Leadership in a Union Environment



A practical workshop to provide leaders with the tools to promote harmony and improve performance in the workplace.


Managing in a union shop has become increasing complex because of the added stakeholders, legislative issues and challenging culture that may have been created. At the same time, front-line managers have the challenge of promoting continuous improvement amid perceptions that they have little power to get the job done effectively.

This skill-laden workshop will be provided by experts in two fields – one addressing the paralegal issues and the other the leadership initiative to ensure success.

Attendees will be provided with the foundation of maintaining an effective and motivated workforce.

Learn to

  • Improve performance while operating within the letter and spirit of the collective agreement
  • Understand and apply legal issues relating to union issues
  • Operate effectively within the boundaries of your collective agreement
  • Make the disciplinary process as painless as possible
  • Maintain effective working relationships with union representatives
  • Represent the interests of management professionally
  • Motivate staff so that the interests of all stakeholders are met
  • Deal effectively with poor performers
  • Reduce the number of disciplinary actions


2 days


  • Managers and front-line supervisors responsible for creating a positive working relationship with unionized workers and for creating a high-performance work
  • New human resource staff needing a broad overview of labour relations challenges and solutions
  • More senior managers new to a unionized environment


Day 1 Para-legal issues

  • Limitations and opportunities in dealing with the Labour Relations Act
  • Differences between the private and public sectors
  • The collective agreement: articles of importance including scheduling, hours of work, rules of conduct etc.
  • The grievance procedure
  • Disciplinary issues including just cause, suspension and investigation of facts.
  • Dealing with absenteeism: culpable and non-culpable issues
  • Programs to reduce absenteeism
  • The Human Rights Code.  Harassment, discrimination and duty to accommodate.

Day 2 Management Challenges and Opportunities

  • The challenge of daily supervision
  • Representing management while meeting the needs of staff at the same time
  • Breaking the cycle of cynicisms.
  • Knowing what it takes to motivate staff.
  • The building blocks of high performance
  • Setting Expectations and Performance Improvement
  • The impact of your expectations on performance
  • Changing the performance mindset with challenging S.M.A.R.T goals
  • Using measurement to motivate staff and ensure accountability.
  • Recognition: limitations and opportunities.
  • Dealing with difficult employees: having constructive feedback sessions that doesn’t feel like punishment.

Special features and deliverables.

As part of the program, participants will receive: 

  • A pragmatic workbook containing over a dozen forms that the supervisor can use to set up a formal performance improvement program
  • A copy of Cy Charney’s best selling book, The Instant Manager
  • A self evaluation of your leadership style using the DISC instrument