Well, David Letterman reached an agreement with the writers, and they are coming back to work. For him. No such luck for those of us who are anxiously awaiting the return of our favorite show. Nevertheless, the labor dispute is continuing to teach us valuable lessons. Like why companies should avoid this mess in the first place.
Here is a newsflash for you: Happy employees don’t unionize. Employees unionize because they perceive that their employers are not treating them fairly. While “fair” doesn’t mean that an employer has to roll over to all employee demands, it does mean that they should listen to them. Open communication between management and employees is vital not only to the company’s bottom line but also to remaining union-free.
My critics (and there appear to be a lot of them) will say easier said than done. Point well taken. So here are some tips for management on how they might better improve communication with their employees:
Have regular meetings with small groups of employees to discuss working conditions;
Encourage supervisors to build personal relationships with the people working for them;
Implement and maintain an “open door” policy for employees to raise concerns without the fear of retaliation.
Those are my suggestions. Take them for what they are worth.