5 Ways to Stay Union-Free and Employee-Happy

union free and employee happyWhen the employee–employer relationship lacks trust and fair treatment, a union can soon intervene. Employees join unions for various reasons, including feeling like they aren’t recognized for their good work, or that they deserve better pay or need a contract for job security. But union contracts stifle direct communication efforts between employees and employers. Don’t let it get that far! Here are five great ways to keep your company union-free.

1. Promote Employee Education

When your employees are unaware of the disadvantages of unions, they may be easier to persuade to join one. That’s why it’s vital to educate employees on how unionization of the company would affect the communication between staff and managers, such as creating an impediment to direct conflict resolution. Additionally, you want to train your managers and supervisors on how to effectively communicate with employees respectfully so they stay satisfied and your company remains union-free.

2. Make Collaboration a Priority

If you’re not fostering a team environment, you’re already creating a vulnerability that unions can exploit. Prioritizing a collaborative environment strengthens the employee–employer bond because it establishes respect and trust. You can accomplish this by encouraging employees to provide suggestions during a meeting with management to enhance projects or policies. When you make employees feel that their ideas and suggestions matter within a group environment, you begin to build employee morale and confidence. Prioritizing collaborative efforts also demonstrates acknowledgment of employees, which can enhance their experiences at work.

3. Give Clear and Ethical Communication

Keeping communication between your employees and the company open is key to keeping employees happy and saving your business from experiencing the long, drawn-out process of unionization. You can help prevent unionization within the company by focusing on clear and ethical communication between employee and upper management. For example, when an employee has a concern about a task or a complaint regarding another employee, you can encourage an open-door policy. This helps you gain credibility as a trusted source to discuss pressing matters.

Additionally, you can post bulletin boards throughout the office and send out emails with concise information that clarifies business changes. Employees can also suggest ideas to help improve their work environment. By encouraging clear and transparent communication, employees can feel secure and respected.

4. Embrace Technology

Leaving your employees without essential resources to do their jobs or ways to communicate their messages effectively can weaken the employer-employee relationship. However, you can embrace technology to combat this adversity. Technology is helpful in delivering your message to employees because it is easy to use and accelerates the communication process. For instance, you can use technology, such as machine learning and big data analytics, to administer and analyze employee surveys and even virtual suggestion boxes. You can use the information from the collected data to quickly address concerns and showing your employees that they have an important voice within your company. Technology makes it easier and faster to communicate and execute efforts, which can enhance your employees’ work experience.

5. Offer Value Through Benefits and Compensation

When employees don’t feel they are getting the pay they deserve, they start looking elsewhere. You can prevent this by keeping up with industry compensation trends and offering pay that is competitive. If offering more money is not feasible, make sure you offer good benefits. Provide employees with benefits that add value to their lives, such as a tuition reimbursement program or an affordable, comprehensive health insurance option. Offering a competitive wage and bolstering it with valuable benefits is vital to keeping your employees happy and union-proofing your company.

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When communication goes sour between your business and staff, unions can come knocking on your company doors. You don’t have to let that happen if you stay one step ahead by keeping employees happy. Use communication, collaboration, education, compensation and technology to demonstrate fair treatment and build trust with your employees for a union-proof environment.

About the Author Jennifer Orechwa

With over 25 years in the industry, and now as IRI's Director of Business Development, Jennifer has gained a unique perspective on what it takes to build a culture of engagement. By blending a deep understanding of labor and employee relations with powerful digital marketing knowledge, Jennifer has helped thousands of companies achieve behavioral change at a cultural level.

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