Last week we began a list of things Labor-Management Committees and Employee Engagement Teams can do. The list includes some of the issues committees we have worked with have been able to resolve.
Remember this is not meant to be an all inconclusive list, and should not be regarded as telling you what your committee should do. The issues your team chooses should be relevant to your organization and be based on the mutual interests and concerns of everyone.
- Job Restructuring – Changing job descriptions and qualifications to be certain the jobs are relevant to the employer and will continue to be needed.
- Improving Workflow and Work Process – Committees can study the work system looking for opportunities to make lasting improvements that will result in reduced expenses and increased efficiency.
- Establishing a Team-Based Workplace – Develop ways to involve employees throughout the entire organization. We have described the benefits of a team based environment and employee involvement in earlier blog entries.
- Improved Collaboration Between Departments – Employee involvement teams can find ways departments can better share information, improve the product or service, and improve communications between departments.
- Interpreting the Contract – A Labor-Management Committee can provide interpretations for contract language and determine how the language will be applied. This is particularly useful when a large number of work sites or departments are covered by a single contract.
- Dealing With External Competition – Committees can help develop strategies for dealing with competitors. Both employees and management have a strong interest in being better than the competition, and the involvement team can capitalize on this interest.
- Developing/Revising the Mission Statement – Most organizations have a Mission Statement, but many have not been reviewed for years. Who better to help determine the mission statement of an organization or a department than the employees who will be carrying it out?
- Scheduling issues to avoid laying off people, such as job sharing – Involving employees in dealing with these issues demonstrates management’s concerns.
- Developed various work procedures i.e.; property collection, use of Personal Protective Equipment
- Determine Training Needs – Employees are able to identify the areas in which they need training as well as identify the specific skills that should be included. Their involvement can help increase buy-in to training from other employees.
- New Employee Orientation – Committees have developed and conducted new employee training. Existing employees can help identify the things they believe new employees need to know, and the new employees will see an example of labor-management cooperation as they jointly do the training.
- Voluntary Furlough Process for Cost Savings – An organization was facing additional budget cuts, but employees and management were concerned that additional personnel cuts would cripple customer service. A Labor-Management Committee developed a system enabling employees to take unpaid leave for a few hours up to a few days. The process saved the employer money, enabled employees to take leave to meet their needs, and kept employee benefits untouched.
- Sub-contracting and How to Evaluate Contracting-In Bids – Employees were concerned that management was contracting out work they could be doing, while management wanted to be certain the work would be done in the most cost-effective way possible. A LMC was able to develop a process under which employee groups could submit a proposal to do the work and have that proposal fairly evaluated against bids by outside contractors.
- The Utilization of Temporary Project Employees – An organization receiving grant funding wanted to be able to hire temporary employees to work on grant-based projects without the need to do a formal layoff and bumping procedure at the end of the project. The union had an interest in including these employees in the bargaining unit during their period of employment to provide protections and avoid erosion of the bargaining unit. An employee-management team was able to develop a project employee process that met the interests of both parties while providing employment opportunities.
By now, I hope you are getting an idea of the wide range of topics a Labor-Management Committee of Employee Involvement Team can tackle. The list is limited only by the opportunities provided to employees and management and their imagination.
Next week, we will conclude our list of topics on which committees have worked. If you want more information about any of these areas and how to involve employees and management, contact CALMC.