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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Minnikin

Fortune favours the brave: Why your crew should join a union

If you’re a business leader I bet you’re thinking: Michelle, are you mad?! The truth is, most managers would never dream of encouraging their employees to join a union.

Let’s face it, it takes a really badass Pirate Captain to be the kind of leader who advocates for union membership - it’s certainly not for the faint-hearted!

With synchronised industrial action across the UK very much on the cards, the whole country is witnessing the impressive power of unions in real-time - including your employees. If they know you’re truly flying the flag for them, they’ll be the most loyal crew you could ever imagine.

If you’re feeling brave and really want to walk the walk instead of just talking the talk, find out why encouraging your employees to join a union is the way to unfuck work for everyone.

Navigating the Great Resignation

Any business operating during The Great Resignation knows only too well that employees are not putting up and shutting up any longer. The pandemic kickstarted a new era of remote working, and geography is no longer a barrier to better prospects for workers across a wide range of sectors.

Staff are no longer prepared to put up with workplaces that don't put them first.

Now more than ever, employees hold the power and are more than happy to vote with their feet if their workplace doesn’t meet their needs. Staff are no longer going to be swayed by empty perks like pool tables or ‘Beer Fridays’, they want real benefits from their employers and expect a reciprocal and respectful relationship.

By encouraging employees to join a union, you’re not just making empty gestures, you’re demonstrating true transparency and a genuine desire to prioritise worker wellbeing - daring to be held accountable if you fail.

Fulfilling the Social In ESG

Whatever size your business is, there’s no escaping the global shift towards a more sustainable and ethical way of doing business. The pressure to meet environmental, social and governance (ESG) requirements will only keep growing.

While reducing carbon emissions is a huge priority for many businesses, it’s important not to overlook the social aspect of ESG. Ensuring your company operates ethically, pays fair wages, encourages diversity and has processes to protect against misconduct are all part of being a socially responsible company.

Working with a union means that employees are empowered to speak up if a business falls short of these, and encourages companies to regularly review and improve their operations.

Gaining a powerful ally

Former TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber once said: “Good employers have nothing to fear from trade unions and everything to gain”. With this in mind, businesses should remember that rather than being the enemy, unions are a resource that savvy leaders can tap into to empower their people.

Unions can support businesses through their expertise and resources in a wide variety of issues, including health & safety, processes, communication, training and development, which ultimately will keep morale high and improve productivity in a healthy way without compromising the happiness of the workers.

Working collaboratively, unions and employers can improve conditions for everyone, keeping your crew happy and your ship on course through whatever stormy seas are ahead!

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