We live in a country where labor unions certainly have a loud voice. But in recent years, their volume has been overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of companies that have quietly slipped away from the pro-union mentality. The U.S. currently has a union work force of 11 percent. This means that 89 percent of the American work force is non-union. This shift didn’t happen by accident; companies have seen the benefits that come from being non-union, and they have taken the necessary steps to prevent unionization.
This doesn’t mean that these companies treat their employees however they please and then profit off of them. Businesses know that an unhappy work force means high turnover or even a potential to unionize, which would cost the business massive losses. So how are companies keeping their employees satisfied, while still maintaining a union-free environment? Here are some businesses that have done it — and thrived.
Arguably one of the biggest names in technology right now, Apple has kept its non-union status over the years and is still ranked high as one of America’s best companies to work for. Though the technology giant expects a high standard of excellence from its employees, it compensates them well with competitive salaries and benefits even for part-time workers. Employees of Apple also cite that they are never micromanaged, which can be a serious morale and productivity-killer.
This healthy grocery store chain isn’t just innovative in terms of what it puts on its shelves — it also has a remarkable spin on workforce relations. Whole Foods encourages and fosters new ideas from its employees and has been known to put those ideas into practice. They also offer a generous employee discount, with additional price slashes available for those who meet certain health criteria. This encourages workers to take care of their own health and shows them that the company actually cares about them.
HP has been a standout company in terms of its dealings with employees. With flexible hours for employees, generous investment opportunities and consistent promotion from within, Hewlett-Packard has gone above and beyond to show its workers that they are crucial and valued assets.
Surprisingly enough, this Midwest gas station/convenience store chain is ranked in Fortune Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work for” list. One would think that a gas station position wouldn’t be an in-demand job, but Quik Trip actually pays their employees incredibly well and offers generous benefit packages. It’s as if QT management knows that the job isn’t glamorous but gives a great salary to compensate for the fact. Additionally, the company promotes employees not based solely on rank, but on ability and performance. This gives all employees a fair shot at a promotion.
It seems that preventing a union from taking hold in your company is entirely based on treatment of the workforce. Begin building your UnionProof culture by making sure that employees that feel valued and are compensated well. UnionProofing in this way means that your teams will be loyal to their company, whereas workers who are consistently treated as expendable will quickly become disgruntled. Take a page out of these companies’ books, and you’ll improve your employee-employer relations and secure your UnionProof legacy.