SOURCE: Kenexa

August 06, 2008 11:00 ET

The Kenexa Research Institute Investigates What Organizational Characteristics Support a Non-Union Environment

Early Intervention Is Key to Avoiding Unionization

WAYNE, PA--(Marketwire - August 6, 2008) - Research conducted by the Kenexa Research Institute (KRI) found that workers who are not in a union, but favor one, differ in profound ways from those who would rather not join. This study revealed the key differentiators between these two groups, indicating where organizations can intervene in order to avoid third party involvement.

As expected, pay, health benefits and overall job and company satisfaction played a role. Workers who wanted to join a union rated their organization lower in safety awareness. Additionally, a strong theme of senior leadership trust emerged, including a trust in senior management's abilities, a belief in their honesty and an environment that supports ethical behavior.

Pro-union employees feel less optimistic about their future with the organization, including the availability of career opportunities. They also had lower scores in items that related to the extent in which the organization demonstrates responsibility and caring for employees, including support for work-life balance and reasonable stress levels. Employees not interested in unionization also feel that they are listened to by their managers and have an opportunity and the autonomy to try new things. Corporate social responsibility efforts also affect unionization -- employees who would not join a union reported that their organization made an effort to support the community.

Fairness was a strong theme in the data; employees not interested in unionization report higher levels of managerial fairness and pay equity. Fairness transcended to a group level as well; pro-union employees rate their organizations lower in equal opportunity initiatives, citing that some groups are treated unfairly in terms of opportunity for development and advancement, and to fit in and excel at work.

"Organizations can be pro-active, valuing employees and their input before there are murmurs of unionization," said Brenda Kowske, research consultant, Kenexa Research Institute. "Although union talks focus on pay, benefits, and job security, leaders can create an environment that satisfies employees' needs in these less tangible areas, which may temper 'us' versus 'them' thinking. With less of a gap between management and employees, a union contract may not be necessary."

About WorkTrends™

The Kenexa WorkTrends database is a comprehensive normative database of employee opinions on topics including leadership, employee engagement and customer orientation. Comparisons are available for workers from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

About Kenexa

Kenexa (NASDAQ: KNXA) is a global leader in building the world's greatest workforces using a combination of software, employee research science and business process optimization. Kenexa's global solutions include applicant tracking, onboarding, recruitment process outsourcing, employment branding, skills and behavioral assessments, structured interviews, performance management, multi-rater feedback surveys, employee engagement surveys and HR Analytics. Kenexa is headquartered in Wayne, Pa. (outside Philadelphia). Additional information about Kenexa and its global products and services can be accessed at www.kenexa.com.