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BMA583: Managing People And The Employment Relationship

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Question:

Discuss about the BMA583: Managing People and the Employment Relationship.
 
 

Answer:

Introduction 

Unitel is a telecommunications organization which is involved in providing telecommunication services to the different customers in the Asia-Pacific Region. Previously, the company was a public limited company but it was recently privatized in the 1990s. The company understands that as the business environment has become considerably competitive, it thereby becomes very important for the management to ensure that they are successfully able to engage in a competitive strategy which will then allow them to perform in the same way as their competitors (Albrecht et al. 2015). Hence, the management decided to go ahead with the `Vision 2022` program which aims to gain employee empowerment and put the customers in a pivotal positioning. However, this program received mixed reactions from the senior employees and junior alike and for this reason, the given report seeks to analyze the aspects where the Vision 2022 program went wrong and what are the employment relations(ER) as well as the human resource (HR) programs which exist. Moreover, it also aims to provide a specific set of solutions presented as recommendations following which the organization will be able to ensure that they are able to achieve long term success and that they are able to bring Unitel back to a competitive positioning in the market.

The Employee relations issues can be rightfully described as those issues which tend to have an impact on the unity and cooperation of the employees and their functioning. The given case of Unitel has presented a large range of employee relations issues which are bound to have a negative impact on the working of the organization at large. The given section will discuss these issues and their impact on the firm.

The Vision 2022 program has been developed for the different employees to allow them to ensure that they are empowered and capable enough to make decisions on their own and ensure that the different customers are provided the best service and that they see to it that the customer waiting time is negligible along with ensuring that the different customers are completely satisfied with the task given to them (Newman et al. 2016). However, with respect to the program, there did not exist a single opinion and there existed certain group of employees who appreciated the task which was given to them and then there were another set of employees who did not appreciate the program and believed it to be a burden on them. However, this lack of opinion created a sense of a rift between the believers of the program and the non-believers of the program. This rift caused a hostile environment and hence, caused a non-unified workforce environment where the views of the different employees clashed with one another and could have a potential impact on the performance of the employees.

Another employee relations problem which took place in the organization believed that the given program had been formed as a combat against the unions and that it intended to place additional pressure on the employees and had purposely labelled it as an empowerment program. Some of the employees complained that there existed a lack of management interest whereby their department was already understaffed and carrying out excessive overtime and on top of this the particular program aimed only to ensure that the cheapest material is bought so as to ensure that the employees work well but do not pay adequate attention to their quality of life (Paillé et al.  2014). Moreover, the Union had a belief that the program was simply formed to undermine its standing among the employees. Moreover, the Union also believes that the program is a mere campaign to buy in the confidence of the employees and distract them so as to ensure that they are away from the Unions.

 

HR Issues

The Human resource issues can be rightfully described as those issues which are related to the Human resource management of the employees and tend to have an impact on the overall operations of the firm at large. The given case of Unitel reflects various Human resource issues which have an impact on the employment. The different issues are as follows:

A certain set of employees failed to cooperate in the Vision 2022 program because they believed that it was simply a move to lure them into working more but in a fancy manner which made them believe that they had been empowered. The senior employees believed it to be a scam and hence, refused to cooperate with the firm which then led to a problem of the underperformance of their staff (Liu et al. 2017). In addition to this, the staff members also felt that the management had been targeting them with respect to the fact that, there did exist a sense of team spirit earlier but at present the employees were being informed that their mistakes are self-inclined and that their attitude was the one which required a change.

Moreover, although the company wanted the staff to believe that they were capable enough to make their own decisions and thereby work for the welfare of the organizations, they were not provided with adequate training and that the Vision 2022 program lagged a structure which would have then assisted the employees to understand their roles in a better manner and ensure long term success (Lazaroiu 2015). The program also lagged a sense of motivation from the management whereby the employees would have felt valued at the workplace.

 

Impact of the issues

Hence, as examined, the program named Vision 2022, had a wide number of problems at Unitel and that these problems had a huge impact on the overall welfare of the firm. The impact of these issues on the firm can be stated as follows:

  • It will affect the overall performance of the firm: The overall performance of the organization will be largely affected as the different employees are in a clash with one another and the increased burden of the Vision 2022 program will bring about a sense of disappointment in them which will ultimately lead to a sense of disagreement which takes place in the firm and affects the overall performance.
  • It will cause a rift among the employees: The different employees will be caught amidst a rift whereby their views tend to differ from one another and thereby there will be an existence of a hostile environment at Unitel (Jackson, Schuler & Jiang, 2014). It will cause dissatisfaction: The lack of freedom and additional burden will also lead to extreme dissatisfaction amongst the employees.
  • Higher turnover rate: Once the dissatisfaction among the organizational members tends to increase, it will ultimate result in them leaving the given organization, Unitel which will then lead to an increased turnover rate at the workplace.
  • Spoiled brand image of the firm: After the poor reviews from the employees will be received, this will have an ultimate impact on the brand image of the organization and spoil its good will.

Employment relations problems

According to Hughes and Stephens (2016), employee relations issues tend to form a common aspect of the organization and thereby cause large impacts to the firms at large.  Knies et al. (2015), state that these problems may relate to issues like conflict management whereby the different groups of employees do not necessarily agree with one another and hence, may give rise to workplace conflicts which may then cause serious implications to the different members and foster hostility at the workplace. Moreover, there are other employee relations issues like those relating to the safety at workplace, wage issues and annual leave disputes which also cause problems in the workplace and tend to spoil the harmony in which the workers tend to work with. The problems are often minor in nature but might lead to long term consequences for the firm (Sheehan 2014).

