involves the collection and dissemination of best practice, case studies and demonstration workplaces and as such would be integral linked with the other two components of the programme.
  • Implementation - To demonstrate real workplace and productivity gains as well as provide a platform for action research, technical assistance will be provided to intermediary institution involved in enterprise development. In order to reach significant scale and to account for sector specific issues (e.g. technology) these programmes will be designed to support cluster of enterprises.
  • Research, analysis and networking - Collecting and analyzing examples of good policies and practice at national, sector and enterprise level that lead to improved workplace practices, productivity and job quality.

What's new

  1. Turin training course on: Sustainable enterprise promotion through good workplace practice and human resource management

    16 March 2009 to 27 March 2009 - Turin, Italy

    ILO constituents; executives and managers with influence on and responsibility for human resource management; enterprise development agencies.

  2. Implementing Labour Standards through Corporate Social Responsibility: tools and strategies

    30 August 2010 to 03 September 2010 - International Training Centre of the ILO (ITC-ILO), Turin, Italy

  3. Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value - How do We Get There?

    29 March 2011 to 29 March 2011 - Webinar - ILO and UN Global Compact Office

    This is a one hour webinar, convened by the ILO and the UN Global Compact Office

  4. The Labour Dimension of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): from principles to practice

    10 December 2008 to 12 December 2008 - International Training Centre of the ILO (ITC-ILO), Turin, Italy

    Audience: the course is designed for ILO constituents and professionals involved with CSR and labour practices issues, such as project managers, executives and technical experts from: Enterprises of all sectors and sizes, Workers’ and employers’ organizations and Governments

Key Resources

  1. Sustainable enterprise promotion through good workplace practice and human resource management

    01 November 2007

  2. Corporate success through people. Making International Labour Standards work for you

    10 September 2002

    Discusses the interrelationship between best management practices and international labour standards by presenting numerous case studies from both large and small companies from different regions and industries.

  3. Restructuring for corporate success. A socially sensitive approach

    05 October 2005

    Provides guidance on establishing a strategy of worker retention and worker displacement that will minimize the negative social impact of enterprise restructuring and respect the provisions of international labour standards. Looks at the reasons for workforce reduction and its impact on the individual and the company and sets out alternative options that managers should consider. Includes examples of best practice.