Supervisors Can Keep You Union Free

Anyone well-versed in employee engagement will tell you that your front-line supervisors are the key to retention and productivity. Investing the time and budget necessary to properly train your managers pays dividends in multiple ways and for years to come. From recruiting the best talent to building a great culture, your employee-facing leaders are the key to success. Even more importantly, your supervisors can keep you union free.

Don’t Be Overwhelmed By Modern Organizing Tactics

Unions are seeing opportunities to bring in new members like never before. It’s easier for them to market and reach employees, and employees are increasingly responsive. They’re targeting workers on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Unions are providing a multitude of ways to spread their message among employee groups, long before you, as an employer, even know what’s going on.

What Can I Do?

The UnionProof team at Projections has fielded this question a lot lately. The good news is, that while this new organizing dynamic does pose a challenge for companies, it’s not an insurmountable one. By recognizing the challenges of keeping your company union free early on, you’re one step ahead of the game.  First, start with these 7 Helpful Tips To Prevent A Union From Organizing.

Then, craft your communication strategy. You’ll want to include employees, supervisors, and even address your overall company culture. You can begin with 5 days to a UnionProof strategy.

implementing effective employee communication in the workplace

Reactive Vs. Proactive

Today, employees expect information – they expect you to have all the answers, and quickly!  Years ago, companies could choose to wait to communicate about unions until after they saw that a union campaign was underway.

Today, being reactive is no longer an option. Unions are organizing online. Cards are being signed electronically, and unions give their sales pitch via text, even Messenger. It’s happening more quickly and more frequently that most companies have time for. If you wait until you’ve got active cardsigning, your communications are often costly and exhausting. In order to fully educate your workforce about unions, and the risks of unionization, you must become proactive – and that means engaging your employees on the subject of unions, now – well before a union comes calling.

Educate Supervisors First

In a proactive environment, your supervisors and managers will be your ongoing connection to your workforce – so you must educate them first. Give them the basics by starting with Your Best Defense, a video that takes just 15 minutes to show but provides them with a solid foundation on which to build their knowledge and skills.

Then, you’ll want to give your managers access to additional, powerful real-world video examples that help them understand what to say and do. Provide your supervisors with interactive exercises that teach, reinforce and show them how to put into practice the principles they’ve learned. This kind of training will give you your first – and strongest – line of defense against union organizing attempts.

Get LaborWise!

The #1 union prevention eLearning program for supervisors, LaborWise Leadership can provide your front-line leaders with exactly what they need. LaborWise Leadership is a comprehensive, ten-session eLearning program designed to help your front-line leaders understand how they can be affected by unions, and how they can help make unions unnecessary in their workplace.

Far from the “union avoidance” rhetoric of the past, LaborWise Leadership offers new ways in which supervisors can keep you union free. With micro-sessions of under 3 minutes each, your leaders can easily fit this training into their schedules. (See full Course Outline, here) Plus, you’ll receive full, comprehensive compliance reporting, so you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing which supervisors and managers have successfully completed their labor relations training.

Empower your front-line leaders with the knowledge they need to address employee concerns and questions without the danger of an Unfair Labor Practice charge! Make sure your supervisors are aware, educated and confident in their ability to help you maintain a direct connection with employees.

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About the author

Walter Orechwa

Walter is Projections’ CEO and the founder of UnionProof & A Better Leader. As the creator of Union Proof Certification, Walter provides expert advice, highly effective employee communication resources and ongoing learning opportunities for Human Resources and Labor Relations professionals.