We recently worked with a group that has a troubled labor-management relationship. In spite of their difficult history, one thing became clear during our work with them – both sides care about the future of the organization.
This fact provided the opportunity for the group to work together. It was the foundation upon which an employee engagement process could be built. Unfortunately, a lack of trust kept the parties from working together.
Both sides believed the other was withholding information. They did not feel they could trust what they were being told. As a result, the employee engagement process was ineffective.
No one can make good decisions without information. Everyone involved in the employee engagement process needs access to all relevant organizational information.
In a traditional process, both sides withhold information for their own purposes. They release part of the data when it is to their benefit and usually only after spinning it to their advantage. In this situation, employee involvement teams will not be able to do their jobs. They cannot make the most effective decisions. As a result, time and resources are wasted.
Even worse, the future of the entire process is jeopardized. An employee engagement process depends on the commitment of members in order to be successful. When they perceive they were not given the information they need, future commitment will be lost. Members will be reluctant to put in the work necessary for an effective process.
Effective employee engagement depends on the open sharing of information. All parties must commit to provide all relevant information. When in doubt about whether information is relevant, it’s better to provide more data than not enough.