Personal relationships between the managers and the trade unions are often good but this does not always translate into effective working when discussions relate to pay, policy and re-structures.

This series of workshops is designed to improve joint working between managers and trade union representatives to create efficiency and develop shared commitment, understanding and trust at a strategic level and can be used to roll out engagement-based partnership working across the organisation.

"The day went really well and we have already arranged a follow-up meeting for tomorrow to continue the discussions about the working hours and reward and recognition."

Objectives include:

  • Providing a clear understanding for trade union representatives of how organisations develop their strategies
  • Developing understanding on the part of the leadership team and other key staff of the role of the trade unions and joint working.

Working with Trade Unions - workshop for managers

Very few managers in the UK have experience of working with trade unions and this can lead to a lack of confidence when there are negotiations or important issues to discuss. In these circumstances, perception of trade unions can overtake reality leading to unsatisfactory outcomes for all parties.

This workshop will raise awareness of how trade unions work and how managers can work more effectively with them. Modules include:

  • Understanding the different types of negotiation techniques including: option-based, interest-based and traditional collective
  • Identifying what negotiating skills are; establishing objectives, preparation using 15 strategic questions, identifying your backstop position
  • Identifying what negotiation behaviours are; assertiveness, clear communication, understanding the behaviours that disengage
  • How to conduct the negotiations; the mechanism for releasing information, confidentiality, keeping track of where you have got to, moving to closure
  • Understanding the differences between consultation and negotiation; the impact of the Information & Consultation of Employees Regulations (2005); definitions; setting clear boundaries; mutual understanding and mutual agreement
  • Examining the purpose of Partnership Agreements, understanding who you will be dealing with and analysing their strategy
  • Action planning, next steps and further research

Workshop for trade union representatives

A fact-finding diagnostic workshop for trade union representatives to establish their perceptions of partnership working and discussing areas where they could improve both their understanding and whether they are currently maximising their opportunities to influence.

Joint workshop for managers and for trade union representatives

If participants have separately attended the managers' or representatives' workshop, the joint workshop will be based on key learning from these events.  Otherwise, the IPA facilitator will spend some time speaking to managers and representatives before preparing the agenda for the joint-workshop.

 The workshop can be facilitated over one or two days and would be likely to examine the following:

  • Definitions of joint working and shared principles
  • What currently works well and what needs improvement
  • How shared interests really works
  • The links between joint working and employee engagement
  • Processes including consultation, negotiation and information sharing
  • Strategic questioning and high quality communication
  • Behaviours including developing trust and mutual understanding and the no surprises culture
  • An action plan and next steps

Find out more...


Lucy O'Melia, head of learning and development

E          [email protected]  

M         07852 836560