When it comes to considering implementation of new company tools, such as an employee app, be sure not to underestimate the power of your unions. It’s important to not only inform them, but to get them involved as soon as possible in the process.
The following are essential steps to take and considerations to account for when approaching union representatives about changes to company operations that directly involve your workforce. Doing so will avoid the miscommunication that can arise from informing them last minute, and better ensure their crucial support in the rollout of your employee app.
1. Identify what your company wants to achieve with the implementation of an employee app and how it relates to union concerns.
A first step to take in preparation for approaching your union is to define the core goals of incorporating an employee app into your workforce management strategy. This involves ascertaining what is most germane to them when it comes to backing for company tools. Those core goals should align with typical union concerns around implementing new digital company tools that could include linking performance to participation, activity tracking, and BYOD policies as related to employee app use. A key benefit of introducing an employee app as part of your operations strategy is providing more transparency to all employees with a company tool that shares information non-desk workers usually find hard to access. This should be strongly aligned with the union’s agenda.
Adopting an employee app with the following benefits in mind could address these union concerns:
- While Beekeeper is already union-friendly, adding a mobile solution for workforce shift management, such as Gustaf, maintains union-compliance while reducing workload so union personnel spend less time monitoring shift schedules.
- Because AI technology manages the complete shift coverage lifecycle––from the moment an employee messages Gustaf to drop their shift to notifying managers that the shift is covered––managers don’t have to work after hours or go into overtime to find shift coverage.
- Ability to establish Fairplay rules, an area in the employee app dedicated to the unions to communicate how Beekeeper shall be used in company internal communications and operations.
2. Don’t get lost in the details. Do emphasize how your workforce benefits.
With Beekeeper, your workforce has access to information via a mobile employee app that they wouldn’t get otherwise. Make the case for any new company tools by demonstrating how it makes a positive difference for your workforce and their daily tasks. For example, focus on how the proposed new company tool will simplify daily operations or will improve work environment. Maintaining workforce data privacy is important to unions, so the social features of your proposed employee app may appear overwhelming and time-consuming at first glance. Be sure to reassure them of the employee engagement benefits of posting, liking, and commenting, and that employee data security is ensured. Other relevant aspects to mention are the availability of the employee app, namely that your workforce has access at work if BYOD is of concern, via digital signage or terminals where employees can consume company news and related content. Last but not least, Beekeeper helps your workforce’s internal communications remain GDPR compliant.
3. Get unions involved early in the employee app decision and rollout process to address any concerns.
Approaching the union relationship as one of intentional collaborator is an equally important and extended aspect of your employee app implementation as obtaining their buy-in. Just as vital as leadership buy-in, involving union reps in any trainings or onboarding activities for the employee app rollout with your workforce models how to engage with the new company tools. This gives them the opportunity to weigh in on best practices for using the employee app, and builds mutual trust. Post-implementation, follow-up with union reps to get feedback on how daily use of the employee app is going and adjust as necessary.
Remember that unions can be your ally in company tools adoption. By including them early in the proposal process and incorporating their insights throughout implementation, the roll out of your employee app will go a lot more smoothly. Plus, unions will understand and appreciate the new opportunity to share real time updates on their end.