Team Communication

 Team Communication


The outward face of an organization cannot be different from its inward face. Public management statements must reflect the reality of the workplace. The employee, after decentralized finance news all, is a community member, and can readily detect misrepresented facts. If management is inconsistent or downright deceitful, employees will know, in short order, and will the rest of the community.

Openness and candor, both within and outside the company, should be among the leading principles of communications policy.

Unions, like employees, should be treated as unique entities. Their size, the form of their organization, even their personalities are factors to be considered. Communicating with unionized employees in theory should be the same as communicating with any other employees. The leadership of a progressive union understands and expects that in advance of any action management will supply employees the facts about decisions that affect them, allowing discussion before changes are made, and that employee protest, if any, will be made through the grievance procedure. The thesis is straightforward: management is responsible, in the full sense of the word, for operations and employees; the union is the duly elected monitor of certain bargained employee rights. If there is no violation, real or imagined, of these rights, no protest is appropriate.

Often management has, by bargaining or by practice, delegated some employee communications rights to the union leadership. In the most negative situation imaginable, management has turned over a great many communication responsibilities to the union organization and has rendered itself mute to a great extent. Management should not allow itself to be gagged by union pressure or lose its communication rights through lack of assertiveness. It hurts business effectiveness because it overrides the proper roles of management, employee, and union.

Whenever possible the management of a unionized operation should:

  • Establish or maintain credibility with employees
    • Keep union officials informed in advance of major items, good or bad, so they are not caught unaware
    • Emphasize the concept that employees will be kept informed of things which affect them on the job, with union representatives processing via established procedures-employee complaints and/ or grievances within the contract terms.

Union representatives may find it easier to let management do the communicating with employees rather than doing it themselves. Passing on negative news is a tough role for a union representative. While he should not be in the position of appearing unaware or ineffective, he should not have the burden of transmitting management’s point of view in selling or explaining something to employees. The burden should be placed on management’s shoulders.



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