This research can be used to estimate influences on managerial and employee perceptions of the employee relations climate. Both the strength and direction of union effects differ according to the nature of the union and employer responses to it. Employee and employer perceptions of climate differ according to the strength of the union, bargaining arrangements adopted, and managerial attitudes to union membership.
Employees’ perceptions of climate are also strongly associated with employees’ perceptions of union effectiveness. To minimize conflicts from employees who feel they have been treated unfairly, employers should promote: regular staff meetings in which employee complaints are discussed and resolved; performance appraisals that allow employees to talk about their opinions; the establishment of employee problem-solving procedures conducted by the employee relations manager; and the implementation of mediation procedures conducted by neutral, unrelated third parties for unresolved employee complaints.
When establishing the procedures, employers should consider developing formal complaint forms, scheduling supervisory response times to ensure prompt resolution, and determining the degree of formality in handling complaints. The mediation procedures are more difficult to implement, since the third party presiding must be agreed upon by both employee and employer, and because such procedures tend to solve immediate problems without resolving the underlying causes of the problem. Internal complaint handling will improve employee morale, strengthen intra company communications, and reduce the incidence of rumors within the company.