Thursday, March 20, 2014

What a slick union-avoidance campaign looks like

If you’re a $72 billion company that happens to be staunchly anti-union, and money is no object in the education of your employees about how and why the cons of a labor union will undermine the pros of your company and its culture, this is what you get.

Gawker has published Target’s 14-minute employee training video, entitled, “Think Hard: Protect Your Signature.” It espouses the benefits of Target’s open-door and other HR policies, while warning employees about the risks of signing a union authorization card. The video is worth your time (but watch soon, before the inevitable cease-and-desist).

You, however, don’t need billions of dollars of revenue to craft a slick, YouTube-able union avoidance message. You can deliver the same themes in a conference room, with someone (like your friendly neighborhood labor lawyer) talking to your workers. For example, take a look at my post from earlier this year, A Lesson on Union Avoidance, which discusses Wal-Mart’s more low-tech approach, and how you can incorporate some of its themes in your communications to your employees.

The point, however, regardless of the delivery you choose, is to have a message to deliver. It’s part of what I call the TEAM approach to union avoidance:

     Train supervisors
     Educate employees
     Modernize policies

Understanding that union avoidance starts as soon as an employee walks in your door about applying for a job, and not as soon as a labor union approaches your employees about signing authorization cards, is the first step in honing the right strategy that will keep your company union free.