The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) guarantees all employees the right to form or join a union. But while unions are very beneficial to workers, they can be a sore to the eye of most employers. Employee unionization can negatively affect an organization’s productivity and profitability.
Luckily, there are several union prevention strategies, the core of them being transparency and communication.
So, let’s dive in and discuss some best practices for union avoidance to ensure that you’re not powerless to stop a future union drive.
Employees usually join or form unions if they feel disenchanted and undervalued by the organization’s management. With a worker’s union, employees can negotiate for better perks, a safer working environment, regulated working hours, and overall fair treatment.
However, smart HR leaders can create a union-free culture around their workplace by meeting these needs. That can be achieved by promoting teamwork, a safe working environment, settling disputes fairly, among others.
The first thing to do is to determine whether your employees are happy working for the organization or not. You can investigate this by sending out questionnaires or setting up meetings to ask for their responses.
Some questions to ask include:
Disagreements between the management and employees occur in a typical workplace. But before employees think of a union as the solution, put in place a transparent, fair, and legal dispute resolution process.
For example, if it’s a large organization, the HR leader can start by sending out a warning memo for minor offenses before thinking of setting up a disciplinary hearing.
Early and consistent communication between the management and employees can quell any rumor within the workplace. Don’t always assume that employees understand new company policies.
For instance, you can make it a habit of explaining unpopular business decisions like redundancies, reducing employee benefits, and more.
Sometimes HR support on union avoidance can come in the form of expressing your reservations against unions. In this case, always stick to facts while giving relevant examples.
Highlight the organization’s good features as a way of dissuading employees from thinking about union benefits. Speak about their job security, handsome pay, company goals, and more.
Well-trained managers and supervisors are your first line of defense while addressing employee grievances. You can even get information from them about workplace areas that might need improvements.
Another thing, train managers to answer questions about unions lawfully. That’s because employees will first approach them about the possibilities of joining a union.
These are some of the best union avoidance tips to give you full control of your human resources. Remember, however, that employees unionizing doesn’t necessarily mean a deteriorating relationship between the management and workforce.
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