As an employer, it’s important to have a labor and communications strategy during negotiations. How can you devise a labor strategy during such a complex time? Meet with key team members at the earliest opportunity to jointly formulate a strategy, which may include some or all of the following:
- Perform on-site or online training for negotiating committee members on the negotiations process, what to expect, etc.
- Perform on-site or online 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 or with nonunion locations
- Conduct employee engagement surveys to gain feedback from employees at other locations to keep a direct, positive relationship with employees
- 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/or outside parties
- Have a strike plan in place