Last year, we wrote about the 7 lessons for successful bargaining which highlighted that “tit for tat” communications rarely lead to a successful bargaining outcome.  We regularly see that leading the communication agenda with employees is imperative in achieving any workplace change including enterprise bargaining.

Unfortunately, some union officials see enterprise bargaining as a fight between the union and the employer. Invariably the ‘campaign’ arrives.  Flyers put a spin on what’s happening inside and outside the negotiation.  Employers feel compelled to react and this plays into the ‘tit for tat’ game that the union thrives on.

Those of you who have led successful change programs are aware that the time of change should not be ‘be all and end all’ of engaging with your employees. In our experience, the most successful enterprise bargaining campaigns involve employers communicating throughout the cycle – not just every 3 or 4 years when the agreement is nearing its end date.  This is about being proactive.  It better contextualises your communication during the campaign.  Understanding ‘The Knowing-Doing Gap’ is an important element to achieving the required result.  This is the premise that just because you know something doesn’t mean it actually happens.

Modern models for employee engagement involve a sophisticated approach – one that demands ongoing and continuous attention throughout the employment life cycle, rather than the ‘episodic’ approach of enterprise bargaining.  Ongoing engagement with your employees through communications that produce measurable results will give you the best opportunity of achieving a successful change project.

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Photo of Ben Dudley Ben Dudley

Fascinated by what the workplaces of the future will look like – and loves to debate how things will change to get us there – Ben can take you, your organisation and your workforce into tomorrow.

While he doesn’t have perfect foresight (and who does?) his experience working with major employers and supporting their legal needs has given him the in-depth understanding needed to help organisations future-proof their workforces.

Motivated by high-risk and high-value industrial relations and employment challenges. When protecting you and the interests of your workforce, Ben is as comfortable visiting your manufacturing site as he is representing you in the court room.

Photo of Chris Gardner Chris Gardner

“Strategic”. That’s how clients consistently describe Chris.

Starting with the end in mind, he understands that legal advice is only one piece of the jigsaw when balancing strategy and risk.

Clients know they’ll receive advice that fits into the bigger picture.

Best recognised for workplace change and enterprise bargaining, Chris’ work has seen him at the forefront of engagements that matter. Countless employers have benefited from the pragmatic and solution-orientated advice that he is known for.

You may have seen him in Boss magazine, heard him on Qantas Q Radio or Foxtel’s Law TV. He is also famous for his collection of Elvis artefacts.