NPR published an interesting map showing that union membership has steadily declined from 1964 to 2014, so the question becomes: What are so many companies doing to become or stay union free? The answer is that they do things differently. How?
Here’s a checklist of 18 things Union Proof companies do differently:
- Union proof companies create and use new employee orientation programs that are fun, interesting and engaging from day one.
- Union proof companies develop effective communication programs so employees understand the full range of benefits available to them.
- These companies focus on training their leaders and managers to regularly communicate their union-free philosophy, making it clear that unions are not a taboo subject.
- Strong union proof companies consistently and purposefully maintain a direct connection with employees and encourage employee input.
- A union proof culture means that these companies make sure their employees are well-educated on the potential impact of unionization so they understand right-to-work laws, ambush elections, decertification, dues and fees, etc. Especially make them aware of the changes that could occur if they unionized.
- Union proof companies also install high-performing leaders skilled at developing and maintaining positive employee relations. They can motivate, support and communicate with employees.
- Companies with employees’ best interests in mind invest in the appropriate training resources to regularly engage and inspire employees, keeping them informed on topics like the company stance on unions. Resources include websites, training videos and interactive eLearning systems that reach employees wherever they may roam.
- Union proof companies also communicate their union-free philosophy to each new hire as part of their onboarding program.
- Smart companies consistently ensure that they pay competitive wages and benefits, two items that union organizers often focus on when promoting union membership.
- Union proof companies maintain safe facilities and an employee safety program that complies with state and federal regulations.
- Union proof companies know that positive employee relations means maintaining an efficient, unbiased and fair grievance system that resolves worker complaints with expediency.
- Great companies also make it a priority to develop solutions to manage effective employee communication during times of crisis, such as periods of downsizing.
- Smart, union proof companies educate employees on their rights as set forth under the National Labor Relations Act and prepare them to respond appropriately to unionization efforts.
- Union proof companies refuse to engage in unfair labor practices, which include threatening, interrogating or spying on employees.
- Companies focused on positive employee relations train their managers and supervisors on good management practices for developing positive employee relations.
- The best companies to work for also regularly review and update policies and procedures, and then communicate the changes to employees.
- Union proof companies maintain fair employee promotion policies that are rigorously enforced to prevent departmental or management favoritism or discrimination.
- Finally, union proof companies make it a point to stay current on NLRB decisions.
RELATED: Like this article? Insiders can get the FULL REPORT with examples and links, “18 Things UnionProof Companies Do Differently,” HERE.
These are just a few ways businesses can create a union proof culture; the important thing for business leaders remember is that positive employee relations – and employee welfare – are key. Business must remain diligent, however; inattention to detail can be a short route to unionization. Every factor that makes a company different from a unionized company must be monitored and maintained to keep employees happy and free of the desire to unionize.