Contrary to popular belief it is possible for management and unions to get along. The relationship between the two doesn’t always have to be contentious. The most important thing in this relationship is respect. If management and union leaders have respect for each other the rest is downhill, theoretically.
Management and unions don’t innately distrust each other. However there is always a level of distrust until one side earns the trust of the other. The only way the management-union relationship can be healthy is if everyone in leadership is willing to listen to what the other side has to say. Regardless of how important an issue may be if you’re not willing to listen then there’s no use in the other person talking.
This is where respect comes in. No one is going to take you seriously if they don’t respect you. In the workplace respect is the only collateral you have. Once you’ve lost the respect of someone it’s difficult to regain it. The management-union relationship is one of those relationships where a lack of respect can have long-lasting repercussions.
If management doesn’t respect union leadership the day-to-day issues of rank-and-file union members could be very difficult. Simple things like taking lunch, using leave, working overtime etc. can be problematic. On the other hand union leadership needs to be clear that obtaining the trust of management should be one of their top priorities. Many union members don’t understand or care that their actions can affect the management-union relationship.
Over the years I’ve watched management make decisions that were not favorable to unions. When union representatives clamored about the decision, management cited the actions of certain union members. I’ve talked to union representatives and they’ve said some of their members don’t care how management views them.
This attitude is fine if these employees weren’t affecting the lives of others. As with any group of people you always have those that only care about themselves. Likewise, management has to deal with some managers putting a strain on the management-union relationship. There are some managers that don’t care if the management-union is contentious or not.
Trying to obtain or maintain a good management-union relationship and keeping selfish employees in line is a balancing act. This balancing act can be accomplished when both sides respect each other and keep the lines of communication open.
If you have questions about this post and more please contact me at email@example.com and www.linkedin.com/pub/cornell-jenkins/11/476/897/
Those of you that follow my blog know I’m all about Human Resources (HR) and Training and Development (T&D). However, this week I’m going to depart from the norm. I need to put some things in perspective.
My father passed away two months ago. He was the oldest of seven children. Those seven children produced more than 20 grandchildren. When someone passes away, the family goes through many changes. The challenge for me and my family is grieving (managing) the loss of my father. Our lives are changed forever. There’s a new paradigm we have to get used to.
Losing a loved one is one of the most traumatic experiences anyone can go through. And, as traumatic of an experience as this may be, my family and I have to adjust to a new way of living. Most people don’t like paradigm shifts especially when they’re negative.
In today’s rapidly changing workplace more people are experiencing paradigm shifts than not. Paradigm shifts can be good or bad depending on which side of the shift you’re on. Adjusting to something new and/or different isn’t easy. When you initially hear that a paradigm shift is on the horizon, your first response is to decide if you like it or not. Then you have to make the mental adjustments necessary to adapt to the shift(s) that are taking place. Adjusting to a paradigm shift is more mental than anything. If you’re not mentally on board with the shift, it’ll be difficult to live with the new paradigm.
The term change management is used so often that it’s being overused. I know the workplace is rapidly changing but gee wiz slow down with the overuse. People not in the HR and T&D industry, read and hear the term so often and in different contexts that the true meaning gets lost. Change management, in its simplest form means managing changes in the workplace.
Today’s workplace is changing so rapidly the term change management is not only a noun but it’s also a verb. It’s become a verb because it’s a skill-set that many employers are looking for. It’s a skill-set because of the technical expertise that is required to manage the change(s). The changes that are occurring are due to the economy, advancements in technology, and customer demands. The simple definition may be managing change but the execution requires a lot of skill.
Whether it’s in your personal life or the workplace, managing change is something we all have to do. We have to realize that a paradigm shift is upon us and try our best to make the necessary adjustments.
A few weeks ago I attended ASTD’s International Conference and Expo #ASTD2014. After spending a couple of days with other T&D professionals, it reminded me why I’m passionate about T&D. As with any conference, you leave rejuvenated and excited ready to go back and apply what you learned. However, this year’s conference gave me another level of appreciation for my T&D colleagues. Listening to some of the difficulties other T&D professionals are having with management or clients made me feel normal. It was comforting to know that other people are having similar problems.
Some of their stories were so intense I wanted to hug some of my colleagues. The issues they were dealing with weighed on them so heavily they almost burst into tears. I also wanted to hug my colleagues (weather presenters or attendees) that provided solutions to the problems others were having. Watching people sympathize, empathize and provide solutions to other professionals was heart-warming.
As HR professionals (regardless of discipline), we are always talking about management providing recognition to employees. Why not look across the aisle at the person who is doing the same thing you’re doing and say, “Thank You”? Thank you for being so passionate about our profession. Thank you for sharing your experiences, I learned a lot from you. Thank you for the taking time to encourage me. Thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge with me
We blog and tweet because we’re passionate about our profession. Every Friday, Christopher Demers does his weekly Best Blogs. Christopher highlights other bloggers because he appreciates the good information they provide other HR professionals. In the vein of appreciating other professionals there are several people I’d to thank; Halelly Azulay @HalellyAzulay, Dan Steer @dan_steer, Rory C. Trotter @SomethingDifferentHR, and Christopher Demers @ChristopherinHR. Thank you for spending time with me! Thank you for putting out good content for your colleagues.
I appreciate what you do for our profession. Keep up the good work and keep putting good information out there for the rest of us! Your labor for our profession is not in vain!
If you want to know other ways you can demonstrate appreciation for your colleagues, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and http://www.linkedin.com/pub/cornell-jenkins/11/476/897/