Union Avoidance Tips: Preserve Your Union-Free Privilege®

The NLRB’s new quickie election rule implemented this past week has many repercussions for employers. The biggest being that the “quickie elections” leave little to no time for strong, effective anti-union campaigns. This makes proceedings more difficult during an already trying time. It is extremely important to stay ahead of the tide in order to protect your union-free privilege®. Early intervention and maintaining a positive relationship with your employees from the beginning is key. Here are some easy tips from the union avoidance consultants at ANH on how to preserve your privilege!

Preserve your lines of communication
Open communication between employer, employees, and everyone in between is most important for maintaining a healthy and smooth working environment. Starting from the very beginning, you need to emphasize to employees that a third party is never necessary when there is a problem. Share your views of unionization and communicate the repercussions of a union at the start of employment, so that there is no misunderstanding down the line.

Also, it is important to keep them informed of company proceedings that may affect workflow in any way. For example, be open about problems that arise, changes being implemented, and important deadlines. There should be regular meetings held where open discussion is encouraged, heard, and acted upon.

Preserve your supervisor’s roles
Supervisors and managers are great tools to keep employees in check and unions at bay. Empower those in authority to deal with problems quickly and efficiently. Once again, communication is key here, and your first line of defense is managers’ handling of employee concerns. If you let employees’ voices go unheard at the office level, you run the risk of problems festering and spiraling out of control. In these cases, they go to a third party for help, and you have a union on your hands.

To prevent this, train your supervisors in best practices: handling concerns with a level head, setting good examples in the workplace, and being firm but understanding in their various authoritative roles. For even more tips on being a great manager, read our other blog.

Preserve your employees’ trust
Fewer problems arise when employees have a strong faith and trust in their organizational superiors. Make the environment an overall great place to work, and employees will share in that excitement. Offer sufficient benefits like vacation time, compensation packages, and tuition reimbursement, and be sure to communicate the value of these offers. It also goes without saying that a company should pay employees fairly and within limits. Do this by examining wage distribution annually and correct inequalities. If complications arise with salary displeasure, address the problems with an understanding ear and firmly handle it within your limits.

Also, nourish a sense of community and make everyone feel they’re on the same team. If employees have trust and a connection to the team, they are less likely to feel unhappy, thus seeking out a third party.

Altogether, in order to preserve your privilege, you have to maintain open communication, empower your supervisors, and garner trust and teamwork with employees. If one of these things is lacking, be sure to keep your eyes and ears open for union talk around the office (check out our other blog on early warning signs of organizing activity). Hopefully, the above tips should help, but should you find yourself in hot waters, you need professional help. One of our union avoidance consultants with substantial labor relations experience can help. With services in a variety of areas before, during, and after a union has been created, ANH can help you preserve your privilege!