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Constructive Relations At Top Trucking Company Wlollong Yard

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Question:

Discuss about the Constructive Relations at Top Trucking Company.
 
 

Answer:

Introduction

Coworkers, supervisors, and employees in a company need to develop positive relationships for them to be able to enjoy their work and be productive. These connections are important as they may get into work references in the future which may have a positive or negative effect on career progression. For the development of effective working relations employees must build trust and work as a team. Communication is crucial to building relations among employees either horizontally or vertically in an organization.

Wollongong experienced transformational change from a dictatorial leadership to a democratic leader who lets in employees on the decision. Employees were forced to endure mistreatment from George who did not care about their safety but cared for results. The oppressive atmosphere in the yard led to strikes and employees did not work to their full potential(Australian Trucking Industry, 2001). Transportation facilities were old, and the manager did not have any plans to purchase new ones. This issue made drivers make many stopovers while transporting goods, therefore, consuming a lot of time(Sersland&Nataraajan,2015).This article aims at critically analyzing the risks, practices and the sustainability of changes experienced by Wollongong yard.

New company practices

The practices introduced by the new yard manager have quickly changed the company operations.  Some of the new changes include:

 

Change in company operations

The company was completely transformed from previously one man’s directives to a consultative approach. The new management began the transformation by issuing new uniforms to the truck drivers. This changes the image of the company as the company's employees were clean and neat.The new management approach to problem-solving involves going to the cause of the problem and not blaming it on the drivers. Employee image and implementation of problem-solving strategies create a comfortable environment for employees to work as argued by Hecker (2002).

The health and safety of the employees are factors that determine their productivity. Therefore, the new management has strategies to ensure that they became the company's priority. Technical and customer care service training is given to workers regularly to equip them with skills to navigate in the changing work environments(Apostolopoulos, Lemke&Sonmez, 2014). The new practices aimed at creating a work environment that would increase productivity. The new practices got aggressive reception as some employees were not comfortable with the new changes but with time they understood the benefits, and they changed their attitudes towards the new management.

Employee consultations

The new management makes the employees a priority to enhance and ensures employee satisfaction. The new management can achieve the goals it has set by combining different aspects of the company. Formulation of policies and governance require cooperation among employees from all ranks(Bensman, 2016).All employees in the management take part in decision making which is an important perspective as they understand well their areas of specialization.Their opinions matter to management in bringing and implementing change to their departments(Holloway, & Kusy,2013).

Eventually, George realized that the new management would bring benefit to the company and so he became part of change agents. The new management had a different approach in decision making; the new yard manager consulted all the employees before making a final determination on an issue.The sense of belonging to the company was consequently improved. Employees considered other employees as their second family because they spend quite a lot of time together(Hall& Bensoussan, 2007). It is important therefore that managements in companies create an environment in which employees can interact freely and make connections with them(Williams, Thomas & Liao-Troth,2017). Management need to realize that workers are the backbone and if not taken care of well could reduce productivity, and the overall image is damaged

 

Risks

Wollongong is going through a transformational phase, and it risks setbacks if the management is changed before the transition is fully implemented. Leaders have their style of giving orders and ensuring that work is done. The new management has brought changes to the employee relations which is a strategy to increase productivity. Change in management results in a change to policies and priorities which risk the current changes that have been brought to the yard. Change is inevitable, but it may cause setbacks to the company if the employees do not go in sync with them as explained by Jamaldeen, Bryant& Joyeux (2015).New management should hold in-depth consultation with previous management to understand the working environment and how to navigate through. Some of the risks that may challenge the sustainability of the changes brought by the new yard manager include:

Lack strategic disciplines

A strategic discipline does change not only the operations of the company but also influences the culture. Most of the changes brought to the organization are based on an individual’s effort to transforming the organization (Azab, Mostafa & Park, 2016). The change of management is not predictable which put the management in a tight spot because change cannot fully take ground within a short period of implementation. Change requires monitors and indicators which measure the level of adoption of change(Lovegrove, 2015). The change brought should be fully assimilated in the company to avoid risks of being ignored by incoming management. Tools and infrastructure have to be fully exploited to avoid risking the changes made being ignored or modified without consultation.

