A union organizing campaign happens quickly, which is why some companies maintain a preventive union organizing campaign website and don’t wait for a union organizing campaign to start to go live with a union-free website. If you are a business owner, you may wonder how you should go about tracking your union campaign website. Most companies choose to maintain a dark website and only go live when the company gets wind the union is getting active, or a union organizing campaign starts.
Either way – live now or live later – the ultimate goal of a union campaign website is employee engagement. A union campaign website is a tool for employee-employer relationship building. The only real way to know if it’s effective is by developing and monitoring union campaign metrics.
UnionProof offers powerful communication tools and web solutions for employers to create a culture where unions simply aren’t necessary. As business owners, you may wonder how you should be tracking your union campaign website. Additionally, you may want to know how much a custom campaign website costs. The cost will vary depending on several factors, but most importantly, it is essential to get a union campaign website in place before you need it.
Is the Website Getting the Job Done?
The overarching goal of the union organizing website is that employees who visit the site find the information needed to fully understand their employer’s perspective on unions and the reasoning behind it, their legal rights, and the full impact unions have on employee lives. The message is delivered with webpage text, videos, interactive elements, and responses to employee questions prepared by a labor relations professional.
The only way to know if the website is working is to measure its effectiveness with metrics or analytics. Union campaign metrics can:
- Take the guesswork out of knowing if your company message is reaching employees
- Pinpoint what is or is not working on the website
- Guide ongoing website maintenance needed to improve employee engagement
- Gauge the interest level that employees have in unionizing and whether it is growing or lessening
- Rank the concerns of employees through the anonymous questions they post
- Determine whether internal marketing (i.e., posters, business cards, etc.) is driving employee visits to the campaign website
- Assist with determining the next steps you should take during the organizing campaign
Informative Union Campaign Metrics
Metrics can provide a lot of insights into what employees thinking. You cannot ask employees if they plan on voting for a union. This question has a chill effect on the exercise of protected rights. You can gather statistics on how many people visited the site and the pages they have the most interest in, as long as employees are not identified. For example, if there is high utilization of a union dues calculator, then you know the financial impact of unions on paychecks is a top concern. If many employees watch union specific videos, then you know they are interested in getting the truth about unions, from union corruption to the pitfalls of strikes.
Type of Metrics
Jennifer Orechwa, Chief Operating Officer at Projections, Inc, says, “Employers should always keep in mind that the purpose of the website is employee engagement, so the union campaign metrics collected should deliver the insights you need to guide ongoing maintenance needed to deliver the most powerful impact.”
The organizing campaign website metrics include measures like the following:
- Total website traffic
- Pages getting the most visits
- Number of visits (sessions) to each webpage
- Average employee time spent on the website and each webpage
- Number of times videos are watched by type of video
- Number of times online calculators are used by calculator type, i.e., dues calculator, investment calculator, strike calculator
- Bounce rate
- Exit rate per webpage
- Number and type of anonymous questions asked
Engagement Reflected in Employee Behaviors
A bounce is when a session is ended after someone visits a webpage and makes no further requests. The bounce rate is the percent of time website visitors viewed only a single page and then exits the website. It is calculated by dividing single webpage sessions by the total of all the webpage sessions. You can calculate the exit rate per webpage by using data for just that page.
If people consistently leave a website or webpage without clicking any links or moving to the next page, it needs maintenance. It’s not engaging employees, which is the whole purpose. Engagement is reflected in employee behaviors, such as watching videos, visiting multiple webpages, asking questions, offering feedback, and so on.
Connecting Metrics to Action
Metrics can also provide insights into the next steps your company should take. For example, a number of employees are asking questions on the Frequently Asked Questions (FAW) webpage about the current grievance policy and procedure. This could indicate a group of your employees are not familiar with the process. Perhaps they have been silently seething about workplace issues, or are hesitant to approach their supervisors with their issues.
The next step after a labor relations professional answers the question is addressing the specific concerns. It could be in a company meeting, posting a video online in which top management explains and emphasizes the open-door policy or adding a new webpage explaining the procedure.
The website should be customized to address each topic of most interest to employees. Every company and every union campaign is unique, so the organizing campaign website metrics will reflect employee and employer needs and circumstances. “We had a client who had strong local support, so a video was posted online of community leaders expressing their appreciation for the business,” said Chris Craddock, President of Projections, Inc., which includes UnionProof and A Better Leader.
Employee Engagement Through Website Customization
Customizing the union campaign website and keeping it fresh makes it a more powerful engagement tool. “The information on the website cannot be allowed to get old,” explains Jennifer Orechwa, Chief Operating Officer at Projections, Inc. Her advice to achieve solid metrics or to improve metrics is to:
- Keep the content fresh by updating it daily, if possible, but weekly as a minimum
- Track and respond quickly to current campaign events as they unfold
- Include interactive elements, like the dues and strike calculators
- Encourage employees to respond to a call-to-action, like submitting anonymous questions to management
- Maintain a professional website that is not too busy or difficult to read
- Keep the content focused on the particular topic on each webpage
- Promote the positive company culture and brand, and the top 10 reasons to stay union-free
- Explain and reinforce employee rights to vote for the union or to fight against it because this information is empowering
- Include links to additional outside resources, like government agencies
- Add photos with quotes of satisfied employees
- Add videos to the website, including interviews with employees who support the company’s effort to stay union-free
- Respond to union claims, so employees know the truth versus rumors
- Regularly add new videos about the specific union(s) involved
- Generate interest in the FAQ page by starting with common questions and answers
- Introduce and continually promote the website with letters to employee homes, text reminders, emails, meetings, business cards, wrist bands, messages on paycheck stubs, posters and/or in newsletters
- Make the website mobile-friendly, so it is accessible 24/7 and not a frustrating experience
- Link the website to social media sites, like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn
Update Throughout the Union Campaign
Tiffany Jackson, Web Designer/Writer at Projections, Inc., recommends updating the Home Page throughout the union campaign with union statistics. “Using what we call ‘Union by the Numbers,’ we add statistics like how many members a union has lost in a given period of time or how many unfair labor practices have been filed against the union. The tidbits of facts added one at a time keeps employees coming back to the website.” Once again, it is all about employee engagement.
Each of the metrics is important for assessing the value of the information on the webpage. For example, a spike in visits to a particular webpage indicates something is happening that needs to be addressed. There may be a sudden increase in visits to the webpage explaining the anatomy of a union authorization card. The metric should prompt adding new information to reinforce the value of the employee signature and the fact that anyone who has signed the card does not have to vote for the union.
Preventive websites offer another advantage. Statistics can provide you with an early warning your employees have a growing interest in unions. If a website is live 24/7, but you see a sudden surge in visits, it means some employees are talking to a union.
Keeping Metrics as Tools of Value
Metrics are valuable tools for ensuring employee engagement efforts are working. They inform the ongoing maintenance of the website and guide leader decision-making as to the best steps to take to stay union-free. It’s critical that companies collect the statistics, analyze them, and regularly update the website to keep it engaging and relevant. It takes a focused effort.
Given the fact that all union elections are ambush elections today, the best way to accomplish all of this in a timely manner is to let the experts on unions and staying union-free do the website development and maintenance work. Projections is an expert in developing custom solutions that promote employee engagement, even when tensions are running high.