Achieving Cultural Shift in Work Place Agreement Negotiations

The Negotiating Challenge

Our client in the Energy Industry faced a complex and hostile series of work place negotiations.

  • Two current EBA agreements to terminate in 3 months
  • Previous round of EBA agreements 3 years earlier took 8 months and resulted in both sides reverting to litigation
  • Long history of adversarial relations between Management and Union. Anticipated hostility and high probability of strike action, stop work, production disruption & further deterioration of management / worker relationships
  • Local management restricted in negotiating with workers/unions due to restrictions imposed by overseas global management
  • Complexity due to change of federal government and anticipated changes to Industrial Relations legislation & work place reforms.

How ENS Helped

We were engaged to focus on achieving a ‘Cultural Shift’ to help change the negotiating ‘mindset’ on both sides.

  • Conducted negotiation skills training for both the Management Team and Union Negotiation Team (representing workers)
  • After training, individual coaching was provided to both sides in using the our Systematic Preparation method
  • Our consultant was available ‘On Call’ when difficulties were encountered during formal or informal negotiations.


Negotiations were concluded quickly, at low cost and with dramatically improved working relationships.

  • Achieved outcomes satisfactory to both sides before expiry of the agreements
  • Overall costs to the company were approximately 350% less than previous EBA negotiations
  • The relationship between management and workers improved, with significantly reduced levels of animosity and mistrust, leading to more productive attitudes and ‘mindsets’ for future negotiations of all kinds
  • Team work and relationships improved within both teams and greater respect earned from constituent members i.e. workforce in general
  • Other client sites within Australia now interested in following our process.

Need to change your work culture? Partner with us to develop an organization change management platform to address and develop collaborative negotiation skills. Learn More

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