This week we will conclude the list of topics Labor-Management Committees and Employee Engagement Teams have resolved. The last three posts have mentioned several areas, and we will add more examples of employee involvement opportunities this time.
- Promotion Policies – Last time we mentioned teams working on career ladder development. Some groups have worked on clarifying and developing promotional policies so employees better understood how they could earn promotions.
- Flex Time – Many organizations have implemented flex time procedures. An employee-management team can help identify issues related to these policies and be certain the needs and desires of employees are considered.
- Developing and Implementing Strategic Plans – If organizations do not include employees in developing their strategic plans, they are ignoring the people they will depend on to implement the plans. An employee involvement team can help develop the strategic plans and goals, provide input to the plan, and help determine implementation strategies.
- Building Relationships – An effective involvement team builds relationships between labor and management. This spills over to the entire organization, as both employees and managers see the advantages of everyone working together. Assessment in the groups with which we have worked have shown significant increases in employee views of both management (and the union) resulting from joint employee-management teams.
- Establishing Mentorship Programs – Mentors can help new employees learn their jobs and current employees learn skills needed to advance. A team can help develop the details of a mentorship program and recruit colleagues to participate.
- Job Descriptions and Minimum Qualifications – How long has it been since you reviewed your position descriptions and the qualifications? A labor-management team can help be certain the descriptions accurately reflect the current nature of existing jobs and help develop the documentation for potential new positions.
- Orientation for New Committee Members – Effective teams have an established plan to help new members make a smooth transition to committee membership. This needs to take place prior to new members attending their first meeting, and should be conducted jointly by existing labor and management committee members.
- Resolution of Problems That Have Led to Grievances – Details of current active grievances should not be discussed in a Labor-Management Committee meeting. Once a grievance is filed, it needs to follow the established procedure. The committee can consider problems that may have led to a number of grievances. A Pareto analysis of past grievances or complains can determine those that occur most often, and the team can then determine and deal with their underlying causes.
- Violence Prevention – The epidemic of workplace violence demand organizations develop plans for its prevention. Employees can help identify potential security concerns and problems and help develop strategies for dealing with them. They can also help educate their colleagues about the violence prevention plans.
- Dealing With Change – We are all faced with changes in our workplace, and those changes can be uncomfortable and unwelcome. Effective change management practices help organizations identify the need for change, determine the best plans for how to implement change, and help other employees be more accepting of upcoming changes. They can also help assess the effectiveness of new procedures to make sure continuous improvement can take place.
- Worker Adjustment Committees – We have written in other blog entries about the importance of worker adjustment committees to organizations and employees during downsizing. These employee-management teams help impacted employees and their families better deal with the uncertainties they face and make a smoother transition to their new jobs. They also help the organization operate as smoothly as possible during and after the downsizing.
- Improve Trust and Morale – We have seen employee involvement result in improvement in trust levels between employees and management and improve overall morale. This happens when everyone perceives the involvement process is real and is supported. Trust and morale are not issues that can be dealt with on their own, they are symptoms of other, underlying problems. Effectively dealing with those problems openly, honestly, and in a cooperative manner will have the benefit of improving trust and morale.
In these lists, we have offered a number of examples of what Labor-Management Committees and Employee Involvement Teams have accomplished. Bear in mind that even these extensive lists only scratch the surface of what teams can do.
Your organization should not try to repeat these successes or think this list should dictate what you can do. Pick issues relevant and important to your situation, commit to working together, and employ effective problem solving strategies to work through them. CALMC helps organizations identify problems, establish effective operating procedures for teams, and facilitates them as they resolve issues. Let us know if you want more information about establishing and maintaining effective teams in your workplace.