Best Practices for the Union-Management Relationship in the Workplace
Gary T. Furlong, Queen's IRC Facilitator, 2017
These are challenging times for public-sector finances, private-sector growth in a sputtering economy, and hard conversations at the collective bargaining table. With so many issues on the macro level, we sometimes lose sight of the day-to-day working relationship for all of our employees and bargaining unit members. For the vast majority of unionized and non-unionized workers, it is the day-to-day interactions that determine whether the workplace is a productive, engaged environment, or one that preoccupies everyone with conflict, grievances and problems. Where each workplace falls on that spectrum will largely determine productivity, quality, absenteeism, as well as retention and recruitment. In other words, success often depends on what we do each and every day in the union-management relationship.
Jointly Building a Productive, Constructive Workplace
To achieve a healthy workplace that leads to commitment and engagement, there are some important best practices that can be implemented, jointly, by the union-management partnership. Consider some or all of the following five best practices for managing in a unionized workplace.
The Critical Role of Orientation for New Employees to Your Organization’s Culture
Karen Suk-Patrick, Director of OD and Employee Health Services, Guelph General Hospital, and Chantal Thorn, OD Specialist, Guelph General Hospital, 2016
First impressions count. However in the workplace, organizations often fail to realize that this truism is a two way street. As much as we form first impressions about the people we interview, hire and welcome into our organizations, the employee is on a parallel journey. How did we interview them? How did we invite them to join our organization and how did we welcome them when they arrived?
Traditionally, “orientation” is seen as a static event, one in which we provide an employee with a list of expectations and requirements, a package of information on their benefits, and perhaps some formal welcome session or introduction to the organization’s policies and procedures. There is much research to suggest the importance of the workplace culture in attracting and retaining highly qualified staff.