An Employee Engagement Problem Solving Process for Both Union and Non-Union Environments

This week’s blog highlights our latest webinar that is truly an employee engagement problem solving process.  It works great as a continuous improvement process.  While this has its origins from collective bargaining and is used often in labor-management cooperation, it is a process that works in non-union settings and in a variety of other settings, too, such as family court and customer service.

The process is called Interest-Based Problem Solving.  In labor relations, people may know it as IBB, Win-Win or Principled negotiations.

It is an excellent employee engagement tool because it solves problems based on the mutual needs, or interests, of all employees(both managers and non-management people) trying to resolve workplace problems.  Problem solving techniques used in continuous improvement processes are used with this process.  Techniques such as brainstorming and consensus decision making are used but other ones such as data gathering and fishboning can also be used along with other techniques.  It just depends on the problem being worked on and what solution the group decides on.

To give a simple example, let’s talk about workplace safety.  Most managers and employees would probably have a mutual interest in making sure everyone in the workplace left at the end of the day with the same number of toes and fingers they had when they arrived at work.  Based on that mutual interest, managers and employees can look at a number of different ways to resolve problems and determine through jointly identified criteria which solutions may work.  This makes this problem solving process more objective. Continuing with the safety example, a group might be looking at injuries that are occurring.  Other problem solving techniques may be used to find out more information about the injuries, determine why they are happening,  and what can be done to prevent them from occurring.

Please look at the webinar under Webcasts at  Hopefully, it can help you solve problems through employee engagement!

About CALMC Blog

Columbus Area Labor-Management Committee is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to involving employers and employees to preserve jobs, resolve workplace issues, and promote labor-management cooperation. Visit our website at
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