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Want to Be Union Free? Do This Now!

alternate dispute resolution union freeHow An Alternative Dispute Resolution Program Can Keep Your Company Union Free

Once a labor-relations issue arises, or a campaign to unionize your workplace begins, nothing looks as bad as a quickly re-drawn grievance procedure. At best, you will have weakened your employee’s trust in you; at worst, you might be guilty of an unfair labor practice.

Making sure employees feel like they’re a part of things plays a major role in creating a union proof culture. Implementing a pro-worker alternative dispute resolution (ADR) policy now will go a long way towards securing this end.

Proper employee communication is vitally important in all aspects of your approach to human resource management. As part of your company’s continuing dialogue, it is crucial to ensure that employees feel they have a voice in the workplace arena, and that this voice is listened to by managerial staff and those in decision-making positions.

Maintaining a union-free workspace means ensuring that your employees feel valued. So, let’s look in some detail at a few ways in which you can develop a good pro-worker ADR policy, and how best to implement those policies to ensure your company stays union-free:

Begin Communicating Right Away

Even if you’re only just beginning to create your ADR policy, or you have just begun to make substantial changes to a pre-existing one, let your workers know this as soon as possible. Communicate in the way most familiar to your employees, so that while the issue may be new, the mode of communication is trusted. If you do regular video updates and distribute them via an email link, don’t suddenly start using social media to talk about your dispute resolution process – – even if you plan to use that new channel to educate employees on the program going forward.

Know Your Workplace

It might seem a trivial point, but do you know what issues in the day-to-day running of your business are the most likely to make your employees concerned?

Survey your workforce. Find out if there’s a health and safety issue that they are particularly worried about, and identify any areas that might make your staff feel insecure or anxious.

Conducting an employee survey may also help shape your Dispute Resolution policy. You’ll definitely get an idea of the issues that might be addressed by your ADR program, and how engaged your employees might be in that process.

Have Employees Sit as Peer Reviewers on ADR Committees

Fully integrating your workforce into the actual dispute resolution process itself is a great way to signal to your employees that you are willing to take their input seriously and give them a role in the things that matter to them.

Furthermore, employees are often the best-positioned people in your business to tell you about the specifics of an internal workplace dispute. Rather than being overly lenient, they are usually the most incentivized members of your company when it comes to grading their colleague’s work performance.

Have a Swift and Fair Appeals Process in Place

As an employer, you are not going to get every decision right. But appearing arbitrary with the application of your decision-making principles is a surefire way to bring about employee-relation breakdown.

A good insurance against this perceived arbitrariness is to have a fair and robust appeals policy. This way, bad decisions can be swiftly rectified, and it provides another outlet for employee grievance other than turning to a union.

Be Consistent

This should be fairly obvious, yet it does require diligence from your managerial team. Consistency is the visible byproduct of integrity, and employees can spot a lack of integrity from a mile away!

Inconsistency, even in the smallest of workplace matters, can have profound implications for workforce morale. Train your managers and supervisors to understand this, and educate them on the need to apply workplace rules fairly across the board.

And Finally

Listen to your employees as you create your ADR process, and take action based on what they are saying. In order to be inspired, employees must feel that they are making a worthwhile contribution to the organization – and that their contribution is valued by you, their employer. With an effective channel to have their voices heard, it won’t be a union they turn to when problems arise.

You may find The United States Office of Personnel Management’s guide to creating an Alternative Dispute Resolution process helpful.

Revolutionizing Your Workplace in 2016

revolutionize your_billboardAs we move through 2016, employees’ expectations of their employers are growing and changing. To create workplace safety, inclusiveness and a driven team of people, it’s important to focus on strengthening your company culture in a few key ways. The following sections cover those methods and how you can use them.

Encouraging positive employee relations

As companies focus on strengthening communication and forging solid employee relationships, the need for unions will dissipate naturally. Instead of directing your energy toward creating an anti-union environment, a much more positive and effective approach is to create an environment that fosters positive employee relations. This includes a culture that protects its employees against harassment, injuries and layoffs without the need for union intervention. Employees should express confidence that they can approach management openly and receive assistance without having to struggle for their rights. One of the best ways to ensure that all of these factors are in place is leadership training.

Ensuring strong leadership

How do you determine whether leadership is strong within an organization? Not surprisingly, a study by the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology revealed that commitment and positive attitudes lead to better performance. Thus midlevel managers must be taught to openly display these leadership qualities and pass them down through the organization. By starting at the top, organizational leaders can set an example that reflects a company’s culture and values of openness, honesty and tolerance of all types of people. Incorporating technology such as interactive e-learning has become a popular and effective strategy to keep employees informed and allow them to interact directly with management.

