Tips for Managing in Partnership
Managers who engage their teams get better results
Managing in partnership is different from traditional management. You still have responsibility for managing employees’ performance, but when it comes to your department’s performance, the whole team plays a role in making the department a great place to work and to receive care. Frontline employees know where the problems are and have great ideas for solutions. Research shows that managers who engage their teams get better results, and team members are more enthusiastic about implementing the solution because they helped come up with it.
- Be knowledgeable about the National Agreement. Download the National Agreement or get from your local human resources representative.
- Get trained on the Labor Management Partnership. See your local learning and development website or our list of regional training contacts.
- Proactively develop relationships with your union partners. Get to know your shop steward, union representative and other local labor leaders. Check in with them on a regular basis to share information and get their ideas.
- Model partnership with your union partner. Treat each other with mutual respect. Attend LMP trainings together. Jointly develop meeting agendas and share meeting facilitation responsibilities. Share information, identify problems and develop possible solutions in collaboration.
- Be accessible to staff. Spend time visiting with people on the front lines. Roam the department on a regular basis. Eat in the lunch room. Implement an “open door” policy for staff members who come by and want to talk.
- Be open to the ideas of all employees. Encourage people to share ideas and have input on procedures or work flow. Create an environment in which people feel comfortable speaking up. And be open to trying new ways of doing things.
- Create a structure for dialogue and engagement. Make sure time is set aside for partnership meetings, huddles and training.
- Tell it like it is. Be open and honest in your communication and transparent with information. Share your department’s budget with team members to get their ideas on reducing costs.
- Recognize and value employees’ contributions. Go out of your way to acknowledge someone who comes up with or implements an idea that has made the department a better place to work and provide care.
- Develop employees to become department leaders. If union partners or other team members want to help the department succeed by polishing their problem-solving, meeting management or other skills, encourage and support them in their efforts.