So You Wanna Be an HPWO:
Characteristics, Barriers, Beginnings


Characteristics of a High-Performance Workplace

From The U.S. Department of Labor

•Employee Participation

• Employment Security Strategies

• Education, Training/Retraining, Skill Upgrading

• Gainsharing

• Safe, Flexible, Family-Friendly Workplace


Typical Barriers to Establishing Workplace Partnerships

From the U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, "Working Together for PublicService http://www.dol.gov/dol/_sec/public/media/reports/worktogether/toc.htm

• Mistrust, often arising from a history of difficult workplace relationships, recent campaigns, impasses, or other conflicts

• Lack of skills for carrying on participative relationships. Parties otherwise fall back on skills common to hierarchical management or traditional labor-management relationships

• Failure to recognize that the partnership program must be developed in concert with all affected parties. It rarely works if it is only the idea of one group

• Continued reliance on formal aspects of personnel/labor relations, such as refusal to try new approaches, or reluctance to discuss issues necessary to service improvement

• Fear of job loss makes employees and some managers reluctant to join in problem-solving

• Union leaders unwilling to support the effort if a participative program ignores their role and is seen as an attempt to bust the union

• Mid-level managers or union officials who may feel their traditional roles or status threatened by the team-oriented and participative arrangements


How to Begin: Steps to Creating an HPWO Environment

The following bullet points were adapted from the U.S. Department of Labor.
For the full text and explanation of each point http://www.dol.gov/dol/_sec/public/media/reports/worktogether/execsum.htm
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, "Working Together for Public Service"

• Start Small

• It's a Circle. [ the participative effort, and the trust that builds, can transfer from one area or project to another]

• Where You Start Depends On Where You Begin. [Every place has its own history and possibilities]

• Leadership Commitment

• Break with Past [Business] Habits

• Training

• Neutral Assistance

• Conflict Resolution

• Employment Security

• Respecting the Role of the Union

• Flexibility on Both Sides

• Increased Cohesion Within Each Side

• Changed Roles for Labor and Management in Collective Bargaining Relationships

• Success Can Come From Even the Poorest of Histories

Next»


Story Synopsis • So You Wanna Be an HPWO • Interviews with Workers
• Challenges to HPWO • On Leadership • Learn More About HPWO

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