S. Amir Kohan

Proficiency Indicators that SHRM Has Identified for Labor Relation Professionals

The following are the proficiency indicators that SHRM has identified as key concepts for mid-level HR Professionals:

• Supports interactions with unions and other employee representatives
• Supports the organization’s interests in union-management activities
• Assists and supports the organization in the collective bargaining process
• Participates in or facilitates ADR processes (e.g., arbitration, mediation)
• Makes recommendations for addressing other types of employee representation (e.g., governmental legal)
• Develops and implements workplace policies, handbooks, and codes of conduct
• Provides guidance to employees on the terms and implications of their employment agreement and the organization’s policies and procedures (e.g., employee handbook)
• Consults managers on how to supervise difficult employees, handle disruptive behaviors, and respond with the appropriate level of corrective action
• Conducts investigations into employee misconduct and suggests disciplinary action when necessary
• Manages employee grievances and discipline processes
• Resolves workplace labor disputes internally

Key concepts for senior-level HR Professionals:

• Manages interactions and negotiations with the union and other employee representatives (e.g., governmental, legal)
• Serves as the primary representative of the organization’s interests in union management activities (e.g., negotiations, dispute resolution)
• Manages the collective bargaining process
• Consults on and develops an effective organized labor strategy (e.g., avoidance, acceptance, adaptation) to achieve the organization’s desired impact on itself and its workforce
• Educates employees, managers, and leaders at all levels about the organization’s labor strategy (e.g., avoidance, acceptance, adaptation) and its impact on the achievement of goals and objectives
• Educates employees at all levels about changes in the organization’s policies
• Coaches and counsels managers on how to operate within the parameters of organizational policy, labor agreements, and employment agreements
• Oversees employee investigations and discipline


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