Here’s a great article on the consequences of poor communication
Each day on my way into the office I drive by a company that does something with construction equipment. Approximately 2 weeks ago, their employees went on strike and have an elaborate picket line setup in front of the business. For days I’d drive by, looking at these men camped out in front of their place of employment with signs and attempt to read the signs while managing to drive and stay in my lane. Yes, I was doing some rubbernecking! I was intrigued what would cause a sizable group of people to boycott their source of income, and make a public stand in the fashion they chose. Curious got the cat, and finally I decided to stop and ask one of them what this was all about. I had my preconceived notions that it probably had to do with money or benefits. What I heard was really fairly surprising. It had little to do with money or employee benefits, and everything to do with communication.
According to this employee; this company, like many, took a real hit in the economy downturn from 2009 up until recent times. Fortunately local economic conditions have begun to recover and the company has begun to make progress and re-gaining it’s footing. This employee continued on telling me he’d worked for this company for over a decade and wanted me to know he was loyal to the company. Stories were shared about previous difficult times he’d been thru with them, yet he remained a loyal and hard working employee. This time was different. The open communication between employee and employer had been broken, and subsequently so had the trust.
The company began to regain financial ground in 2013, taking advantage of all the growth in Northern Colorado related to the oil and gas industry. This employee explained that during the downturn, the company he was now striking against, did not lay off employees, tightened their belts, which also including no raises and some reductions in benefits for all the employees. I was told that very few employees left during those years, and most believed the company would recover and they would all again share in the rewards. Promises were made that once things picked back up, raises would take place and benefits would be re-instated. Those promises had not yet been fulfilled, and here we are more than 1/2 way into 2014, or nearly a year after business began picking up. At this point in talking with this worker I was really intrigued. I knew there had to be a defining moment that took frustrated employees to the point of going on strike and I wanted to know what it was. I just listened to this workers story, anxiously awaiting for the details.
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