Addressing concerns and issues

In today’s globalized world, events that have a widespread influence on your employees’ attitudes and behaviors can occur. Holding meetings that address employee concerns and key issues can generate better trust and understanding among co-workers. Similarly, management must directly address how employees can professionally handle serious problems such as harassment and injury. If uncertainty exists or formal systems have yet to be put in place for solving these issues, there is a strong need for better communication. To maintain consistency and keep your employees from fragmenting in different directions, leadership must work to maintain a clear voice that overpowers external uncertainty.


3 Shortcuts Every HR Department Should Avoid

HR Shortcuts to avoid

Don’t Sabotage Your Engagement by Ignoring Other Areas

Your HR department is vital to building the best company possible. It ensures that your employees are at their best and receive the support they need. While there are so many things that your HR department has to do that it might be tempting to take a few shortcuts, there are a few areas where you absolutely must use HR best practices or face negative long-term consequences in the future.

1. Don’t Cut Corners in Employee Orientation

New employee orientation is vital, as it sets the tone for the rest of an employee’s experience with your company. Within the first week, it is important that you describe the basic work processes that the employee will be using every day. This can include everything from job-specific tasks to the basics that everyone uses, such as email protocol. It’s also important that you keep the information you share with your employees consistent. So it’s a good idea to create a series of orientation videos that you can share during the orientation process. It ensures everyone gets the same information and, if done right, can be more engaging than a manager rushing through the process.

Employee Orientations2. Don’t Make Annual Benefits Enrollment a Chore

After their salary, your company’s benefits package is arguably the most important element for your employees. To ensure that your benefits communication is outstanding, you need to go beyond the norm. Approximately 80 percent of companies still rely on printed materials regarding benefits sent to their employees’ homes. In a digital world, that’s not nearly enough. Your employees need to be engaged with the process. That means annual videos that are available online for your employees to review and interactive websites that help them find the best plans. These tools can be invaluable for smoothing out the annual benefit enrollment process.

3. Don’t Ignore the Possibility of Unions

Unions can be destructive for businesses. Unions can devalue seniority and employee effort, make it difficult for your business to compete, and also exploit your employees. This can lead to your business becoming unprofitable and to your employees losing their jobs. Union avoidance is in everyone’s best interest and you need to communicate this to your employees. Take the time to investigate the best union avoidance strategies and then implement them for the sake of your company and your employees.

33 ways to union proof your companySo, don’t cut corners when it comes to employee engagement! If you need help connecting with your employees, whether it’s during orientation, harassment training, wellness programs, annual benefits enrollment, or just to communicate important facts, contact Projections. Your message will reach your audience and create the change you need to grow. We make it so easy, you’ll find no shortcuts needed!

Union Avoidance Ideas That Could Use A Reboot

So today I was inspired by a conversation with a client. It’s invariably true that I’m far more likely to be asked, “what do you have that’s new?” than I am to hear, “what do you have that’s worked a hundred times in the past?” And maybe that’s our tribe’s own fault,

reboot your union avoidance

Everything needs a fresh start now and again.

after all, when we talk amongst our peers and colleagues about union proofing, everyone prides themselves on innovation, on creating the best new ways to connect with employees.

But as I was asked that, “what’s new?” question again yesterday, and as I sat listening to the challenges this particular company was experiencing, it struck me that it might be time to reexamine a few of the ideas that originally empowered modern companies to speak up in order to remain union-free. I’m not talking about being “union busters” or any of the other negative names unions came up with to make employers feel badly about wanting to maintain a direct connection with their own employees. I’m talking about good, solid companies that care for and respect their employees’ voice.

So here are a few ideas I think could use a reboot– and they’re still 100% relevant today. They’re not negative or heavy-handed, they don’t threaten employees or make them fear consequences – these ideas are real, they’re true, and its time for us to remember why they were so effective in the first place:

