A West Michigan food processing company faced the threat of workforce disruption. An out-of-town union attempted to organize the workforce by making undeliverable promises and threats. The company relied on close collaboration and teamwork to produce its quality products, and the introduction of a third party into the management relationship would ultimately have harmed the company and employees.
We counseled the best resolution for the issue would be in creating a shared understanding of the company’s goals and values. We interviewed managers in every level of the company’s leadership structure to build our own understanding of how completely they had internalized goals and values and how effective they could be in communicating them to the workforce. Where there were gaps we conducted training and developed communications materials to assist them in building credibility and understanding with the workforce. We also carried out a complete audit of company communications channels and practices before developing a comprehensive communications plan for the company.
In the short term the employees resoundingly rejected third-party representation. For the longer term the company put in place its communications plan to ensure that everyone in the organization could always share the company’s vision, direction and values.