For businesses to remain competitive in today’s challenging environment, they must continually look for new ways to improve productivity and reduce costs. At the Hutchison Group, our team of experienced management consultants work closely with our clients to identify their specific needs and implement proven employee relations strategies for improvement. 

Listed below are just a few of the ways we help improve productivity, reduce costs, and increase organizational effectiveness:

Eliminate Restrictive Work Rules and Practices

One of the best ways to improve employee productivity is to ensure that the workforce is not encumbered by restrictive work rules or practices. To help identify potential problem areas and opportunities for improvement, our productivity consultants will arrange to interview frontline supervisors and employees. Based on their inputs, we will prioritize areas of concern and suggest alternative approaches that have been successfully employed by other companies. If your company has unions, our union contract negotiators will help prepare new contract proposals and employee relations strategies to facilitate their implementation. 

Create Broad Job Descriptions

Too often, company productivity and performance are hindered by having employees operate under narrowly defined job descriptions in overly complex multi-level job structures. Without question, expanding employees’ duties and scope of responsibilities is one of the best things a company can do to improve productivity. Operating with broad job descriptions can help reduce employee headcount, overtime requirements, and minimize administrative issues associated job reassignment. Equally important, expanding the scope of an employee’s job duties provides them with an important opportunity to learn new skills. 

Hutchison group has many years of productivity consulting experience helping companies review their current job structure and to evaluate each of their current job descriptions. Following a careful review, our labor relations consultants will identify potential opportunities for improvement and prepare a complete new set of flexible job descriptions to support your operation’s future success. 

“Thanks for helping us with the Boeing Acquisition…and creating a more flexible and productive job structure, consolidating the previous 125 hourly union jobs down to just 15 broad jobs has made a huge difference.”

Spirit AeroSystems

Reduce Levels of Management

Another item that has a direct impact on cost and workplace efficiency has to do with carefully assessing the levels of management or span of control. Research shows that organizations with fewer levels of management are more efficient, can react more quickly and implement required changes in a more timely manner. Our productivity consultants work with our clients to carefully assess each layer of management to help identify opportunities to improve efficiency and reduce cost.

Benchmark Wages and Benefits 

Working with company management and using highly regarded industry compensation surveys, our employee relations consultants help prepare strategies to improve employee relations and  to effectively benchmark pay rates for key positions and employee benefit plans. While this exercise should be conducted on a regular basis, it is especially helpful to understand your competitive position prior to any planned labor union contract negotiations.

Labor Relations and Leadership Training for Supervisors

Research shows that an employee’s day-to-day relationship with their immediate supervisor is the single biggest factor influencing their perception of the company, a significant impact on retention rates, teamwork, quality, and other key performance measures. It also shows that even a few supervisors with poor interpersonal skills can be the key cause for instigating union organizing campaigns, grievances, litigations, and other costly disruptions. For union represented locations, a few problem supervisors can make it far more difficult to secure and ratify a new competitive labor agreement.

“Providing supervisors with the skills to create and maintain a cohesive and productive workforce is essential for success”

The Hutchison Group provides onsite leadership and labor relations training for supervisors that is both practical and effective. As every company has different goals and objectives, our labor relations consultants start the process by meeting with senior management to ensure our labor relations training for supervisors addresses specific areas of concern.

Performance Based Rewards vs General Wage Increases

Unfortunately, most companies provide their hourly employees with uniform annual pay increases, irrespective of individual or company performance. While this approach is widely accepted and easy to administer, research has shown that it provides little motivation and promotes mediocrity, as it can have a deflating effect on high performers, while reinforcing the company’s acceptance of marginal performance. Our productivity consultants work with local management to devise and communicate compensation programs that are tied to both individual and company performance.

People Development and Succession Planning

As mentioned earlier, a company’s success is highly dependent on their ability to attract and retain skilled and talented employees. Aside from compensation, employees are interested in opportunities to grow and advance within the organization. Employees that have a clear career development plan in place are far more likely to remain with the company. Hutchison Group‘s productivity consultants can help management establish a career development planning process that will benefit both employees and the company; helping to retain talented employees, eliminate recruiting costs, and lost time training replacements. 

Improve Union-Management Relations 

For those companies with union represented employees, our experienced labor relations consultants help facilitate union-management cooperation in order to solve problems and identify opportunities for improvement. Our employee relations consultants facilitate discussions with union leadership and company management and develop practical action plans and labor negotiations consulting and strategy to achieve meaningful change for the benefit of all parties (company, employees, and union). The results of this approach typically include (1) working together to jointly identify and solve problems (2) create a more flexible and responsive work environment, (3) fewer grievances and other costly disruptions, and (4) increased ability to negotiate new competitive “win-win” collective bargaining agreements.

“Having worked with the Hutchison Group for over ten years, they are a respected and trusted resource that has repeatedly helped us improve our working relationships with company management.”

International Association of Machinists (IAM)

Employee Engagement (Listen to your Employees)

Research consistently shows that the best way to improve employee relations and productivity is to LISTEN to what your employees have to say; to understand their perceptions of what works, areas of concern, and their ideas for improvement. Our labor relations consultants have decades of experience conducting employee relations assessments, and helping companies establish practical and effective employee engagement programs.

 In addition to the services listed above, we provide a full range of other HR Consulting services to help your business thrive. For a complete list of our services please visit

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