10 Effective Strategies for HR Leaders to Improve Union Communication

Crawford Thomas Recruiting Blog

Effective communication between HR leaders and union representatives is crucial for fostering a positive workplace environment. By understanding union members’ perspectives and concerns, HR can build trust and mutual respect that benefits everyone involved. Here are ten strategies from Forbes Human Resources Council members on improving HR-union communication, along with successful industry examples. For the full Forbes Human Resource Council article, click here.

  1. Talk and Listen to One Another Communication requires active listening and responsiveness. Authenticity and respect are key. If an answer cannot be provided immediately, explain why and set a timeframe to reconvene. – Ilyssa DeCasperis, LA County Metro
  2. Be Open to Collaboration Transparency, active listening, and collaboration are essential. Successful negotiations on wages, working conditions, or dispute resolution build trust and productivity. This collaborative dynamic, although gradual, is invaluable. – William Stonehouse, Crawford Thomas Recruiting
  3. Practice Honesty and Transparency Honesty behind both open and closed doors is crucial. Collaborate transparently with union leaders to avoid a divisive “them versus us” mentality. – Nakisha Dixon, Vercara
  4. Bridge Understanding Through Neutral Facilitators Neutral facilitators help ensure both sides are heard and understood, bridging gaps in understanding. – Britton Bloch, Navy Federal
  5. Have a Say in Contracting Involvement in contract negotiations shows mutual interest in employees’ needs, building trust and respect. This foundation eases subsequent interactions, especially during disagreements. – Laci Loew
  6. Act as Partners Reducing friction and thinking of HR and union reps as partners in the employee’s career enhances the relationship. Working together towards a shared goal creates a thriving work environment. – Tracy Cote, StockX
  7. Hold Joint Sessions Regular joint sessions focusing on industry trends, such as automation and globalization, foster collaborative strategies for future challenges, shifting dynamics from adversarial to cooperative. – Katrina Jones
  8. Respect One Another’s Perspectives Transparency, respect, and understanding of union representatives’ perspectives improve communication. Regular meetings between HR and union reps enhance employee morale and productivity. – Reema Akhtar, Seer Solutions
  9. Make Communication a Regular Thing Embracing transparency and regular dialogue enhances HR-union communication. For instance, a Detroit manufacturing firm held quarterly meetings with union leaders, leading to improved worker benefits and productivity. – CJ Eason, JobFairGiant.com
  10. Learn from Those Around You By implementing strategic communication practices and learning from real-world examples, HR leaders can enhance interactions with union representatives, leading to better collaboration, trust, and outcomes for all stakeholders. – Jessica Kriegel, Culture Partners

Highlighting Crawford Thomas Recruiting President, William Stonehouse’s contribution, he emphasizes the importance of transparency, active listening, and collaboration in building trust and boosting productivity through successful negotiations, demonstrating the long-term value of a healthy HR-union relationship.

Crawford Thomas Recruiting10 Effective Strategies for HR Leaders to Improve Union Communication