Misdiagnosing the scope of change

The change brought by the new management has increased its clientele and employees are more satisfied with their work. The work dynamics has changed, and it has influenced all operations which may not be fully regulated. For example, employees, have been given freedom to decide their fate in the company, which to some extent may bring a clash between the management and employees. This freedom is risky as employees may demand treatment that the management may not afford and this may cause strikes and work slows, therefore, reducing production(Spiro, 2013).Some of the positive changes that management may want to implement may be opposed by the employees. The new yard manager should introduce the regulatory body to ensure that the scope of change does not hinder the progression of the company. Change influences crucial parts of an organization including the systems, decision making bodies, technology and the knowledge and skills of the employees.

 

Communication with stakeholders

Communication is essential to building relationships with the different stakeholders.The intensity of change affects all operations in the company and also the human dynamics. When the company is undergoing change, employees’ attitudes are influenced, and this may result in acceptance or retaliation. This demands the management to engage employees in implementing changes.  Constant communication between the management and the employees should be fostered to ensure that they understand all aspects and therefore make informed decisions(Wilson, 2003).Naturally, when an employee is involved in structuring an idea, they get fully committed to executing it.

Human dynamics

When employees go through change, their mindsets take long to assimilate the changes and exhibit them. Employees have to internally process the changes and make sense of them before accepting them. The process of change is intense, and employees have to understand the nature of change and how it will influence their presence in the company(Wals & Corcoran, 2012). When change is fully accepted, new managements have tough times making adjustments to the organizations’ operations. Changes made may not be flexible to accommodating further amendments proposed to them. Emotional transitions are the most difficult to influence, and reception to change may not be quick.

Change in governance

New managements bring their styles of leadership which may result in confusion of roles as and structures within the organization. The new yard manager prioritized changes in the decision-making process, strategies for operation and problem-solving in the company which may not be a priority with other managements. Although the benefits are measurable, new managements may not consider them as important factors that contribute to the output. The management should formulate policies that become part of the company such that when they move on, new management does not have a hard time taking over the process(Weybrecht, 2014).

 

Workplace changes

The new Wollongong yard manager provides a work environment for employees that give them an opportunity to define themselves through their abilities. The business started as a family business. Therefore, it did not give room for many structural changes to happen. Decision making was central to the management which does not allow for changes to happen frequently.  The new company outlook is different, and structures changed to accommodate the operations of the national transport group in the enterprise. Transport workers unions bring equality to the workforce and regulate their operations.

Workers rights are given a priority and companies are encouraged to promote safety at workplaces. Education has played a significant role in workplaces; drivers have access to training opportunities where they learn and understand their rights(Levvy,2015). These training also improve the productivity as the workers receive technical and customer care service training. Workers have a significant role in changing work dynamics through a change in operations and attitudes.

It is evident that the wellbeing of the employees in this sector has evolved to encompass different human aspect. The formation of the transport workers’ union of Australia in the early 1900s has brought a lot of changes in the sector (Schulz, Luthans & Messersmith, 2014). Since its inception, it has achieved a lot within the sector, for example, it has successfully fought for an increase in wages and improved working environments (Lee, Huang, Murphy, Robertson & Garabet, 2015).  Initially, it was formed to improve the working conditions of the drivers and to fight for their wages.

The unions have a significant influence on the workplace as the employees depend on it for their survival and progression in the workforce.This union fights for the rights of employees and ensures that work environments are bearable(Coiquaud, 2016).  Unlike public sector unions, transport sector dynamics differ in their operations because the nature of work is different. Government regulations imposed on the sector are minimal as many firms’are privatized and follow different rules as long as they do not conflict with the government policies(Wilson, 2003).

