It is crucial to have an effective labor communications plan during negotiations. At the earliest opportunity, key team members must meet to jointly devise a strategy, which may include some or all of the following:
- Conduct live or remote-based training for negotiating committee members on the negotiation process, what to expect, etc.
- Conduct live or remote-based training for managers and supervisors on how to effectively communicate with union employees, with a focus on the dos and don’ts of communication during collective bargaining
- Prepare managers to communicate effectively with employees who are not involved in negotiations
- Develop a communications strategy to include weekly internal calls, schedule for communications with employees, pre- and post-negotiation communications
- Proactively prepare to deal with inevitable rumors and formal communications efforts from the union and outside parties
- Have a strike plan in place