No matter how brilliant and progressive the senior management team is, for the vast majority of employees, the company and its culture are defined by their daily interactions with their immediate supervisor. Given that the success of most every company is largely determined by the productivity and initiative of their employees, the supervisor’s day-to-day relationship with their employees is extremely important.

In fact, research shows that these daily interactions have 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. In union represented locations, a few problems can make it far more difficult to secure and ratify a new competitive labor agreement.

Our experience over the years has shown that approximately 80 percent of all employee problems
and grievances are generated by just 20 percent of the supervisors.

As critical as the supervisor’s role is, it is interesting to note that over the past 20 plus years, we have found that most companies spend very little, if any, time training and educating their supervisors as to how their daily behaviors can have a significant impact on their employees and group performance.

The Hutchison group provides customized employee relations training for supervisors that is both practical and effective. As every company has different goals and objectives, we start the process by meeting with senior management to ensure our training efforts address specific areas of concern relevant to your business. Here are a few benefits derived from our program:

  • Improve Communication, Teamwork and Performance
  • Reduce Employee Turnover
  • Help Supervisors Understand how their Interactions Impact Employees
  • Make Clear Company Expectations for the Supervisory Role
  • Provide “Dos And Don’ts” for Maintaining Good Morale
  • Reduce the Risk of Costly and Disruptive Union Organizing Campaigns
  • If Represented by a Union, Help Set the Stage for Productive, Future Negotiations
  • Provide Individual Coaching and Counseling as Required

Again, given our 20+ years working with companies to improve labor relations, we have found no more important endeavor then to prepare and equip first-line supervisors with the necessary skills and insights to create and maintain a cohesive and productive unit of employees. Contact us today to start working with one of our experienced employee relations consultants.

The above article was written by Cameron J. Hutchison, President and Founder of Hutchison Group, Inc. Established in 1996, the Hutchison Group is a highly regarded management consulting firm focused on all aspects of labor and employee relations; helping union and non-union employers improve productivity, teamwork and performance. Visit our web page at