Constantia Park Weltevredenpark Roodepoort Gauteng 1709 South Africa

Supervising / Managing in a Unionised Environment (Demo)

2 days but by leaving out certain content the courses can be shortened.

All levels of managers and supervisors – courses cover the same material but are tailored to each group. Programmes:
Supervising in a Unionised Environment (SUE) is targeted at supervisors and foremen (2 days); and
Managing in a Unionised Environment (MUE) is targeted at managers (2 days but can be reduced to 1 day); and
Managing a Unionised Workforce (MUX) is targeted at Executives (1 day but can be reduced to half day).

  1. To create awareness and understanding of:
    1. How paradigms shape peoples’ thinking and behaviour and the power of the self-fulfilling prophesy.
    2. Key events in SA Labour history and their impact on current labour relations thinking and workplace relationships.
    3. How patterns of conflict in SA labour relations keep repeating themselves and why a different approach is necessary to break the cycle.
    4. The principles of power and their impact on workplace relations.
    5. How good leaders create positive discipline and good leaderships with their teams.
    6. Why rules are necessary and to develop a strategy to create buy-in from employees for willing compliance with rules and standards.
  2. To facilitate the development of an action plan to improve employee relations in the workplace based on clear boundaries, mutual respect and caring.


Introduction Team Leader Questionnaire BENCHMARK – Empowerment V Control Assumptions
Paradigms Video: Stanford Prison Experiment Paradigms are based on assumptions which in turn determine behaviour for both parties – the one with the power and the ‘victim’.
If you expect employees to be subservient, irresponsible, stupid and dishonest you will treat them like that and they will respond accordingly. Sometimes they will rebel – strike. We need to do things differently to break the paradigm.
Video: A Class Divided
Self-Fulfilling Prophesy
Labour history questionnaire
B&A Methodology
Input Methodology used is varied and builds critical leadership skills – leading discussions; influencing; listening skills; handling conflict and group dynamics; assessing performance and giving constructive feedback and making presentations.
Assessment & Feedback
South African Labour History
Origin of trade unions – Britain QUESTIONNAIRE – BENCHMARK
History keeps repeating itself in cycles: exploitation of a group – strikes/violence/ protests – reaction – changes to legislation – impact on other groups – reaction etc.
We are seeing a return of the 1980’s adversarialism by some in the union movement.
Companies need to implement positive strategies to change employee perceptions.
Boer War  &  1922 Strike
Apartheid & exploitation – 1973 Natal Strikes
1973 Natal Strikes lead to Codes & change
1980’S Conflict – British TU influence
Marikana & Knock-On Strikes
Principles of Power Power Analysis Principles of power and their application in labour relations. Understanding roles and limitations based on power and the need to avoid slippage of collective agreements.
The focus necessary to bring about good employee relations.
Employee Engagement Control v empowerment Theory X v Theory Y paradigms (Team Leader questionnaire). Drivers of employee engagement. The impact of bad managers – employees don’t leave organisations, they leave their managers!
Drivers of employee engagement
Leadership & Boundaries Video: Simon Sinek’s views on Leadership The family and tribe pre-date the company and the nation state. Parenting and leadership do not show quick results. CARING and CONSISTENCY are critical to creating trust. No quick fixes!
COURAGE is a critical requirement for leaders – it is a CHOICE!
Boundaries are critical for good relationships.
Values & boundaries
Rules of engagement – supervisors and managers v shop stewards
Discipline in the Workplace Questionnaire on discipline and the use of disciplinary action in the workplace. Answers to questionnaire establish current perceptions on discipline and disciplinary action.
Analogy to rules and sanctions in sport. Disciplinary Rules v disciplinary codes. Levels of disciplinary action – when to use corrective action v punitive action in misconduct cases.
Why employees need to understand and accept rules in order to achieve voluntary compliance and the benefits thereof.
Learners determine how to achieve the ‘buy-in’ of their work teams on rules. Example: notification in the event of illness allows for contingency planning and prevents downtime. This ultimately will help to ensure profits and job security.
Managing supervisors who avoid taking disciplinary action when it is necessary.
The need for rules.
Rules v disciplinary codes
Key aspects to implementing rules
What to do if supervisors don’t discipline
Workplace Relationships Hot Topics Exercise People are different, a leader has to adapt.
The importance of taking the trouble to get to know your team – peoples’ names and the small things that count.
Consistency – gaining trust and loyalty.
Workplace Assignment to improve employee relations and entrench good leadership
Questionnaire – Know Your Team
Workplace Assignment


  • Reduced conflict through a change in organisational climate brought about through a change in thinking (paradigms shift).
  • The need for rules is understood and accepted and a plan to achieve willing compliance with rules is developed.
  • Disciplinary rules are understood and are consistently and fairly enforced.
  • Greater productivity and employee engagement through better leadership and awareness of the correct use of the disciplinary system.


Learners will gain an understanding that:

  • Incorrect assumptions and expectations become self-fulfilling and lead to low productivity, unpleasantness and on-going unresolved conflict.
  • The events of the past have created a cycle and culture of conflict which leads to lose-lose outcomes, makes South Africa uncompetitive and will lead to job losses and economic ruin.
  • A different approach along with leadership from all stakeholders is necessary to break this cycle and to change peoples’ perceptions for the common good.

Learners will develop:

  • Clarity on boundaries and workplace discipline and why consistent enforcement of rules and boundaries is necessary.
  • A strategy to improve relationships with their team.
  • Leadership and influencing skills.
  • A plan to be implemented to improve employee relations in the workplace.