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Why you need to develop a good relationship with your employees and their union

by , 30 September 2013
If you think there's no need to establish a good working relationship with your employees' union, you might want to rethink that. Read on to discover why you need to have a good relationship with your employees and their union.

Any strike, irrespective of its size can be expensive for your business. The good news is you can beat strikes and save thousands of Rands if you have a good relationship with your employees and their union.

Not convinced?

Revealed: The benefits of having a good relationship with your employees and their union

The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service explains that the development and maintenance of a peaceful industrial relationship creates culture of peace, mutual trust and harmony.

While there's no simple recipe for achieving this end, the following approach can contribute to avoiding strikes:

You need to understand that all your employees, whether permanent or temporary including managers, have a right to form and join a union, attend union meetings and to represent or be represented in disciplinary hearings. They can also take part in protected strikes that trade unions have the right to organise.

That's why you must develop a healthy relationship with your employees' union. To do this, here are a few tips you can implement today:

  • Keep your employees' union informed about your company affairs, especially anything affecting your relationship with your employees.
  • Develop a forum to have monthly meetings with union representatives. Involve them in your workplace health and safety issues and encourage them to offer suggestions about how to make the workplace safe and employee friendly.
  • You must deal with the unions in an approachable manner rather than antagonising them.
  • In addition, train your employees and representatives on how your business works and on the other factors affecting your business and the difficulties involved in managing it.
  • You must stay vigilant, keep your ear to the ground and develop an environment that accommodates you and your employees' interests.

If you develop a good relationship with your employee's union and your employees, chances are they'll contact you before they contemplate striking.

The bottom line: A good union relationship will help your company run smoother. It'll also develop a relationship of trust and respect between you and your employees.

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