You own and operate a small business with less than 100 employees. Things are great. You get to the office Monday, ready for another terrific week of sales and productivity. But there’s a problem.

You open a letter from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to find out your production employees want a union and are seeking an election.

You don’t understand it and don’t know what to do.

The first thing you should do is call Koppekin Consulting Inc.

Additionally you should ask yourself: how did this happen?

The signs are usually right in front of you. You just haven’t been paying attention to them. Not convinced?

Office Job

Signs of Trouble

Unionization doesn’t happen overnight. Employees will often show you signs that speak to their unhappiness. For example, you might notice an increase in employee complaints. While you may not give much thought to these complaints or view them as insignificant, the problem might be larger than you anticipated. Another sign of contention? Have you noticed that your employees are calling in sick more frequently? One misstep on your part: not checking in to find out more. Another sign to be wary of is if many of your employees are taking their breaks or eating their meals together in large groups. While there is nothing strange about this, if the group grows suddenly or more frequently, this could be a sign that trouble is brewing.

All of these small things are tell-tale signs that all is not well from the employee perspective. While you should have made your call to Koppekin Consulting Inc. weeks ago, it’s not too late to begin to remedy the situation.

If you’ve found yourself in this position, there are plenty of resources and strategies for you to employ. The best and easiest way to avoid a sudden election is to apply preventive care and anticipate problems before they rise to a level that prompts your employees to unionize. How does one go about doing this?


Preventive Strategies

Managing a group of employees can be a challenging job. As the manager, you’ll need to instill a strong commitment to the structures in place. You should also be invested in supporting and caring for the employees you hire. This is the best and most efficient way to keep company morale high and to continue growing your business.

Provide small incentives and rewards

This is a great way to keep the morale high and to keep employees content. Consider bringing donuts and coffee to the office one morning a month. Or, enact a summer Friday schedule, where employees can leave for the weekend a few hours early. You’ll be surprised at how successful these rewards can be.

Be a thoughtful leader

This goes back to the signs of employee dissatisfaction. If you notice an employee who is absent from work more than usual, take it upon yourself to check-in with him or her. Is your employee facing an illness that is preventing them from working at their full potential? Are they going through a rough patch at home? Taking the time to check in can go a long way to inspire loyalty from your employees.


These tactics mean more work on your end. But in the long run, applying preventive strategies can be an incredibly useful and rewarding experience for you and your employees.

Stephen Koppekin