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Big question Josh.
The first real issue is how management wants or does not want the unions to participate. Many companies over here in europe restrict the use of business solutions for conducting union business, and they have the legal right to do so. So all employees are invited to use the social platforms, but they cannot use them for union business. And this is true of portals, wikis, document management, etc.
Then there is the potenial issue that union employees wont participate for various reasons. And this is no different than middle or senior manager resistance to using Jive, where they communicate that resistance to their employees. And the solution is the same : you have to work the top of the union pyramid so that they understand the value of participation for their unionized employees. That discussion will certainly involve active exchanges on how the system is used and administered :
- are employees judged on their participation?
- is their activity policed?
- what control do they have over their content and over what others say about them ?
- who can access their personal data and where does that data physically reside ?
All of these issues have answers but will also require compromises, so it's important that management and the social business leadership address these issues as early as possible. But that doesn't mean from the very start because it depends on how your adoption happens. We didn't have senior management support at the start. We didn't have resistance, but it just wasn't a subject that was on their radar. In 2008 and 2009, they had many bigger issues to deal with. But once it got on their radar, we were able to start addressing these issues which require senior director participation and leadership.