Engage Employees

Champion International: Fast and Effective Contract Resolution

With a labor contract up for renewal at its paper mill in less than 12 months, Champion International could not afford any communication mistakes. Champion asked Padilla Speer Beardsley to assess employee communications at its paper mill. PSB developed a company-wide survey to evaluate the mill’s communications climate and suggested ways for improvement. The survey revealed that communication programs consuming the most resources had the least impact. Champion replaced its management newsletter with a union publication, initiated small-group discussions and empowered employee supervisors to deliver company news. As a result, Champion and the union settled a contract in just 23 days. Follow-up surveys showed marked improvement in the communication between employees and management.