A few years back, it made headline news that Apple would begin training their supervisors on union awareness issues. According to an internal document, “This course is intended to provide managers with a practical understanding of how unions affect the workplace, how and why employees organize, and the legal do’s and don’ts of dealing with unions. This is a mandatory class for all new managers, and is required biannually for all managers.” Of course, training supervisors is critical to creating a culture where unions aren’t needed.
While it doesn’t make headline news when most companies begin training supervisors, most companies do provide labor relations knowledge that legally protects the company. You will hear most refer to it as the most vital factor in the success or failure of any union organizing drive.
Here are four tips to follow as you develop your supervisor labor relations training:
1) Union avoidance training should be ongoing or at least bi-annual for all supervisors
2) Upper management should be involved, though not necessarily in every session
3) Get as sophisticated as possible with this training- the better armed supervisors are, the better they will be able to defense the facility
4) New supervisors should have a more detailed training than the seasoned professionals- they should also have a sponsor that will take them under their wings for a period of time- usually one year
For more on the best union avoidance practices, let UnionProof be a source of valuable information. The UnionProof team has been teaching labor relations principles since 1989. While the tone and delivery of the material has changed, the idea of connecting with your team to create an environment where unions aren’t necessary hasn’t.