Introduction to Employee Representation

A short 3 hour introductory course that explores the duties of employee representatives and the skills that maximise effectiveness in role.

Effective employee representation enhances workforce/management relations and helps deliver a raft of business benefits but the role often involves duties and skills that are substantially different to those within the representatives’ “day” job; attending meetings, taking minutes and notes, negotiating and influencing at all levels, feeding back, making presentations and public speaking.

Couple with this the differing aims, needs and priorities the reps come into contact with (Individuals, the workforce as a whole, management and the business itself) and it becomes clear that the role of the employee representative is a demanding one. One where initial training and related ongoing professional development pays delivers huge dividends.

Providing initial training on the role, duties and skills helps ensure a positive start. Couple this with follow on professional development to refine their skills and/or prepare for specific activities, such as TUPE transfers, contract changes, pay and benefit reviews all helps to maximise the benefits on offer.

In short appointing and training employee representatives and is a low cost high value business development strategy for all.

For Whom
The workshop is for new, potential or recently elected employee representatives from all business types and sectors.

Aims and Objectives
The workshop provides employee representatives’ with a better insight into their role, responsibilities and typical duties and stimulates thoughts and ideas on what is needed to be effective in role.


  1. The Role of the Employee Representative
  • General duties and responsibilities of the Employee Representative
  • Boundaries
  • The benefits on offer to both the employer and the employee/s
  • Consultation and Negotiation, what, when and why
  • Specific duties and responsibilities within your organisation

2. The Skills that improve in role effectiveness

  • What makes for an effective representative?
  • Personal qualities, skills, experience and knowledge.
  • Flexibility and openness to change
  • Professional approach
  • Effective team worker
  • Aims and values of the organisation
  • Commitment to personal and professional development
  • Representing the views of others
    • Disinterested
    • Dispassionate and calm
    • Objectivity v Subjectivity
    • Meeting Skills
  1. Practicing some of the skills.
    To better illustrate how, where and why some of the key skills may be used this fun and entertaining session encourages participants to sample practice or actively observe some of the following essential personal skills: –
  • Excellent communication skills and listening skills
  • Confident in public speaking (speaking in front of groups of people including managers)
  • Ability to motivate and influence

In doing so the sample activities will focus on:

  • Communication
    • active listening
    • observational skills
    • different questioning techniques:
      • closed, open,
      • supplementary, probing, hypothetical
    • body language: posture, gestures, tone, voice, use of words
  • Influence
    • Assertive – Aggressive – Passive – Passive/Aggressive Behaviour
    • Six techniques to deal with difficult situations
  • Negotiation
    • The five key stages in any meeting situation
    • planning your approach in meetings
    • knowing how and when to intervene
  • Reporting Back and Public Speaking
    This combines the foregoing skills and other fresh topics around the theme of public Speaking
  1. Final Q and A’s – Signposting Toolkit – Sources of Advice and Guidance
    This final session explores how and where Employee Representatives can access additional advice and guidance to reinforce their knowledge and understanding or to refer to in situations with which they are not familiar.

The above course or elements from it area available through 2.5 hour online virtual classroom modules, as below. Both modules are required for full coverage.

Module One – An Overview of the Role and Responsibilities (2.5 hours online virtual classroom)

  • Key definition – The modern Employee Representative
  • Other definitions – Consultation/Negotiation/Collective Bargaining
  • Seven mutual benefits from an Employee Representative scheme
  • Six typical activities of an Employee Representative
  • ACAS Seven Point Code of Practice for Employee Representatives
  • Client’s specific Employee Representative arrangements
  • Technical knowledge and soft skills needed to perform well in role
  • Final Q and A’s – including a focus on any further support needed
  • Signposting of potential internal and external resources

Module Two – Understanding the Technical Skills (2.5 hours online virtual classroom)

  • Brief overview/reflection on module 1
  • Changing World of Work – Breaking News
  • Five major laws governing employment arrangements in the modern
  • workplace
  • Nine key legal definitions
  • Case studies around these laws and definitions
  • The client’s policies reflecting these laws and definitions
  • Understanding a suite of 10 to 12 policies
  • The role of the clients Employee Representative in the light the above
  • Final Q and A’s including a focus on any further support needed
  • Signposting of potential internal and external resources