The advantages of having an engaged workforce are widely acknowledged. Engaged employees are happier, work harder and are less likely to look for outside help in the form of state and federal agencies, lawyers and/or unions. The challenge for many employers is not failing to recognize the importance of engagement, but rather achieving meaningful engagement. All too often, front-line supervisors – those who have the greatest impact on the average employee’s work experience – are promoted based on performance and with little guidance on how to effectively lead by example. Making matters worse, studies show that a leading cause of unionization is the failure to communicate, a problem that is often most glaring, and most correctable, at the level of the employees’ immediate supervision.
Now more than ever, where employees exchange information at lightning speed and are less inclined to extend second chances, it is imperative for employers to cultivate an environment in which employees feel valued and where managers and supervisors are prepared to lawfully and effectively engage employees on issues affecting the workplace, including potential union issues.
To address those issues for our clients, Littler offers access to its Positive Employee Relations Series. This series of live programs offers interactive and experiential training delivered by Littler lawyers who have helped thousands of executives, managers and supervisors across the country with the legal and practical aspects of positive employee engagement.
Programs within the Positive Employee Relations Series address the following topics:
- The Fundamentals: Examines what it means to lead as a supervisor and the importance of and best practices for positive engagement; discusses the reasons employees seek union representation and other outside assistance, the signs of union organizing, the impact of third-party representation on employees, supervisors and companies and the “do’s and don’ts” to help supervisors know how to engage on the subject of unions. (four hours)
- Talking the Talk: Helps supervisors develop their own unique talking points on key company messaging, including on the union issue, and then puts them to the test in impactful role playing facilitated by highly experienced Littler trainers. (four hours)
- Advanced Problem Solving: Challenges teams of supervisors with complex fact patterns involving labor and related scenarios, forcing them to identify issues, work together to develop and present strategic responses and react to the input and critique of their peers and their Littler trainers. (four hours)
- Rapid Response Team Bootcamp: Equips team members with a comprehensive overview of how an employer’s educational campaign is structured and delivered, with an emphasis on preparing team members to proactively engage employees, to work constructively with affected local management and to serve as a conduit between the operation and key business stakeholders. (six hours)
- Campaign Simulation: Provides an “immersion program” in which single or multiday workshops incorporate complex scenarios and near-constant role playing delivered by experienced moderators with the assistance of dedicated role players to enhance the authenticity of the experience. Attendees are provided with mock experiences to assess local workplace issues, react to workplace interactions and engage with employees pre-election and during an election campaign. Depending on the client’s desires, we engage actors, furnish relevant props and coordinate recording of role plays for constructive feedback. Attendees at advanced simulations are often provided with study materials in advance to prepare and enhance their immersion in this program. As one supervisor attendee commented, “[Other similar] training gets you scared. This program gets you prepared!” (Duration varies)
Littler’s Positive Employee Relations Series is part of Littler’s ongoing commitment to provide practical, innovative solutions to employers of all sizes and in all industries. The above programs are tailored to meet an employer’s needs and expectations, including changes in content, format and duration.
Littler’s experienced attorneys also stand ready to assist the firm’s clients with additional labor-related services, such as:
- Vulnerability Assessments: Auditing for workplace issues, manager and supervisor readiness assessment, policy and practice review, market analysis/intelligence.
- Representation Case Preparedness: Assessing and litigating bargaining unit issues, preparing statements of position and witnesses for hearing.
- Campaign Communications Planning: Drafting communications to employees, customers, government entities and key stakeholders; coordinating media, public and government relations efforts.
- Preparing for and Defending against Workplace Disruptions: Counseling on business contingency planning in the face of labor unrest, as well as litigating as necessary in response to mass demonstrations and picketing.
- Managing in a Unionized Work Environment: Educating supervisors in newly organized environments on how to manage effectively under a collective bargaining agreement, progressive discipline and just cause, dealing with shop stewards and Weingarten rights.
- Negotiating Collective Bargaining Agreements: Preparing the bargaining committee for productive negotiations, including goal-setting, developing strategies and formulating proposals, and navigating the negotiations team through the process toward a collective bargaining agreement.