March 12, 2014
New methods to enhance workplace productivity must be sought out and tailored to an individual organization. Through joint labor and management teams, cooperation and employee participation can be achieved and successfully used to address and to solve issues that were previously major obstacles-such as wages, benefits and job security-for true win-win results. The following recommendations will facilitate the process:
- Involve the HR organization from the beginning.
- Evaluate the organization's history and culture to better understand the people and the obstacles it will have to overcome. Is the culture cooperative or adversarial in nature? Cultural audits are now common and provide this type of information.
- Look at the organization's structure. Does it allow clear and open communication lines between upper management and the front-line workers? If not, those lines must be established through a flatter structure and joint problem-solving teams.
- Create a labor-management relations committee (LMRC) to oversee these efforts. This LMRC should establish a clear vision, goals and objectives-a partnering agreement if you will-that can serve as the committee's guide.
- Finally, adopt a systematic approach to negotiations, and then follow it for optimum results.
Personnel Journal, May 1996, Vol. 75, No. 5, pp. 102-103.