We’re two weeks into Grovember – UNISON’s month-long recruitment and retention project to grow our union.
We’ve seen some great work with activists, staff, regions and branches ramping up recruitment and finding extra ways to do a bit more. It’s fantastic to see the union so visible in workplaces across the UK – and that’s what will help our union grow.
When people see us – active, confident and relevant, they join us. And our current members value their UNISON membership more too. It’s good for the whole union.
So this week is being designated “Walk Round Week” – making sure we are (literally) going the extra mile to meet our members and talk to potential joiners in canteens, wards, depots, offices, schools and call centres.
We’re asking our activists and organisers to walk the walk and talk the talk – getting out and about talking to people about why they should join UNISON and stay in UNISON.
And just for a bit of friendly encouragement, if you feel like measuring your steps on your phone, Fitbit or pedometer – tweet us your total steps, tell us what you’ve been up to and we’ll award three £50 vouchers for the most steps taken in the line of duty. Just use the hashtags #walkroundweek and #joinUNISON.
A few tips on walking and talking
- Take a walk through a workplace, and speak to any staff you meet on the way – starting with a smile and a friendly hello.
- Plan your walk and look for opportunities to talk about the union – for example: if you visit a canteen in lunch hour, you could meet people informally.
- Think about how to engage people in issues that feel relevant to them and don’t take them away from their working routine – ask for suggestions about how to improve the workplace or how their jobs could be made better. If people ask questions, make sure you always get back to them with an answer – it’s common courtesy and it helps to build trust.
- Don’t go in packs – it works best as one-to-one conversations between individuals. Bringing too many people along can make people feel self-conscious.
- Let the rumour mill work for you – if you have one conversation, the person you speak to may tell another and spread the word.
- Always be visible as you walk around – wear UNISON colours and have leaflets to support you. Try to look appropriate to the workplace — if staff dress smartly, make sure you fit in – a smart UNISON polo shirt can be perfect!
- And if you meet current members, why not take the chance to engage them in a bit of friendly activity – ask them if they’d help by putting up a poster or signing a petition.
If you’d like to know more, or encourage others to feel more confident, there are two really quick and easy workshops, called Quick Conversations and Recruitment Conversations that you can download under the resources tab on our Let’s grow together campaign page.