The Human resource issues which tend to take place at work might go a long way in slowing down the productivity which takes place at work, decrease the morale of the employees and cause a sense of disruption at the workplace. Moreover, it may also cause issues like prevention of expansion, daily conflicts and affect work performance (Collings, Wood  & Szamosi, 2018). These problems often arise due to lack of adequate management and a lack of structure which exists in the workplace. According to Gilmore and Williams (2013), it must be the duty of all the management at the workplace along with the Human resource Department to see to it that these issues do not come in the way of organizational operations.

 

Potential ramifications for the firm at large

The different Human resource as well as the Employee relations tend to have a long term negative consequence at the workplace (Stone et al. 2015). Although it is true that these issues are quite common at the workplace but it is also required to be understood that a constant environment at the workplace whereby employee and human resources issues prevail will have the following ramifications for the firm:

  • It will spoil the brand name of the firm: Employees tend to form the backbone of the organization and in case the firm is unable to cater to the needs of the employees, it brings in a bad impression for itself in front of the different employees at large (Brewster 2017).
  • It increases the costs of the organization: Management of the employees is an expensive affair and in case there exists several complications like that may further add up to the costs of the firm.

Conclusion

Therefore, from the above analysis it can be stated that the case of Unitel can be thereby taken to be as a typical case whereby the different initiatives which have been taken by the organization have worked against them and have affected the organization`s overall performance. The Vision 2022 program which was planned by Unitel in order to encourage their employees and to ensure that they become more responsible, actually worked against them in the long run and even burdened the employees to an extent that the turnover rate of the organization increased and the costs associated with the firm also increased. Hence, this report highlighted the various Employee relations and the Human resource issues which took place at Unitel and their impact on the workplace. Moreover, the report also analyzed the literature available on this topic, and their potential ramifications on the firm. Moreover, the next section of the report will present certain recommendations based on the same which will help Unitel to improve its operations.

 

Recommendations

As the case of Unitel is very tricky, the employee relations and human employee relations of the firm need to be improved considerably by following the given set of recommendations.

  • Engage in employee engagement

The different employees need to be provided with adequate engagement opportunities which will allow them to feel valued and hence, in a way will allow them to feel motivated. In this way, they will not be burdened with a further addition of responsibilities but at the same time will be valued at large (Bratton and Gold 2017). Continuous meetings must be held at the workplace to ensure that the employees are updated and a transparency is also maintained but without any additional burden on the employees.

  • Ensure effective training

Moreover, Unitel needs to ensure that the different employees engage in effective training with one another which then goes a long way in ensuring that they are prepared in a better manner to deal with one another and specifically with the customers (Brewster, Chung and Sparrow 2016). When the different employees will be trained in a better manner, they will successfully able to perform and serve the customers in a better way. This training program needs to be concerned with customer service and fostering a good workplace environment.

  • Engage in employee motivational programs

The employees at Unitel have been deeply disappointed after the Vision 2020 program and for this reason, it will better for the firm if it engages in a motivation program which will then ensure that the employees are able to perceive the organization in a better manner and that they perform effectively for the benefit of the firm at large (Brewster and Hegewisch 2017).

 

References

Albrecht, S.L., Bakker, A.B., Gruman, J.A., Macey, W.H. & Saks, A.M., 2015. Employee engagement, human resource management practices and competitive advantage: An integrated approach. Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance, 2(1), pp.7-35.

Bratton, J. and Gold, J., 2017. Human resource management: theory and practice. Palgrave.

Brewster, C. and Hegewisch, A. eds., 2017. Policy and practice in European human resource management: The Price Waterhouse Cranfield survey. Taylor & Francis.

Brewster, C., 2017. The integration of human resource management and corporate strategy. In Policy and practice in European human resource management (pp. 22-35). Routledge.

Brewster, C., Chung, C. and Sparrow, P., 2016. Globalizing human resource management. Routledge.

Collings, D.G., Wood, G.T. & Szamosi, L.T., 2018. Human resource management: A critical approach. In Human Resource Management (pp. 1-23). Routledge.

Gilmore, S and Williams, S ,2013. Human Resource Management (2nd Ed). Oxford; Oxford University Press. 

Hughes, C. and Stephens, D., 2016. Use Value and HRD and HRM Flexibility: Implications for HRD Practice. In Bridging the Scholar-Practitioner Gap in Human Resources Development(pp. 181-199). IGI Global.

Jackson, S.E., Schuler, R.S. & Jiang, K., 2014. An aspirational framework for strategic human resource management. The Academy of Management Annals, 8(1), pp.1-56.

Knies, E., Boselie, P., Gould-Williams, J. and Vandenabeele, W., 2015. Special issue of International Journal of Human Resource Management: Strategic human resource management and public sector performance.

Lazaroiu, G., 2015. Employee motivation and job performance. Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations, 14, p.97.

Liu, D., Gong, Y., Zhou, J. &  Huang, J.C., 2017. Human resource systems, employee creativity, and firm innovation: The moderating role of firm ownership. Academy of Management Journal, 60(3), pp.1164-1188.

Newman, A., Miao, Q., Hofman, P.S. & Zhu, C.J., 2016. The impact of socially responsible human resource management on employees' organizational citizenship behaviour: the mediating role of organizational identification. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 27(4), pp.440-455.

Paillé, P., Chen, Y., Boiral, O. & Jin, J., 2014. The impact of human resource management on environmental performance: An employee-level study. Journal of Business Ethics, 121(3), pp.451-466.

Sheehan, M., 2014. Human resource management and performance: Evidence from small and medium-sized firms. International Small Business Journal, 32(5), pp.545-570.

Stone, D.L., Deadrick, D.L., Lukaszewski, K.M. & Johnson, R., 2015. The influence of technology on the future of human resource management. Human Resource Management Review, 25(2), pp.216-231.

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