Listening to Your Employees is an Essential for Success
Research consistently shows that the best way to improve employee relations and productivity is to LISTEN to what your employees have to say; to understand their perceptions of what works, areas of concern, and their ideas for improvement.
Identify Concerns and Opportunities for Improvement
In addition to reaffirming that management values and appreciates their employees’ ideas and suggestions, the benefits derived from our employee relations assessment process typically include the following:
Our Focus Group Process
Using a proven focus group process, our experienced facilitators from our employee relations consulting firm meet with several small groups of employees to talk about (1) what is working well, (2) areas of concern and (3) and their suggestions for improving employee relations. We typically like to meet with about 20% of the workforce in order to achieve a representative sample. Each session consists of approximately 15 employees and can be completed in less than three hours. In addition to meeting with employees, our employee relations consultants recommend conducting similar sessions with company supervisors, and union stewards (at union represented locations), to ensure our labor relations consultants capture all points of view.
Paper Surveys Do Not Work (Talking with Employees is the Best Approach)
For many years, businesses have employed the practice of handing out paper surveys to their employees in the hopes of learning how the company is perceived by its workforce. Unfortunately, while paper surveys can generate massive amounts of data and produce attractive charts, our employee relations consulting firm has observed that they provide very limited insights as to the reasons behind employee responses. Also, participation rates with paper surveys can have wide variances, which often skews the data, causing the results to be unreliable. Clearly, a much better approach is to sit down with several small groups of employees and have a good conversation.
Union Workforce: Set the Stage for Productive Union Contract Negotiations
For over 35 years, our union contract negotiators have had the privilege of helping many of the world’s best companies successfully negotiate win win union contracts, and often under challenging circumstances. One of the keys to our success has been the use of our labor relations assessment process and the valuable insights that it provides.
By understanding the issues and working to improve relationships with union leaders and employees well in advance of labor contract negotiations, all parties are better positioned to have constructive conversations during the union contract negotiation process. The result is often a new competitive labor agreement that positions both the company and its employees for future success.
Nonunion Workforce: Reduce Risk of Union Organizing
For those organizations that have a non-union workforce, special emphasis will be placed on discreetly determining the company’s vulnerability to potential union organizing. Having worked with both union and nonunion companies over the past 35 years, our labor relations consultants have learned to identify key warning signs and recommend proactive steps to reduce your risk of a union organizing campaign. Failure to recognize these warning signs can result in having to engage in a costly and disruptive union campaign, which can create deep and long-lasting divisions within the workforce; not to mention the economic consequences should the union prevail.
Independent and Experienced Assessors
Our employee relations consultants have decades of experience conducting employee relations assessments. We are skilled listeners and understand how to make employees feel comfortable during the process, ensuring good participation. Upon completion, our labor relations consultants present management with insightful results, and prepare an effective action plan to address key areas of concern.
Using our independent assessors provides two key advantages. First, without question, our employee relations consulting experience has shown that employees participating in the focus groups are far more comfortable to speak freely, as it eliminates any fears about possible retaliation. Second, it ensures total objectivity on the part of the assessors, avoiding any possible bias or subliminal influence to minimize potentially unpopular feedback.
Reassure the Board of Directors and Shareholders
As an added benefit, our employee relations consulting firm’s objective assessment process can help to reassure the Board of Directors and Shareholders that management has been proactive in identifying and addressing areas of concern that could adversely affect company performance. As we all know, restrictive work practices, lagging productivity, and costly disruptions can all negatively impact stock price and company valuation.
Principal Consultant Experience
Target, Tesla and other Silicon Valley Tech Companies