An online guide to monitoring where you work
Section 3 - How to monitor the impact on the workforce
Monitoring is a process of collecting, analysing and evaluating information that you have gathered. Where there are activities occurring or decisions made at the employer level such as a process to reduce staffing in one particular department, it will greatly assist any union response to know what groups of workers are typically found within those departments. Without gathering information derived by some form of monitoring activity, employers cannot be held to account with regard to a decision that may adversely impact specific groups of individuals.Collect the information from your employer
There are a number of ways to collect information about the workforce. This information is probably held by your employer so it is important to ask. As branch representatives it is likely you are already engaged in ongoing meetings with employers, information on the profile of the workforce can be requested through those meetings. You can also:
- write requesting the information from your Human Resources department
- Conduct your own surveys
To encourage participation from your colleagues and employer, always make clear that the information will be retained in the strictest confidence and consider providing answers to these questions:
- How will the information be stored?
- Who will have access to this information?
- What will be done with the information once collated?
- How will the information be published?
- How will the information be shared?
Benefits to your workplace
It is also important to explain to colleagues and your employer that monitoring will help ensure your workplace has the necessary information to support, represent and make any improvements to the working lives of staff. Monitoring will also help employers to know whether they are offering equality of opportunity to all members of staff. If, through monitoring, it becomes clear that an employer is not quite achieving this, targeted work can then occur to rectify that particular issue. Watch Zita Holbourne, PCS Lay Activist, talk about how ethnic monitoring has improved representation within the PCS union.