Recommendations

Transportation companies need to prioritize their employees’ wellbeing increased productivity is to be realized. Employees working conditions need to be constantly reviewed to avoid setbacks that may negatively affect their productivity(Thompson&Stevenson,2014). Employees are an integral part of a company, and their contribution to the organization is important

Conclusion

The success of change introduced to Wollongong yard is as a result of a combination of forces that constitute an integral part of the organization. The yard manager could exploit the opportunities presented by the changes made to achieve goals set. The collective bargaining aspect of trade unions makes them appealing to workers. Therefore, companies should seek to be covered by it. Many companies have joined the Transport Workers Union of Australia considering the benefits that companies get for being members.

 

References

Apostolopoulos, Y., Lemke, M., & Sönmez, S. (2014). Risks endemic to long-haul trucking in North America: strategies to protect and promote driver well-being. New solutions: a journal of environmental and occupational health policy, 24(1), 57-81.

Australian Trucking Industry, (2001). Diesel: A magazine for the Australian Trucking Industry. Glebe, N.S.W: Intermedia Group.

Azab, A., Mostafa, N., & Park, J. (2016). OnTimeCargo: A Smart Transportation System Development In Logistics Management By A Design Thinking Approach.

Bensman, D. (2016). Precarious Work in Drayage Trucking and Labor Action to Restore Labor Rights. E-Journal of International and Comparative Labour Studies, 5(3).

Brunello, L., Bunker, J., Fabbro, S., Migliorini, F., & Ferrara, R., (January 01, 2012). High-Speed Rail and Regional Competitiveness. Wiley and SonsPublishers

Coiquaud, U. (2016). The Obligation to Be Available: The Case of the Trucking Industry. International Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations, 32(3), 322-343.

Dannenberg, A. L., Frumkin, H., & Jackson, R., (2011). Making healthy places: Designing and building for health, well-being, and sustainability. Washington, D.C: Island Press.

Hecker, J. E. Z., & United States, (2002). Surface and maritime transportation: Challenges and strategies for enhancing mobility. Washington, D.C.: U.S. General Accounting Office.

Holloway, E., & Kusy, M., (2013). Toxic Workplace!: Managing toxic personalities and their systems of power. San Francisco, Calif: Jossey-Bass.

Hall, C., & Bensoussan, B. E., (2007). Staying ahead of the competition: How firms really manage their competitive intelligence and knowledge; evidence from a decade of rapid change. Singapore: World Scientific Pub. Co.

Jamaldeen, M., Macquarie University., Bryant, T., & Joyeux, R., (2015). Agglomeration economies, diseconomies, and city size: The case of Australian cities.

Lovegrove, H., (2015). The change manager's handbook: A step-by-step guide to sustainable change.

Lee, J., Huang, Y. H., Murphy, L. A., Robertson, M. M., & Garabet, A. (2015). Measurement equivalence of a safety climate scale across multiple trucking companies. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology.

Levy, K. E. (2015). The contexts of control: Information, power, and truck-driving work. The Information Society, 31(2), 160-174.

 Schulz, S., W. Luthans, K., & G. Messersmith, J. (2014). Psychological capital: A new tool for driver retention. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, 44(8/9), 621-634.

Sersland, D., & Nataraajan, R. (2015). Driver turnover research: exploring the missing angle with a global perspective. Journal of Service Management, 26(4), 648-661.

Spiro, J., (2013). Leading change step-by-step: Tactics, tools, and tales. San Francisco, Calif: Jossey-Bass.

Thompson, J., & Stevenson, M. (2014, November). A novel methodological approach for understanding the complex relationship between payment structures, enforcement response, and fatigue among heavy-vehicle drivers. In Australasian Road Safety Research Policing Education Conference, 2014, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Weybrecht, G., (2014). The Sustainable MBA: A business guide to sustainability.

Wals, A. E. J., & Corcoran, P. B., (2012). Learning for Sustainability in Times of Accelerating Change. The Netherlands: Wageningen Academic Pub.

Williams Jr, D. F., Thomas, S. P., & Liao-Troth, S. (2017). The Truck Driver Experience: Identifying Psychological Stressors from the Voice of the Driver. Transportation Journal, 56(1), 54-76.

Wilson, T. B., (2003). Innovative reward systems for the changing workplace. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Raelin, J. A., (2008). Work-based learning: Bridging knowledge and action in the workplace. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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