  1. The idea that union avoidance begins on Day One, and is most effective with your most receptive minds. The minute your company decides that active union proofing is in everyone’s best interest, employees need to hear it. It’s best communicated consistently, in the positive, pro-employee way it was intended. Communicating from the outset that the company values a direct connection with employees can go a long way in creating a union proof workforce. A “labor relations orientation” video can accomplish this in as little as 15 minutes, making your Day One message at once both efficient and lasting.
  2. The idea that union avoidance is often about employees knowing that they are heard, understood, and truly are a part of things. Ask most employers what they think their employees value, and they’re likely to say “money” or “time off.” While those are important to everyone, if you ask employees the same question, they’re far more likely to tell you that they want to be heard and valued. There’s no time that this need is more prevalent than during a union organizing drive. When a union starts trying to convince employees that they’ll listen to their concerns – and that management isn’t listening – well, it’s time to turn the tables. With a custom-produced role-play video, companies can get all the issues out on the table, answer questions, clear up false accusations or misinformation from the union, and even provide a mature voice of reason that encourages employees to think before they act rashly. Together, all the elements, coupled with a relaxed setting and familiar demographics, provide the perfect platform for making sure employees know that you’re listening.
  3. The idea that union avoidance is about educating employees. Many companies think that if they just offer competitive pay and benefits, that’s all the knowledge employees need to stay union-free. But effectively demonstrating the realities of living with a union, particularly for those who have little to no experience in dealing with one, can be incredibly powerful. When a dramatic portrayal of the effects of unionization is presented, it’s an eye-opening educational experience, one employees aren’t quick to forget. It’s easy to say, “unions create an ‘us’ vs. ‘them’ mentality, but there’s a dramatic difference when they can see what can and does happen in the wake of a voting in a union. One dramatic resource for doing this is a “Nightmare” video, in which we follow one employee’s journey through the process of voting in a union, all the way to a strike – only to realize that there’s still time to change the outcome.
  4. The idea that union avoidance is as much emotional as it is logical. While it’s imperative that management educate employees with the facts about the NLRA, and about the union trying to get their vote, studies have shown that viewing positive messages can affect an employees’ emotional state and help them make a solid, informed decision. The residual effects of those feelings can last up to two days, and when a company is faced with a union representation election, that’s exactly what a expertly-produced custom 25th Hour video presentation can do.

With today’s technology, a “reboot” of these ideas can actually be more efficiently delivered than ever before. Ambush elections and quick turnaround communications are no problem when you have a team like Projections’ in-house UnionProof team. With decades of experience and every talent and resource needed under one roof, rebooting these ideas is easily within your reach, despite any time constraints. So ask not, “what’s new?” but “what works?” and you’ll be well on your way to a union proof culture.


If you’d like to see examples of the types of custom-crafted communication tools referenced in this article, simply ask. The UnionProof team at Projections can place them in your Insider Network for private viewing, online.

Using Digital Resources to Connect With Employees? Here’s the Right Way.

Today – while we all seem to be more connected than ever – technology (and the digital resources it empowers us to use) can stand in the way of genuine connections. Case in point: twenty-somethings today think nothing of relationships that begin, end, and take place mostly as texts. But this is a particularly sticky challenge in the workplace.

Employee Communication Resources

Forging true connections can be accomplished online – it’s all in the resources you use.

Communicating with workers about change, about the state of the business and about your union-free operating philosophy is an important part of keeping your businesses healthy while offering employees more opportunities.

Using the right digital resources to train, educate and inform workers is vital in forging a genuine connection. You should be aware of the online resources that are available to you to optimize your union-proofing efforts. Consider these new ideas:

1. Use Digital Media to Educate Employees

Many employees support unions because they believe working conditions and pay will improve after they unionize. The reality is that unionizing can have negative effects that harm employees.

Videos that explain the truth can help employees understand that unions actually add a tremendous burden that cost companies and workers money. Even when unions manage to negotiate higher wages, union dues and higher tax rates often exceed pay increases while forcing companies to spend more money on labor. This often means many businesses have to downsize to stay in business. Worse yet, employees lucky enough to keep their jobs rarely see improved living standards.

Giving your management team the ability to educate employees with online union avoidance videos can effectively impart the lesson that staying union-free benefits them, their coworkers and their company, ultimately impacting their overall job security. You can even keep the videos on password-protected websites that only give access to your employees and managers.

2. Counter Union Messages With Objective Facts

Unions can only operate when they convince employees to give them money. Training mid-level managers so they can share objective facts with employees is one of the best ways to counter claims made by union organizers.
Union Proof offers e-learning courses, videos and other resources that clearly and effectively show that unions can and do negatively affect businesses and workers. Once your managers know the facts, they can share them with employees so they aren’t persuaded by unions. Without objective facts, it’s nearly impossible to show employees why unionization won’t improve their professional or personal lives.

3. Keep Employees Happy to Avoid Unionization

Staying union-free is as much about treating employees well as it is countering the efforts of union leaders. A report from the Conference Board shows that over 52 percent of Americans are unhappy at work. If your employees do not feel appreciated, then you may have opened the door to ambitious union leaders.

Prevent this by using the internet to improve positive employee relations. Some digital options for improving employee relations include:

  • Creating social media groups that let employees share information with each other and managers
  • Tracking productivity to publicly reward your best employees
  • Putting information about pay, benefits and company news on an in-house website
  • Building a website that lets employees submit time and track vacation requests

Contact the Union Proof team at Projections to learn more about how you can use digital resources to truly connect with employees and keep your workforce union free.