Union and Management

Unique Knowledge

Our knowledge stems from our experience on both sides of the table: union and management. It encompasses areas of safety, pensions, wages and specific issue negotiations. Our knowledge is based on our work in multiple industries including law enforcement, construction, food service, manufacturing, auto, shipping, transportation, hotel and grocer organizations.Oxford Company, Jeffrey Hansler keynote speaker, trainer, author, employee and management training and development

Unique Experience

Oxford Company Consultants has been brought into the deepest levels of union organizations and has been able to observe firsthand the inner workings of union officers, leadership, and staff, membership, and negotiations.

United Association Project

As can be seen in publicly available records, membership for the UA has fallen dramatically during the last five decades. There are many published articles stating the union has served its purpose regarding wages, health care, and safety and their services and involvement are no longer needed.

Oxford Company Consultants was hired to study the business environment and work with local unions in the southeast to determine changes necessary for membership declines to stop and to increase market share of union contractors.

Oxford Company Consultants conducted numerous interviews and meetings with union officials, union contractors, non-union contractors, general contractors, government officials, and end users (of contractors and general contractors). Through these meetings and interviews, we were able to identify specific actions and changes which could be made by local union officers and staff to increase membership and market share.Oxford Company, Jeffrey Hansler keynote speaker, trainer, author, employee and management training and development

The changes identified demanded dramatic cultural change requirements within the union and union staff job duty descriptions to address current market conditions and the generally negative perceptions of the union based on past union activities and directives.

Oxford Company Consultants then designed, created, and conducted training sessions for business managers, union officers, union contractors, general contractors, and union members to implement these changes.

Oxford Company Consultants directly implemented the change actions recommended as allowed with highly successful results, which provided a direct return on the investment over-and-above the costs for the program.

During their work with the UA, they addressed the challenges the trades union struggles with and unlocked the secrets to increased success by facilitating alignment of leadership and culture to generate real return on change initiatives.  Oxford Company Consultants took a wide-angle approach to address the issue of membership declining and looked at the real reasons: Young people are less likely to join the union today because they have other viable options to enter the construction trade and see no benefit to belonging to the union. People originally joined the union to have access to jobs and training they could not obtain otherwise. That is not the situation today.

Oxford Company Consultants was able to identify and convince leadership of a basic understanding (previously a misconception) they were operating under: The union’s ability to organize workers at the most fundamental level is constrained by its own internal structures and culture. Oxford Company Consultants designed the programs to convey and convince union leadership that their membership and their contractors were their ‘customers’ and should be treated as such.Oxford Company, Jeffrey Hansler keynote speaker, trainer, author, employee and management training and development

Change Management requires accountability for continued improvement and Oxford Company Consultants possess the unique ability to engage people at a personal level and create the movement needed to implement change. For this project, we delivered collaborative skills to facilitate leadership executive meetings for strategic growth to determine future strategies for the Union. Change management could not be passed off to others, it needed to be implemented on all levels and ingrained into the cultural fabric of the Union.

Oxford Company looked at all levels of the Union and offered change in daily routine to increase and improve performance and provide accountability through repetition and reward. Oxford Company Consultants team knows that change is non-linear and chaotic. They provided critical road signs to guide the union through the chaos and to their desired destination.  They collaborated with union leaders to develop the road map required for completion.

The program provided maximized learning and retention, and new skills were applied to the current situations within the union. Following each session we were able to provide further guidance and answer questions on an individual basis, and meet with union leaders.

Our approach to persuasive communication has been described as ‘building persuasive communication DNA’. As the individuals in the Union learned the skills presented in our programs, they were able to relationship sell, retain their authority as advisors, and be more consistent in the time they spent developing new business, nurturing relationships, opening new opportunities, and increasing membership. Union negotiations with their contractors were cut from three months to two days in multiple cases.Oxford Company, Jeffrey Hansler keynote speaker, trainer, author, employee and management training and development

We worked on increasing their awareness of the skills used currently to build relationships, and we supplied them additional skills to increase awareness of existing and new offerings by the UA. We introduced assessments tool that created awareness of persuasive communication skills. We thoroughly addressed different experiences and proficiencies with our training design, delivery, and programs. We created a positive and safe classroom environment for open sharing and rapid learning. Our belief system regarding persuasive communication contributed to our training effectiveness. Once the leadership team and members learned the persuasive communication models they would be able to apply those models to customer service, relationship building, C-Level access, sales, negotiation, and increased membership.

Oxford Company Consultants invested three years in coaching, consulting, and training the United Association. The goal was to change a 125 year culture from a rule based to an adaptive organization to increase man-hours for members. The adaptive changes and results achieved were: 4 locals entirely transformed their negotiations and their relationships with their contractors; 16,000 man-hours brought in through 3 projects in 2012. This was accomplished from 2009 to 2012. We know that great change requires great effort and commitment.

Management and unions will continue to face a barrage of changes due to the outside influences of the markets and changing laws. They can either adapt to the market and the needs of their industry or face extinction. UA Tripartite Convention 2011 >>


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