December 2, 2020

Biz tip of the week: How collaborating can help everyone win | Business News

In last week’s article, we discussed a collaborative process for group decision making, where everyone feels like a winner. This week we will consider a hypothetical case study to see how it works.

Mike’s Moving (hypothetical business) had 400 employees, including office staff, warehouse and delivery drivers. The employees had not received a pay increase in several years, and now they were demanding one.

Management and staff met to discuss the problem, and to identify their primary interests. After some discussion, they realized they wanted essentially the same thing. The staff wanted enough money to feel financially secure. The company wanted to be profitable and sustainable.

Transparency is important in collaborative negotiations, so management opened their financial statements. The employees could see there was not enough profit to support a pay raise. It cost a lot more to run the business than the employees had imagined.

While discussing the various expense items, an idea surfaced. If the employees could reduce the expenses or improve productivity, the company could afford to pay them more. Everyone agreed to focus on doing that, and 50% of increased net profits would be paid to the employees as a bonus.

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