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You've seen the impact of a drawn-out strike - now try to avoid it in your workplace by using these tips to build relationships with trade unions

by , 23 June 2014
News reports suggest that platinum producers have lost R23.4 billion in sales and employees have missed out on R10.4 billion in wages.

This because of the Amcu led wage strike which began in January. Negotiations to end the strike are still continuing.

The impact of this strike shows the importance of building relationships with trade unions. In this weak economy, you can't afford to lose billions due to a strike.

So make sure you use these effective tips to build good relationships with unions so you can avoid a costly strike.

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Building good relationships with trade unions can help you avoid costly strikes – so use these tips to build the relationship

Tip #1: Be available

According to Small Business Chron some business counselors advocate a 'walk-around' theory of management. With this method, managers stroll through the workplace and observe actions and reactions.

It's a good idea to adopt this method as well. It'll help you pick up problems and solve them as soon as possible. You can also ask union representatives to bring up any issues that employees have.

Tip #2: Be open to ideas

Accept suggestions. Sometimes a worker will think of a better way to do a job or make a product better. Encourage employees to innovate and bring their ideas to managers or supervisors and recognise those efforts when they produce good results, says the site.

Tip #3: Know the job

Understand the work. If for example, you're dealing with construction workers or miners, let them know that you understand their jobs and how to do them.

It's easier to relate to a worker if you both understand how to use tools and do things. If you're not sure about the work, ask for advice.

So don't hesitate to ask a union leader for suggestions on how to approach a new product or development so he's part of the development team, concludes the site.

There you have it. A good relationship with unions could help you avoid a costly strike. If you want additional tips on building relationships, check out this article on FSP Business.

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