IBEW Local 76
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 76

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  • May 5, 2005 Meeting Notes
    Updated On: Jul 11, 2005

    Growing Union Electrical Market Share


    The progress continues!  On May 24–25, 2005, the planning team met to continue working on the plan to grow union electric market share.  This meeting focused on crafting the mission, goals, strategies, and measurements for the plan.  Each of those is noted below for your review. But before we talk about that, let’s spend a little bit of time talking about definitions. 


    Planning definitions differ from one individual to another.  The definitions that the planning team used are as follows:


    Mission:  Statement of business purpose.  It is what the group is trying to accomplish together.

    Goals:  Fuzzy destinations, which are areas of focus for the next several years.  It is what the plan is designed to achieve.

    Strategies:  “How” the goals will be accomplished.

    Measurements:  Metrics to track the progress being made on the plan in the short- and long-term.


    Together these elements build a blue print for the future.




    The greatest challenge that planning teams have is focus.  Picking nine goals would be easy.  Selecting the right two goals is challenging.  But it is through focusing on one or two key goals that great progress is made.  Otherwise, the efforts get too diluted, across too many individual initiatives, and little gets accomplished. 


    The planning team has selected two key goals to focus on:

    1. Provide the best value for our customers.
    2. Build trust and unity.


    Today, customers have choices of who and how they build construction projects.  The decreasing union market share shows that customers have turned to non-union companies and craftspeople to build projects.  The key is to stop the erosion of market share and begin to win it back.


    Providing the best value for our customers is the first step in winning back market share.  Giving customers a solid reason to pick union electrical craftspeople and companies is the key.  Giving them the “best value” makes that choice not only the right moral choice, but also the right economic one.


    Building trust and unity is as much internally-focused on NECA-SWW and IBEW 76 as it is on the marketplace.  Customers want labor and management to get along, build the job with quality, and do so with as few hassles as possible.  The stronger the working relationship between NECA and IBEW, the better it is for customers.  Trust and unity means all of us working together for the common good (i.e., growing market share).  Together, both sides are stronger than either one is alone.


    Strategies and Key Actions


    Strategies reflect how the goals will be accomplished.  Goals typically have one to three strategies.  Each strategy will have several key actions.  Key actions are small groupings of individual tasks needed to reach the goal. 


    In the planning session, the strategies for both goals were identified.  Key actions will be defined during the next planning session in July. 


    Strategies for each goal include:


    1. Goal One:  Provide the best value for our customers.
      1. Improve cost competitiveness.
      2. Improve productivity.
      3. Improve attitude and work ethic.
    2. Goal Two:  Build trust and unity.
      1. Create a culture of positive communication.
      2. Establish a united front.


    The three strategies of Goal One (Provide the best value for our customers) reflect the value-added approach for this goal.  The intent is to look for ways to increase the cost competitiveness of work, productivity, attitude, and work ethic.  The good news is that working hard this issue will generate results for other strategies.


    For example, elevating the effectiveness of project management in the field will help all of us be more cost competitive and productive.  When the project works more smoothly, we all have better attitudes.  Each of the three strategies are interrelated.  The next planning session will focus on sifting through all the strategy options and selecting those that have the best long- and short-term return on the effort to be invested.


    The two strategies for building trust and unity focus on positive communications and having a united front.  Growing the participation at IBEW and NECA functions, sharing our collective successes, and supporting each other on site will help all of us grow the level of trust and unity.  Key actions for these strategies are a focus for the next planning session.




    Measurements are the metrics by which we can measure progress being made.  The key is to have measurements that reflect the short-term gains as well as long term.  The best long-term measure of success may well be market share.  But to see progress on that measurement, projects need to be released to the market, a union electrical contractor wins them, and union labor builds them.  That takes time!  So as you look over the list of measurements below, notice some are focused on the long-term goal of growing market share, while others are focused on more immediate measures that will reflect our early efforts to win back the market.


    1.      Repeat the customer survey periodically (owners and GCs).  Use the baseline measurements gained from the research done earlier this year.

    2.      Track the trends in the market share report on market share and labor hours.

    3.      Conduct an internal survey to check progress being accomplished.

    4.      Repeat the internal IBEW and NECA surveys to see where we are gaining and where additional effort is needed.

    5.      Survey the planning leadership team to evaluate progress being made.

    6.      Track participation at functions (e.g., union meetings, special projects, continuing education classes, NECA training, etc.).

    7.      Record the number of actions completed in the plan to show progress being made.




    Winning back market share means IBEW 76 and NECA-SWW working together for the common good.  The plan to achieve that is coming together nicely.  The goals, strategies, and measurements above reflect hours of dialog and discussion needed to focus down to the critical areas that will generate the greatest return for the time and effort invested.  All of us pulling together to implement the plan will create the momentum we need to win back our fair share of the market! 



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