The Semco Style 5 Principles to transform the way we work
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Unions as Stakeholders

Engage opposing interests

The stakeholder approach to business sees integration rather than separation and sees how things fit together– John Mackey


In a Nutshell

During the industrial times, unions used to have more power as they were seen to represent the rights of the employees. While they seem to less relevant in today’s corporate world, they do have an important role in countries which are more protectionist and potentially, welfare oriented.

In their heyday, unions held a lot of power and were influential over the employees. While many companies considered them as a nuisance or even as an enemy, they were actually a useful way of engaging employees by companies who knew how to work with them.  Even if they are not directly relevant anymore, examining their role and how companies like Semco engaged them is useful learning as stakeholder management. Learning how to make allies out of stakeholders who hold opposing interests will always be a relevant skill. When working with stakeholders with different interests, especially with what seems like opposing interests, the ultimate goal is to build trust so that the relationship can progress.

With good relationships already established, leveraging on them for a mutually beneficial solution is easier.  Engaging these stakeholders at moments of crisis also becomes less resource heavy as there is already an existing relationship and enough understanding in place.

 

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