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Avoid a crippling strike in your workplace using these successful wage negotiations methods

by , 21 June 2013
Exxaro CEO Sipho Nkosi has told a round table discussion in Sandton that investors are hesitant to bring business to South Africa because downsizing and restructuring are frowned upon. Nkosi says government needs to clarify the future of the industry to restore investor confidence, Eye Witness News reports. Nkosi's comments come as the mining industry continues to battle with unprotected strikes over wage negotiations, proposed job cuts as well as union rivalry. If you think this has nothing to do with your company, think again. All companies face the threat of a crippling strike when wage negotiations come to a deadlock. Ensure you're prepared for any eventuality. Here are seven essentials for successful wage negotiations to prevent disruptions at your workplace.

Successful wage negotiation is when the wage increase employees agree to comes to an amount you're happy to pay or at least an amount you can afford to pay as an employer.

In achieving this agreement, no serious damage should be done to your business or to your long-term relationship with your employees.

The biggest mistake you could ever make as an employer is to 'walk into wage negotiations with trade unions without a fundamental knowledge of collective bargaining, the negotiation process and the relevant legislation,' warns The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service.

But there are methods you can use to conduct wage negotiations successfully and avoid a deadlock that'll and other disruptions to your business.

Avoid strikes using these seven wage negotiations essentials

  1. Don't attempt to lead wage negotiations until you've properly developed the skills necessary for successful negotiations. If you 'mess it up you could either unnecessarily cause a strike or end up agreeing to wage increases you can't afford,' says Loose Leaf.
  2. Invest substantial time and effort in thorough preparation for wage negotiations.
  3. Devise a strategy that'll get you what you want, while still reaching a settlement that's acceptable to your employees.
  4. Ensure you've agreed strike rules with your employees and unions and a strike contingency plan in place well before wage negotiation time.
  5. When you reach a deadlock, don't hesitate to call in an experienced mediator.
  6. Ensure in advance you have the right people on your team and you have all the resources you need.
  7. Keep discussions calm, rational, impersonal, cordial and focused at all times.

Using these methods will ensure you conduct wage negotiations with your employees successfully and avoid a crippling strike.

Discover how to stand up to striking employees and even completely avoid strikes with the A-Z Guide to Preventing and Managing Strikes...

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