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If your company doesn't have a suggestion box in place yet, you could face strike action soon...

by , 18 March 2013
Strikes are top of mind for many South African business owners. The CEO of Aveng warns that strike action cut 23% off Aveng's operating profit for the six months to December. You'll want to do all you can to prevent a similar situation in your company. Luckily, it's easy to prevent a strike - all you have to do is open up communication in one simple step!

Roger Jardine is CEO of diversified engineering and construction company Aveng.
On Friday, he said he's concerned that labour strikes will threaten his group's earnings and prevent the government's infrastructure spend from gaining momentum this year, reports the BusinessDay's BD Live website.
And Jardine's not alone with his concerns.
South Africa needs business and labour to co-operate, confirms economic development minister Ebrahim Patel on FSP Business.
Because strikes can result in loss of productivity, angry customers, financial losses, injury, damage to property and soured employee relations, adds the Labour Law for Managers Handbook
So it makes good business sense to do all you can to prevent strikes in the first place.
It's not as complicated as it sounds. 
The strike's all about the money… or is it?
The first step is to realise that's not always about the money – despite what news headlines tell you.
But it could help to tell your employees that their compensation is on a par with the rest of their industry (provided it really is!)
Do a quick comparison and make the results available to all employees.
That alone may prevent a strike, says Howtodothings.
And this type of open communication is often at the heart of preventing a strike.
Because the best way to prevent a strike is to make sure the work situation never becomes that antagonistic in the first place, says eHow. 
Open up communication and employee relations in your company with a suggestion box!
You'll need to make sure it's clear that you have an open door policy with any trade union representatives in your company.
Put up posters about communication and ask employees to attend a quick discussion session explaining they're welcome to voice their concerns by placing them in an anonymous suggestion box that's you'll go through at the start of each week, or getting a representative to discuss their concerns with management in a quick 10-minute weekly session.
This way, your employee representatives can discuss any issues of concern with you before resorting to strike action. You'll be able to address and sort out issues immediately, says FSP Business.
This will establish a relationship of trust between you and your employees, and make them more likely to approach you with issues before deciding to go on strike.
You'll have better communication channels in the company, and a much lower risk of employees deciding to go on strike as their needs aren't being met or concerns aren't being heard.
Simple as that. Implement a suggestion box in your company today! It'll make sure you're aware of employee concerns and save you from strike worry in the long run.

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