Our last two blogs have focused on workplace bullying and performance reviews. Both of these blogs simply have to do with one important attribute – respect.

In any environment, unionized or non-unionized, the results can be staggering when employees are engaged. They feel respected. If performance reviews occur, the performance review is a vehicle for employees to succeed. Instead of workplace bullying, supervisors and managers create an open and trusting atmosphere.

According to a Gallup survey of almost 50,000 organizations, these cost-saving items happen under employee engagement:

• 37% less absenteeism – people actually want to come to work, absenteeism issues can be worked out together by both employer and employees
• 25 – 65% less turnover – people like where they work, the mission and want to help the organization succeed and employers help employees succeed at their jobs
• 48% reduction in safety problems – organizations that involve employees in workplace safety actually do save money instead of increased costs
• 41% reduction in quality problems – employees that are engaged want to help internal and external customers and want to look at new ways of doing things to adapt to customer needs

The first time I worked in an unionized environment it forever changed my opinion of what the workplace should be about. I think of the stories labor people and management people would tell me. Together they would tell how they would argue for something they each wanted, maybe say some things to each other they wished they hadn’t but at the end of the day, they walked out the door together laughing and patting each other on the back. They would tell me stories that would make us all laugh but it was obvious they had a strong friendship and they respected each other and the role each of them played in the organization.

For those who complain about unions or think managers lose control in unionized organizations, I don’t think they have ever worked in that environment. All the negative slants, tall tales and misrepresentations tell me they have no idea what goes on because, if they did, they would learn like I did about the importance of respect.

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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