This week we continue our list of issues Labor-Management Committees and Employee Engagement Teams can resolve. While this list does not contain all of the concerns committees with which we have worked have confronted, it should give you an idea of the wide range of projects teams can undertake..
Remember this is not meant to be an all inconclusive list, and should not be regarded as telling you what your committee should do. As a team, you need to identify the boundaries on your committee’s influence and control and stay within those parameters. Remember to focus on proactive work, trying to spend as little time as possible operating in reactive mode.
- Establishing or Modifying Work Rules – teams can identify issues with existing rules and develop new work rules as necessary. Work rules developed cooperatively by the team are more likely to have buy-in from employees.
- Preparation for non-smoking rules within state buildings – We worked with several teams during the elimination of smoking in state buildings, from offices to prisons. Teams were able to delve into all of the ramification of the smoking ban and develop procedures acceptable to the workforce. This is an example of a difficult issue the team could resolve more effectively than could managers on their own.
- Development of a Union Leave Logbook Procedure – Management was concerned about tracking the time union members were spending on union business. Union leaders did not want to have a time consuming or difficult process, Labor-Management Committees were able to focus on the interests of all parties to develop a workable process.
- Reducing the Number of Disciplines – Committees can not de4al with individual discipline situations. However, they can review discipline cases in order to determine if there are situations resulting in a greater percentage of discipline occurrences. These can be discussed to determine why they are occurring and how to prevent them.
- Succession Planning/Employee Ownership – Employee involvement teams can be involved in developing plans to move a company into employee ownership or determine succession plans in these organizations.
- Career Ladders – Do your employees feel they are stuck int heir current positions? Employee teams have helped identify logical career progression opportunities for various positions, review the minimum qualifications for these positions, and develop plans for how employees can develop their skills to meet the qualifications.
- Employee Retention – In past blog articles we have discussed the increasing importance of employee retention to organizations. Employee involvement teams can help identify reasons employees may be leaving the company and find ways to correct the problems. They can also look at opportunities to increase employee satisfaction.
- Employee Transfer Procedures – Issues related to employees moving within organizations can be resolved to provide a fair way for employees to move while maintaining continuity of service. Contract language regarding transfers can be monitored to be certain it is being fairly applied.
- Cross-training – Increased flexibility can be achieved through cross-training employees. LMC’s have addressed the best ways to provide training while maintaining productivity and respecting seniority-based assignments.
- Studying Classifications – An LMC examined existing job classifications, focusing on how to reduce the number of different classifications. They were able to accomplish a significant restructuring, increasing flexibility, providing opportunities for advancement, and averting layoffs.
- Determining Budgetary Allocations – Although setting the actual budget is generally outside the boundaries of an employee – management team, they can determine the best ways to allocate funds within a department or work site. Employees know their jobs better than anyone, and this knowledge can help prioritize needs and plan expenditures.
Next week we will complete the list. (It keeps growing as we work.) It should already be giving you some ideas of things teams in your organization could do. The idea is not to try to replicate any of these ideas, but for employees and managers to determine how to approach them in the best way for you.