District Coucil 16

District Council 16 - High Performance / High Value

What Is It & What’s In It For You?

In 2008 the union developed and promoted our defining characteristic, high performance/high value.  High performance/high value is about each and every one of us embracing a quality driven work ethic that not only challenges oneself to raise the bar but also challenges those around us to do the same.  Do not get me wrong; there is no question that our members are the best of the best.  The question is; are we satisfied with the status quo?  Are we the best that we can be?  There is, and will always be, room for improvement and if we each personally commit to improvement we will each realize personal gains.  It is obvious that if we improve our productivity, efficiency, behaviors and attitudes we would each personally become more successful and experience increases in our annual income and achieve a greater sense of satisfaction related to the work we perform every day.  If we all buy in to developing and promoting a high performance/high value culture, we can increase the level of success we each experience through the hard work we have all chosen to dedicate a significant portion of our lives to.  The work we have dedicated ourselves to is that which impacts our lives, and the lives of those we love, the most.  I think it goes without saying that we all have a significant interest in improving our quality of life.

We discussed with our employer partners the way in which they manage our members.  We agreed that our member’s productivity, efficiency, behaviors and attitudes are limited due in part to the way in which they are managed?  It seems evident that if you expect the employees you manage to change their behaviors and attitudes then you must change the way you manage them.  Let me ask you this, what other successful business model puts untrained workers in charge of the businesses most valuable assets?  Isn’t that what our employers are doing?  Our employers take our members who are the best at installing and/or applying our products at the site of construction and elevate them to managerial positions with little or no management training.  Our employers often do not consider that once they have elevated these most qualified mechanics to leadman, foremen and superintendent status, their managerial skills become much more important than their mechanical skills.  More often than not our employers provide no managerial training to these leadman, foremen and superintendents and yet their main function becomes managing the employers workers.  Our employers must recognize and implement strategies that motivate their workers to embrace a high performance/high value work ethic.  Our members are not only motivated through compensation; they are motivated by other factors as well.  A key motivational factor is being included in the decision making process and yet another is feeling appreciated for the contributions they make to the success of the jobs they work on and the success of their employer as a whole.  Our Members want to be recognized for the contributions they make to the industries they work in and the wealth that they help build.  In order to cultivate a high performance/high value culture management must dedicate itself to developing, promoting and delivering more sophisticated personnel management strategies designed to cultivate a high performance/high value culture amongst the workers. 

The union must dedicate itself to developing and promoting a high performance/high value culture on a daily basis.  The union must work with management in creating and delivering the necessary training to both the managerial staff of our employers and our union members.  The union must take the initiative to create and sustain an environment that challenges each and every member to strive to become the best worker and/or best manager that they can be.  The union must foster a culture that challenges each member to not only improve their own productivity, efficiency, behavior and attitude but also expect the same from each and every member they work with.   If promoted properly this high performance/high value culture will be understood to be in everyone’s self interests, because it is.  High performance/high value, so what’s in it for you?  Members will enjoy increased annual income, a greater sense of satisfaction, a feeling of being appreciated and an overall sense of pride in being personally responsible for their own success and the success of their employer and their Union.  So, what’s in it for our employers?  Our employers will be more competitive, our employers will be more attractive to desirable employees and finally, our employers will enjoy a greater sense of pride in accomplishing increased profit objectives while creating an environment that promotes individual success and values each and every employee.  So, what’s in it for the Union?  Your Union would enjoy an increased membership base, an increased contractor base, an improved bargaining relationship with management and an overall sense of achievement and pride in living up to our claim “we are the best”.

Implementing a High Performance/High Value culture is designed to improve our unionized construction industries competitive position in the market place through the motivation of all the players; the workers, management and the Union.  It is intended to raise the bar with respect to how we work together in delivering our goods and services to the consumer.  Promoting a high performance/high value culture is essential for the continued success and growth of our unionized construction industries.  If we hope to achieve cultural change it will take all three parties working together and pulling in the same direction.  Any one or two of the parties can embrace and promote this change and be somewhat successful but without all three working together we will never reach our maximum potential.  We need to be motivated and embrace a high performance/high value work ethic in order to realize our fullest potential. 

Both the Union and Management has committed to taking the actions described above and we have committed to take the necessary steps to foster a high performance/high value culture.  The most significant step taken so far has been the creation and funding of the STAR Program.  The STAR Program is a reward based training program that will provide safety, skills and supervisor training to all members regardless of classification.  We implore each and every one of you to think about high performance/high value and decide for yourself whether or not you think it is truly in your own best interests.  We are not asking you to embrace it because it’s good for the Union and we are not asking you to embrace it because it’s good for your employer.  Although both are true; We are asking you to embrace it because it’s in your own self interest.